Wednesday, 29 January 2014

My Own Struggle With Depression

Now, let's get serious: You might be thinking "why is she writing this?" The truth is I am writing this because I feel it's time to let go of the stupid stigma that has prevented me from sharing the different struggles that have held me back in my life. It's really easy to avoid thinking "I am depressed." It's very easy to simply confuse it with a bad slump. You can blame it on your shitty relationship that failed, a bad stretch at work, or maybe if you're like me you can blame it on your favourite team's recent struggles. There's a million excuses. The only reason I felt the need to make those excuses was because I felt like I needed to be ashamed of asking for help. 

A lot of the reasons why I felt shame to ask for help has to do with the way I look. Now it's easy for a lot of people to empathize with women who have struggles with weight or feel uncomfortable with the way they look, but who has empathy for someone who is confident in the way they look? I felt the need to hide my own different insecurities because I felt like people were going to judge me, that my problems simply weren't as important. With time I've learned that it's wrong to think that; my problems have just as much importance as other people's problems and I should also get to share them and not feel shame for it. Perhaps my struggles aren't with my physical appearance and I want to share how I feel and maybe encourage others to also share their struggles and get help.

I have let the expectations of many people dictate my life, mostly my parents, and the thought of disappointing them was something I carried all my life. It kept escalating to the point that I started carrying the weight of their expectations, their marriage, their finances, everything. I was stuck in a 32 year marriage and my own life expectations. These things prevented me from being happy, from forming relationships, from opening up to other people. I lost interest in love, in new experiences, in adventures. I let it drag me down. I let that keep me locked in my house. I let it ruin relationships and hurt other people. 

I've never talked about any of my insecurities and it hurt for a long time. I always felt like I was never going to be good enough for another person, like I had nothing left to give. I felt extremely alone and I always blamed myself. I always thought I simply wasn't good enough. Perhaps the worst part about it was the idea that I had settled for that. It was never about appearance and that's what made it so hard to share. People don't often take so well to women with physical confidence having emotional insecurities, so I hid it and decided it wasn't important. I had become okay with the idea that I was going to be alone, sad and with the feeling that I wasn't good enough. 

I am lucky that I had someone very special come into my life and with their tenderness and patience made me feel comfortable enough to open up and realize that I needed to accept I was suffering a small depression and needed to change things in my life. I feel silly now for not acknowledging that I needed help before and that by doing that I could have been happier and at peace with myself before. I am not done recovering and moving past many of the things that have hurt me, but I am making so many positive steps that have improved my life. It's nothing to be ashamed of, we all go through different things that hold us back from being the best version of ourselves. What I want to accomplish with this is not only letting go of a past that used to hold me back but to hopefully inspire other people to open up, get help, share their problems and move past them. There is no reason to be ashamed, whatever it is that is holding you down, you can get help and you can move past it. 


  1. Thank you for sharing Maria! I had the same problem but when I finally accepted it, I was not ashamed to admit it and share my story. It was liberating!

  2. Thanks for sharing. I've suffered from depression for many years but didn't realize it for most of that time... I thought I was just a loser and wasn't good enough and that was it. I didn't understand that I was actually sick until the last couple of years. This Bell campaign has just been mindblowing for me - I never would have dreamed so many other people would be suffering from the same things I am, right down to feeling like a fraud because I'm able to function despite my illness. It's incredible to see so many people opening up for the first time and realizing there's no shame in depression. I've been very open about my depression and it really helps.