First off, I want to apologize for not being as involved in the blog and videos as I used to be. Second, I want to thank you for following my journey and wanting to know my perspectives, thoughts, and what’s going on in my life! Thirdly, I want to explain what has been going on and why I haven’t been so open and involved with the blog as I used to be: Well here’s why: PRIDE! Over the last year and a half I have battled severe clinical depression…Well to be honest it has been something I have always struggled with, but this last year has by far been the worst and darkest battle of my life! It’s sad to say that it has taken me this long to come clean and that I have been so ashamed of my struggles that it led me to be silent… This last weeks news of the suicide of actor Robbin Williams hit me hard! It really, and sadly, was not a shock to me… but what laid heavily on my heart was that it shocked so many other people and that unfortunately I could relate to what he was dealing with. Last June, in short, I was having a tough week battling the onset of my depression and was continually being sexually harassed at work and then finally fired…. Already struggling, this added to the pressures and burdens that I was already carrying and brought on fears and thoughts of losing my house and ultimately my kids… This led me to find comfort in alcohol for the night, just to try and forget about the mess of my life and all the pain! After heavily drinking on top of already being severely depressed it led me to make the choice to try and take my own life. I’ll be honest this is SO hard for me to come out with and actually admit… my pride right now is screaming DELETE DELETE DELETE… But Gods gentle tug on my heart is telling me to be honest and let it out… Someone out there needs this! My attempted suicide was not about wanting to end my life but about wanting to end the pain and struggle. I was tired of fighting the cloud of darkness so hard and tired of struggling and wrestling with the blackness, hopelessness, and loneliness that is depression! With social media blasting only the good and blessed times of others and only showing the happy, carefree, and fun times without showing the sacrifice, hard work, or price of getting it- It seems like We (and by we I really am saying me) have it together, life is good, and were all just livin the life! But for someone who suffers from severe depression I can tell you things are not always ok, things don’t come easy, and I definitely don’t have it all together! There are days when the battle inside me is so heavy and dark that I can’t get out of bed and the times when I do get up I feel empty, distant, vacant, and passive. I’m no longer the strong, vibrant, and lively girl I once was, and that kills me even more! At times I don’t care what happens to me and I’d rather things just end because I’m tired of fighting this inner battle for life! It’s an exhausting, vicious, and relentless battle everyday! Most people don’t understand because they look at me and tell me I’m so talented, beautiful and smart… But here’s the thing about depression…. Depression doesn’t care who you are, what you have, what race or status you hold, or what you’re facing…. It comes anyways! There is no limit to who or how depression can touch! There are so many misconceptions about depression that I wish people who don’t suffer could be educated on! Here’s a few that I have dealt with in my own battle: It’s not an illness it’s a choice- just choose to be happy! (Warning don’t ever say this to someone who is depressed because it will only make them feel worse or that something is wrong with them because no matter how hard they try to choose happiness they just can’t seem to get there!) Believe me when I say I want to be happy…. I don’t want to be this way and I try to make the choice to be happy every morning but it just doesn’t work like that with depression! Depression is an illness! Saying to snap out of it or just choose to be happy is like telling someone with cancer to just stop having cancer or that they can choose to not have it! Depression is just another way of saying lazy: this is the biggest one I get from my family and friends… it drives me crazier than I already feel!!! I am by no means lazy (except when it comes to having to do the dishes or clean!). The people who have known me for years and seen me through it all know that I am the hardest working person and that I try to give 100% to everything I do… I miss the days of getting excited to work and having that inner fire light the way…. But some days the battle inside me is so heavy that I’m just too exhausted to even try! I’m too tired to fight it and the things that most people think should matter to me just don’t! I dont choose to be lazy or not care… I just don’t have the strength somedays! Some days my greatest victory is getting out of bed! Other days it’s opening my computer to look for a job or putting on makeup and doing my hair and on really good days I can fake it till I make it with the best of them! Depression is a day to day battle! I have good days and I have bad days and I’m ok with that! What doesn’t help tho is people pushing me to do and be something that I just can’t be in that moment and treat me like im choosing to be this way and resign to the fact that I don’t care or I’m just lazy and irresponsible. I have to be ok with baby steps because that’s all I can make some days! With depression the thing that clouds your mind are the negative, hopeless thoughts. It repalys your fears and mistakes and clouds you with a heaviness that makes you feel like your drowning against the currents! Don’t highlight the negative with someone with depression… As much as you want to call them out and try to teach them a lesson, or shake them to wake up and snap out of it you will only make it worse by doing so… chances are they’re already drowning in their minds- you don’t need to sink them further! Give light, hope, and love to them! Speak words of faith and encouragement and celebrate the baby steps or small victories with them! Trust me when I say, if I could choose to snap out of it, I would because Lord knows I don’t want to be this way anymore! The last misconception is that Christians can’t possibly suffer from depression! That is the biggest bunch of bull I’ve ever heard! Read any part of what David wrote in psalms and you can clearly see that at times he suffered from a dark cloud of depression! The difference is that most people today try to self-soothe with alcohol, sex, shopping, or drugs and David chose to let God soothe him and carry the burdens! Instead of running away from god he ran towards him! Just because Jesus is lord and savior of my life does not mean we are exempt from hardships or suffering… Jesus Christ himself, being perfect and sinless, wasn’t even exempt from pain, sorrow, and suffering! Depression is not a character defect, a spiritual disorder or an emotional dysfunction. And chief of all, it’s not a choice. The biggest thing that’s helped me through the hard, long, and exhausting battle is holding onto Gods promises! Despite pain, suffering, circumstances and hard times- God is still good! He still loves us unconditionally and beyond measure! Instead of clinging to pain, we must cling to God’s love and settle in our hearts and minds that we know where to go for reprieve and remedy—God’s Word. What we know is that “God is love” (1 John 4:8). What we know is that nothing can “separate us from the love of God” (Romans 8:38, 39). What we know is that He makes “everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). What we know is that He will ”not leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:8). What we know is that He is “near to those who have a broken heart” (Psalm 34:18). What we know is that He does “all things well” (Mark 7:37). Holding tight to these promises, we can be sure that there will be an end to the darkness and what was intended for evil, God will use for good! I want to pray for anyone that is battling depression or contemplating suicide… I pray that Gods love, comfort, and compassion will surround you… And that his grace and mercy will cover you tightly; healing all the wounds and pain… I pray that the chains that hold you down will be set free and you find peace and rest in the arms of the Almighty! I pray these things in Jesus’ name! Amen! If you or anyone you know is suffering please do not hesitate to reach out and seek help! You are not alone and they’re are so many people and resources that love and care about you and want to help you! It’s ok to not be ok, but it’s not ok to keep pretending things are ok-holding it all in and suffering quietly by yourself! Seek help and hold tight to gods word and promises!