Today I wanted to take a step back and write about the current state of my mental health.
When thinking of a title for this post, I wanted to start with “transparency” or “honesty,” but the word “vulnerability resonates more. Brené Brown, one of my favorite researchers and mental health advocates, says that being vulnerable – no matter how scary – is one of bravest things one can be.
Lately I’ve been struggling with current pain and past trauma. Not a day goes by where I don’t think about my family members, former coworkers and friends who have hurt me deeply. The blessing and curse of being an empath (or “indigo child” if you will) is feeling so deeply. Deeper than the average person can feel. I remember every word, moment, feeling… when I have been hurt in the past. For certain friendships or working relationships, time does heal all wounds; I’m not thinking about certain people as frequently as I used to. And I understand that people grow apart, but this is different—this is people who I believe have genuinely hurt me or have taken full advantage of my kindness.
All processing past pain, I’m also coping with current depression. Depression about Chicago not being what I thought it would be, my marriage not being as strong as I’d like it to be, people here letting me down no matter how hard I’ve tried, family and friends from Michigan continuing to let me down… It’s difficult for me to not feel like a failure. I feel like I’m failing in my family’s eyes, in Juan’s eyes, in certain friends’ eyes… I feel like if I leave Chicago that I would be a failure. But is it worth staying when my depression is worsening?
Last week one of my closest friends here betrayed my trust. I continue to feel like Juan and I are growing apart, not wanting the same things of the future. I feel financially trapped and scared that I’ll never live the life I want to live. I’m afraid my family will continue to misunderstand me and never fully accept me as I am.
For the first time in my life, I truly don’t know how to move forward. I know I’ve been open about my struggles with mental health on this platform, but things feel worse this time.
Living with depression feels like living with a deep sense of hopelessness, despair and constantly feeling alone or misunderstood.
But what I really want and need to feel is a clear path forward—a light in the darkness.
Photos taken Friday, May 20, 2022