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  • Writer's pictureA'Leeyah Ponder

Navigating Depression

Hello Family,


**TRIGGER WARNING: Sensitive topics will be discussed in this post. The content is centered around mental health (i.e. depression, suicidal ideation, self-harm, etc.)**


Growing up, I had no concept of "mental health", it's language nor the feelings associated with it. My earliest memories of depression, the mental health disorder, was watching a film about Cyberbullying. The feelings of the main character in "Cyber Bu//y" resonated with me so deeply, and soon after I learned I was depressed. I started cutting myself with broken razor blades in middle school. I couldn't understand my feelings fully at the age of 12 and 13-years-old, but I knew something was wrong.


In 2014, I attempted suicide. I tried overdosing on pain-killers to relieve the emotional pain I wrestled with for years. I couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel, nor in front of me. I remember sitting in my bedroom crying on the phone with my closest friends and telling them "goodbye for good". I remember crying out to God with a deep unearthed pain. I didn't have a full understanding of what future lied ahead, but I knew that my past and present was enough to know I didn't want to live anymore.


I heard the Lord say, "it's okay."


God met me in the darkness, and instead of calling me out immediately, He saw fit to sit with me in it. My mother found me laying on my bed in a daze, and called the police immediately.


I got the mental, spiritual and communal support I needed to navigate my way through the rest of that year. I made it through high school with no more suicidal ideation. I finally began to enjoy my life. Once I got to college I assumed the depression was nonexistent, and I couldn't have been more wrong.


I started experiencing seasonal depression consistently around 2019. I got overwhelmed with life and my emotions, and started to experience suicidal ideation all over again. I would cry myself to sleep almost every night. In the dark moments, I'd find myself looking for reasons to live, going through my google photos, and reaching out to friends who could distract me from my depression. I opened up to a mentor about my suicidal ideation and she helped me get help.


THANK GOD FOR COMMUNITY MAN, PRACTICALLY SAVED MY LIFE!

I started my therapy journey within a few weeks of opening up to my mentor about my mental health. I've attended mental health therapy ever since.


My mental health journey is teaching me that prayer is effective when we put in THE WORK. No shade to all the people that told me to pray my mental health away.... however, I will say condemning people living with mental health disorder(s) and illnesses for having them is terrible.


For me, living with depression feels a lot like trying to dig myself out of a hole called "depression" with, what feels like a wooden spoon (i.e. exhausting all your resources, but feeling like you aren't seeing results). Sometimes the wooden spoon has good days, and other times the wooden spoon is 0-1 against depression. I can only speak to my mental health journey though...


If you don't understand someones mental health journey, JUST SAY THAT...

As someone who lives with depression and anxiety, I am not looking for my friends, family, nor peers to be experts about mental health; however, I expect my community to see and hear me while I live with mental health disorders.


There are nuances to mental health. There are many studies about the mind, how it works, and how to support people who's brains "work a little differently than others". When I talk about my mental health I am not merely "speaking negative things over my life," I am talking about my reality.


If you don't understand ask. There are so many educational resources online that can give you insight to mental health disorders, care and other resources. Also, you can change someone's entire day by asking something as simple as,



"How are you really?"

If you, or someone you know is dealing with suicidal ideation, or suicidal thoughts,

Call 9-8-8 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline or 9-1-1. There is so much power and bravery in getting the help you need <3.


I love you. Jesus loves you MOST.

Remember, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

Keep your head up, and if you can’t that’s okay too.

Xoxo Miss Ponder

Feel free to message me directly on the 'Stay Connected' page if you would like to talk!

________________________________________________________________________

MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES:

Call 9-8-8 to reach the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (United States Lifeline)

Are you in need of a therapist? Check out: https://therapyforblackgirls.com/

Looking for a specialty therapist? Check out: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us

________________________________________________________________________

Reference/Citation: "Cyber bu//y". Directed By Charles Binamé, Performance by Emily Osment, Kay Panabaker, Meaghan, Muse Entertainment Enterprises, 2011.




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