I am really proud to share this post from my beautiful friend Kelly. It takes a lot of courage to be this vulnerable, thank you for this my friend.
Author: Kelly Maguire
It’s that time of year again! That’s right, it’s mental health week :). Very appropriate as I make a transition next week to live a healthier, happier life. Here are a few things I want to say about #depression.
Just like cancer, it is so important that you catch it as early as you can. If you feel you are “stuck”, listen to that intuition and get help to move through that feeling. Dealt with early you may never have to deal with it again. Not dealing with it WILL BE FATAL. At the very least, someone will not take good care of themself. Second to worse, they will self medicate with shopping, drugs, alcohol,etc. We have lost many great people to this illness. This needs to stop.
Ask!!! People with depression, you have to be the one to ask for help. Ask your doctor, pastor, bartender, family, friends….. and be very specific what you are feeling. I thought what I was asking for was obvious, that I needed to be around other people. Turns out people aren’t mind readers! It turned into a vicious circle, me asking people to join me in doing various activities, them refusing because they did not know how much I needed support, everyone thinking that I had this crazy amazing life where I did all these fun things! By the time I asked for help I had been very isolated for a long time. And my poor friends and family were blind sided when it came to light how much I had been struggling.
Non-depressed people, ASK! Asking someone if they are sad does not make a person sad. Asking a person if they are suicidal does not suddenly put that idea in someone’s head. Checking in with people is loving. And helpful. And preventative!!!!
Speaking of which, no one baked my family a casserole when I was sick. I say that symbolically, not literally. Not because they don’t have great friends, but because depression is usually kept secret, dealt with behind the scenes. I personally think we need to talk about it openly, casually even. I am not broken, unlovable, unworthy of health and happiness. I simply have a part of my brain that doesn’t work as well as others.
Any age. Any job. Any income. Even you and/or your loved one. Be vigilant as you are about your blood pressure and cholesterol.
And lastly, I think we need to honour and validate our feelings. Of course we can always find someone else that has bigger problems. But our problems are our problems. While depression can occur after an “event” it can also just as easily arise out of prolonged less than optimal conditions. Losing a classmate was hard. Losing a dog was devastating for me. Living my first 30 years thinking life had to equal a husband and kids. Turns out not :). But there was some beliefs and ideas that needed to be rewritten thanks to therapy, medications and yoga.
So as I start my training to be a Yoga Therapist next week in Vancouver (surprise! I want to thank all my family and friends who have helped me make this possible. Every one of us deserves love peace and happiness, and I’m excited to go get mine. Much love, Kelly.