Depression is My Gift

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I’m on a mission this year to transform my life and the lives of others seeking change. We all have a special gift. Those that use their gift, I believe, are blessed. That’s one of my goals: use my gifts to bless others.

I discovered my gifts when I hit my bottom emotionally. It’s then it hit me that I have gone through the events and trials in my life to gain strength, wisdom, empathy and use my life story to help other women.

I have depression. I thought it made me weak. I thought that because I couldn’t rid myself of the depression that I wasn’t good enough. So I hid it. I put on a great disguise; but it caused me to have low self esteem, to hide, to not be the person who I was put here to be.

It wasn’t until suffering the loss of my mother to cancer, my two only sisters to fast progressive disease, my father to heart failure (all at way too young ages), a divorce after 23 years, and hitting rock bottom financially that I feel like I have risen from the ashes and have to help others trying to find their way through depression and grief.

I’ve discovered that my gift is my story, my desire to lift other women, my will to make life the beautiful gift that it is.

So happy to be challenged by several beautiful woman in my life to be transparent and strong.

~ Wishing you blue skies and sunshine!

#GetGutsy #TribeBuildingChallengeDay1

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Depression: Struggling in Silence

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Why do we hide that we have depression? I can only answer for myself and it’s because I didn’t want people to look at me and see weakness. I didn’t want to be judged. I wanted people to think I had it all together. I wanted to believe I had it all together.

I had the best job in the world: I was a stay-at-home mom with 5 children, all active in sports, in 3 different schools, and managing our large suburban home. I, self-admittedly, was doing a really good job at it. People often complimented me on how well I ran the household. I loved my job. I loved being home with my children. As they started growing up, though, and becoming more independent and getting ready to leave the “nest”; they didn’t need  me as much. My role was changing. Then other life stressors happened, and over time I realized I was struggling with depression. But, I wanted to continue to live up to the image of a mom who had it all together, so admitting that I was depressed, wasn’t an option.

In my  mind, if I said it out loud – “I have depression and need help” – then it would be real.

The truth is, it is real. I have depression. Pretending that I didn’t, and then staying silent that I did, only created more darkness and anxiety. As the saying goes, you can’t fix what you don’t acknowledge.

After struggling with depression for more than 10 years, I started talking about it in 2016. I actually started my blog in 2016; but I wasn’t ready. But, after a year of contemplating “coming out”, 2017 is my year. My year to be honest with myself about living with depression. My year to put my passion to work to bring awareness to depression and end the stigma. We, those of us living with depression, can  be open and honest and live with our heads held high. With the support, we can learn to  navigate this life – the only one we will ever have – and experience the joy we deserve.

It’s my life’s mission: I sharing the story of depression in order to help other women share their stories so they don’t have to struggle or suffer alone in silence. I do this because life is too short to not experience joy and happiness. We’ve been placed  on this earth for a purpose, and it’s not depression. Let’s take this journey together.

Please share your story, if you’re ready. Please comment or ask questions. Let me know what you need to hear that will help you.

Blue Skies & Hugs,

Dawn xoxo

The Day I Felt Normal

feeling_normal_mugNovember 15, 2015 – This is what normal feels like! I wrote in my journal, “this is fabulous”.

It had been so long since I’ve felt “normal”. What is normal? For me, its the clouds and weight lifted and I just feel like I can do everyday activities without being down. There’s no “gray” in my day. I just woke and was ready to take on what came my way.

I want that EVERYDAY! I don’t know how to repeat it. I want to bottle it so I can feel it everyday.

We were out of town for a hockey tournament and we woke up to drive home. I got up, took a shower without talking myself into it. I packed the room and helped load in truck. We drove home for 3 hours, and I was chatting the entire way – actually having a conversation, not just staring out into space feeling numb. I even cracked a couple funnies that made everyone smile. The feeling stayed with me the entire day!

Two days prior, my partner and I were discussing some issues we were having and literally 5 minutes into the conversation, I felt so down and sad that I thought if I didn’t have kids, there is no purpose for me being here. I feel like I’m just enduring it because I have children, a grandson, and a partner that I love. That gets exhausting, though!

Thankfully, a different feeling revealed itself on 11/15/15 and it’s the day I decided that depression will not lead my life anymore. I will find a way for normal to rule. I like normal. I deserve normal.