Don’t be fooled… Behind this smile are some very dark days that sometimes leave me feeling inadequate…in my relationships, in my dreams, and in myself. With this post, I share my battle with depression and self-harm. A reality that is faced by countless of beautiful human beings out there. With this post, I share my heart…
I started selling my previously-loved clothes on this app called OfferUp last year, but only had the guts to actually let them go a month ago. In all the items I’ve listed, I have sold four items and an additional two waiting to be picked up tomorrow. The funny and amazing part? They were all bought by the same woman. For this post, let’s just call her Reyna. I am not going to lie, at first, I was just happy to get money from old stuff that’s long been sitting in my closet. Having said that, the fourth time she picked up an old dress of mine, her husband shared such a heartfelt story.
Reyna’s husband voiced out that she wouldn’t say anything, but she wore the last dress they picked up from me to the mall and showed me pictures that he took of his wife. Reyna looked INCREDIBLE! I was so pleased. But that’s not everything. He told me that he was hitting on her as she walked ahead, telling her she looked good as he took pictures. People would look at him and he proudly said, “That’s my wife”. He told me, “To other people, she’s just another Latina woman. But she’s my wife!”–His gratification melted my heart. And to add to that, they thanked me for my stuff and expressed that these little things made her feel good and helps his wife with her depression. I was surprised to hear it. I didn’t think, just by looking at her, that she’s battling with depression.
Yesterday, Reyna wanted to buy a couple more of my clothes and personally thanked me for helping her with depression. I had been feeling lousy for the past few days and eventually had a melt down yesterday that her words struck me. After a day of fighting with myself, I told her today that I appreciate her saying that, as I struggle with it, too. She shared how mirrors and pictures are her enemy. That she hates seeing herself or having her photo taken. It honestly came as a revelation to me because she looks so BEAUTIFUL! She furthermore conveyed that seeing how skinny (dislike the term, but I get it) and beautiful I look, and how my clothes fit her well, makes her think that maybe she’s “not that ugly” after all. I had to tell her again how beautiful she is and this time around, the words she previously uttered reminded me of why I do what I do. I want to help people feel good bout themselves. With my craft, I want to show them that following your heart and doing what you love to do is its own reward. That regardless of the social-media filled lives most of us have today, we all deal with something behind the curtains–and together, we can put down the barriers we’ve locked ourselves in. Reyna reminded me of my purpose and blessed me, just as much, maybe even more, than I blessed her.
Depression… It’s real. I’ve struggled and still struggle with it. I used to think it was something I just experienced for a while back when I was a teenager, or something I experienced every time I parted from my love when we were still in a long distance relationship. When this wasn’t the case, I would blame the moon, the time of the month, or even my birth control pills for unexplainable moods and melancholic feels. As I reflect, however, I have come to realize depression is something that still creeps in my life from time to time.
The last 8 months have been the most laborious days of my entire life so far. I’m aware that growth required some sort of sacrificial pain– but the agony I’ve been feeling inside has almost been too much to bear. Being betrayed by someone I totally never expected could do immensely shocked me to the point of being traumatized. I still have a long way to go in terms of letting it go and completely forgiving both them and myself but I’m glad I’ve made it this far. The road, though, was very unsightly. I was extremely hurt to the point that I questioned my existence. I questioned if doing good was even worth it at all. At that point in my life, all I could think of was still getting hurt despite all efforts to live at peace with everyone. I knew what I needed to do to get out of it. I knew I had to accept the things I couldn’t change. To focus on all good and to be grateful for even the most little things. I knew the hurt was a call to love myself more. That to move on, I just need to keep going and to surrender it all to God… But despite having the knowledge to do so, I didn’t follow the voice of wisdom. I deflected its ways and let my emotions chain me. I let myself be so uncontrollable–yelling and screaming. Physically hurting myself in ways I’d never imagine. Throwing and breaking stuff. I would be so wild some days to the point of absolute exhaustion. I always feel regretful when I give in to my rage. It never feels good having to see and clean the damage that’s been done to things, myself, and my relationships after the storm. Through it all, the biggest realization I have is not someone else betraying me–but me, betraying myself.
I betrayed myself by allowing me to be controlled by my negative emotions. I let myself slip by listening to false statements of my mind telling me I am of no worth. I became disloyal to myself by hurting the body my very spirit lives in. It still feels heavy inside as I type this out.. I am humiliated of the damage I’ve done to myself and the ache I’ve brought to my relationships– especially to my husband who has witnessed my atrocity.
I am sharing this because I want to heal and do better for myself and for those around me. I am sharing this because I want to release my pain and welcome healing. I am sharing this because I am very human, just like you.