Well the title says it all, I have depression….Okay so it’s a little more than that I guess. I definitely had a lot of traits of depression for as long as I can remember. The anxiety of crowds or the outside world in general, check. Using lots of sick days to sit in the bed because nothing seemed worth getting up, double check. The lost of any excitement or joy of anything, still working on it. Try being a person who sets high goals and wants to see the world but is petrified of it all at the same time. The good thing about me is that I was too curious and needed to know how I could fix me. And boy did it turn out to be a lot of work. For me, I had to stay busy. Since my thing was to hide away in my room I had to stay out of it.
Staying out of my house was no problem when you’re a social worker because you spend more time in the office or with other families than your own. One thing the working world tried to teach us was self-care as a social worker. The problem is they never tell us how we’re supposed to find the time for self care and still get our work in before the deadline. So here is where the gym came in. My first year as a social worker I found myself 20 pounds heavier. AND I HATED IT. I was in the office first thing, then out way past lunch hours and grabbing the first drive thru meal I could find.. This was not good. But I was a career woman. I love what I do and I loved that I was good at it. What I didn’t like was the extra weight and an ex-boyfriend calling my body “squishy”.
I don’t think anyone needs more motivation than being referred to as squishy by a grown man. Haha.
I don’t think anyone needs more motivation than being referred to as squishy by a grown man. Haha. The first of the year I signed up for my membership and I tried it out. Here I am six months later and any given time you can find me at Chuze 5:30 in the morning. Slowly working through my issues with crowds, the evenings were not particularly fun for me at the gym and I found my solace in the morning with the few regulars. Having a purpose to wake up and get out of bed was the gym. I started feeling more confident and the more I saw results, or didn’t see results, made me change other things in my life.
You’re probably wondering where Yoga came in to all this when I was already doing the gym. Yoga is a totally different and definitely more inviting scene. In yoga there is no competition that you’re unknowing apart of in the gym. You don’t have to fight for a machine or weights. In a given class there can be 5 to 20 people but I always go in and feel like I’m completely alone. The room is dark, there are no phones allowed and no talking besides the instructor guiding you. Yoga tests your inner strength as well as your body. Everyday you’re given a message to remember as you sweat, stretch and focus your breathing. I fell in love with yoga because I forgot the outside world for that hour. All my stress, worries and fears are forgotten in that room and when I leave, nothing seems as big a deal anymore.
As a black woman I felt some stigma that I was losing my independence relying on someone else to help fix me.
And then there was therapy. This is fairly new to me and honestly the hardest to talk about. As a black woman I felt some stigma that I was losing my independence relying on someone else to help fix me. Then I realized that in all the Tyler Perry movies, the women always waited too long to seek help. I was ready to let my guard down after many years of not. I’ve been going for about a month now and the words, all my hurt, secrets and trouble spilled out like a faucet that had been clogged for years. Everything came out as if I was obligated to tell this person when I had never told a single soul even closest to me.
I’ve been the most selfish I’ve ever been in my life now because I had to.
I combined everything together, the gym, yoga and therapy and it’s been working for me. I needed to stay busy so I stayed busy with things that helped me from the inside out. I wrote this because I sat in my room one day and looked over at my vision board. I realized in the center of it I had cut out a piece from a magazine stating “make this the year of YOU”. I’ve been the most selfish I’ve ever been in my life now because I had to. I was in autopilot for years just going through the motions and not paying attention to what I really needed. It’s a scary process to be self-centered but I wanted things to change around me and that would only start with me. I think to myself, how can I expect others to get to know me if I didn’t even know me. How can I ever expect to set balance to other people’s lives as a social worker if mine is in chaos. How can I love and show appreciation in the world when my own self love was low. My journey is different from yours but we all have one.
“Life is a challenge, meet it”.