Might be triggering for some, I talk about depression...
I had the most incredible night serving some women from the local women's shelter tonight. It was such an amazing experience full of connection, gratitude and so much hope. But it was quite the contrast to the last month I've had, not knowing if I would be feeling well enough to even make it to the event.
So grateful I did.
Now for the some details of what's been going on the last little while for me. Overall, for the last 3 years I've been feeling pretty good. It's felt amazing to have more good days than not. But in December I got sick, my usual bronchitis symptoms, but I just couldn't shake it. I'm still coughing and so exhausted that I'm sleeping all night, getting up in the morning to get my kids off to school, then going back to sleep for two or three hours. Making myself wake up so I can get my work done for the day.
Luckily, I love my job, my boss, my hours are flexible and I work from home. So many major blessings while struggling through chronic illness. But it's been a so hard trying to get everything done.
Then on top of not feeling the best, I was hit with severe depression like I used to get when I was in the midst of suffering with Lyme disease, something I haven't really had to deal with for a couple years. It felt as though I was punched so hard in the face and I'm still trying to catch my breath. The depression comes and goes and I'm very thankful that it isn't constant, but it doesn't make it any easier to deal with. I never know when it's going to show up.
Depression is not pretty at all. I haven't been this low in a long time. Saturday felt like the longest day ever. I was sobbing wondering how I could continue on. Feeling like everyone would be better with me gone. Then hating myself for having those thoughts that I knew weren't true, but that's how it felt in those long moments that turned into hours.
Such a frustrating place to be.
The ketamine didn't help as much as usual and I felt so broken, lost and alone. Praying that I could get through it and make it to another day. And I did. And I'm so very grateful.
The next day I wasn't quite so low, and today I was feeling a little better. Not great, but better. I was feeling so sad for myself and angry that depression keeps creeping in. But I pulled myself together to make it to the event tonight.
The event was amazing. My sweet friend invited some women from the women's shelter to come get their hair and makeup done, pick out some new clothes and listen to an amazing speaker. She also asked if I would sing before the speaker. I was so looking forward to this and did not want to miss it but I was worried my mental health wasn't stable enough.
Like I have done time and time again, I put a smile on my face and showed up to the event, even though I was struggling. But I was able to spend time with some amazing women who have been through so much. I began to feel lighter and my smile became more genuine.
The funny thing is I had gone to serve these women, but they were lifting me. It was just what I needed. Then it was time for me to sing. I had chosen to sing my new song called, "Beautiful Broken" and I was feeling pretty broken and very emotional. But as I started singing the song, looking deep into the eyes of the women staring at me, I began to see tears welling up in their eyes. We were connecting through my music. Music I had written because I had felt broken. I was reaching an audience I wasn't sure I could reach.
I'm sure I hit some wrong notes, I even started crying a little bit but was able to get through the song. Connecting with these women was incredible and I didn't realize how much I was craving those connections. It was beautiful. I know that as I continue to show up, vulnerable and so imperfect while sharing my heart, that's when I will connect with others. I don't need to worry about hitting every note, but instead feel the music coming through me. Healing myself while hopefully helping others heal as well.
I know this is long, but I'm just so grateful I was able to show up tonight and have such a wonderful experience after being so down.
While showing up the beautiful, messy, authentic me that's more than enough