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Lessons from the Winter Blues Part I

Hey y’all, 

I know it’s been a while since I dropped a blog post. I knowww, and we were just getting started! But life and mental health arrived on my doorstop and life just wasn’t normal life for a while. In the midst of launching my blog, and buying a home, depression snuck up on me, and knocked me on my tail. Sounds crazy right? Yea let’s talk about it.  

Let me start by saying depression is not new to me, I’ve dealt with cycles of depression as far back as middle school. Over the last few years, I have managed to track my cycles, so I typically am prepared to recognize any symptoms if they pop up. What was different about this time is that it was not the time of year I typically experience a depressive episode and by the time I realized I was depressed, I was already in the thick of it! Can you imagine moving and settling into your new home, it’s holiday season and cheer is all around, and before you know it it’s the day after Christmas and you realize you haven’t been able to get out of bed in 4 days? This was me and navigating the thick of this dark, blue season was a task like no other.  

This episode lasted 4 months! Every day brought its own challenges, whether it was making it out of bed, making sure my tasks at work were completed, or being mindful of my appetite. Sometimes I would forget to eat all day, other times all I wanted to do was eat my depression away. Poor coping skills showed their face and forced me to look at myself and my circumstances very differently. It took a combination of practices and tools to get back to what resembled ordinary for me. 

It lifted about mid-March and I have taken several weeks since then to focus on my recovery and create a new normal. It is important to recognize opportunities to start afresh, don’t rush to go back to what was, there’s a chance to grow even in the dark. MESSAGE! – yea I’m looking at you.  

This depressive episode was transforming for me in a lot of ways. In the past I have looked at my mental health as a weakness, but not this time. This time, I was determined to be brave and face it differently than I ever had before. I have what’s referred to as high functioning depression, which means that I am still able to present and perform almost to my regular level. But inside, it’s taking all my effort to show up in that way. It’s incredibly difficult to battle my depression mentally while still handling my responsibilities as a wife, employee, family member, friend, etc.  

But the lessons I’ve learned through this season stretches beyond how to handle a dark period. I let this episode teach me things about myself and I learned so much y’all. The lessons are simple yet deep. Tough to accept but rooted in grace and compassion for self. The most important lesson I learned is that depression episodes don’t have to be a dark, paralyzing and isolating space. It can be a time of powerful transformation like the caterpillar in its cocoon. I just had to be open to a different kind of vulnerability within myself and intuitive to the lessons flashing loudly in front of me. I can’t wait to dig deeper with you all. Come back for the rest of a transparent 6 part series and see what parts of you show up in the mirror while we reflect on Lessons from the Winter Blues.  Part II on Tuesday 5/18!

Til then, strive to see yourself.  

And know I see you too.