Eris's Story

I have been dealing with depression since I was 10. I grew up in an environment that pushed me to become more than I was, conditioning me to block out my sensitive nature and be ready for the harsh realities of the world. So instead of reaching out for intervention services, my family and primary care takers would encourage me to simply learn to deal with it on my own. We never talked about our feelings, and hardly ever had transparent communication about mental health- since it was seen as a taboo illness. This shaped much of my own understanding of myself. That I was ill and would remain that way forever. It was such a toxic and backwards thinking mentality to live by, and I knew I had to get out of there to survive. So, I cultivated hobbies like singing and dancing that allowed me to express my inner turmoil and not feel so alone. Today, my depression comes in episodes, some days I am so deliciously happy and content to be alive, and on other days I can't get out of bed and I sleep for 20+ hours to soothe myself. But, a dozen years later I am learning that my mental health is something that while perhaps genetically predisposed, can be managed. It's such a cliché but when we can't make sense of our inner world, being in a comfortable, clean, and accepting external space is so important. I can't say that I would be here without my incredible and intimate support system. Friends, family, therapists, journaling, etc., all help on different occasions. And I definitely wouldn't be here if I weren't such a fighter and a friend to myself. I've done years of shadow work: purging the negativity from my former beliefs that held me back, releasing painful memories, validating my own experiences, forgiving people who had hurt me, and learning to trust myself to do what is best for me in the darkest days. And that these things took time to build. So, to end my brief story, I would like to share the two concepts that I now live by: “Expression heals depression” - Edith Eger and “Love brings up anything unlike itself to be healed” - Old Adage

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