Not Ashamed

I’m so glad that people are speaking out more about mental health matters. It’s not something that those, who are already struggling enough, should feel that they need to hide.

I’m not ashamed, afraid, embarsssed, or too proud to say that I have struggled in this area; more than anyone could even know.

Years ago, I struggled with situational depression following a really tough period in my marriage. That was the first time I had ever dealt with it first hand. I continued to struggle with this type of depression, off and on, over a period of time. Then, I would notice that even if I began to feel better for a good period of time, as soon as the late fall and winter months approached, I would begin to feel the heaviness creep back in. I couldn’t decide if it was due to the fact that the troubled period (that I spoke of above) began around that time of year, or if it was what I had heard referred to as seasonal depression.

Stubborn and strong willed, determined to push through, and believing all would be well; I didn’t really talk with anyone about it or seek help. My doctor would pick up on “signs” and would tell me that I should try and take something that could help. I refused so many times, somehow feeling as though taking medicine would mean that I was weak or didn’t have enough faith. Finally, knowing that there is a very strong family history of depression, she insisted. I was diagnosed with clinical depression. I took the medicine and it helped, but I couldn’t shake the feeling of shame about having to rely on medicine to feel okay. I stopped taking it.

Fast forward to the accident that I was in, the one that killed my husband. I was physically hurt, but even when my wounds were healed, I had to face the invisible wounds in my head and heart. That has honestly been a process over the last seven years and is still ongoing. I was diagnosed with PTSD in addition to severe depression and anxiety.

With the help of my faith, the right kind of medication, and intentional work; I have learned to manage this quite well. There are some pretty big unprocessed things that still need my attention, but that’s okay. It’s a process and I’ve learned to value myself enough to make my mental health a priority.

I share this for no other reason than to add my voice to the ones that are speaking out about this very important issue. Awareness is key. I also want to help other people feel more comfortable with talking about their issues and reaching out for help.

Own your story. Speak your truth. Take care of you.

Published by Joni@GrieftoLife

Gotta love the 'About Me' sections of everything. I feel like I'm either in a one sided interview or trying to create a dating profile. "I like starry nights and long walks on the beach" Ha! All jokes aside, it is necessary to share your story. Especially in a place like this where you hope to reach people through your struggles. So here goes everything... Hi everyone 👋🏼 Grief is a journey, an ever changing and painful process. It can isolate you and make you feel more lonely than one could ever imagine. That is why I write and share my story. We need support. We need people that "get it." We need each other. I was married to the love of my life, just shy of 13 years. We went to school together, known him since elementary. He was my "boyfriend" in 5th grade. I even wrote "Joni Roberts" in my notebooks and cheered for him when he played basketball at recess 😂 We came back together when we went to the prom, as friends, our senior year in high school. That was in 1997. We started dating seriously in the summer of 1998. He asked me to be his wife in February of 1999. We said "I do" on October 2nd of the same year. We had our first child in October of 2000, our son. We had our daughter, 22 months later in August of 2002. In the time we were married, we went through more than most could go through in a lifetime. We never gave up on each other. In June of 2012, he and I were in a horrible car accident that claimed his life. In an instant, my entire world was shattered, leaving me a grieving single mother of two grieving children who are now teenagers. I'm walking day by day through life without the one that would be with me forever. I would have never imagined that this is where I would be in my life at 38 years old. But, I am doing everything I can to be strong, to raise our two children, to take this grief and use it to fuel the purpose for the rest of my days here on earth. ONE. DAY. AT. A. TIME. Today: I am in the waiting room for my first neurologist appointment. It is in the same office as my surgeon from the accident. I'm sitting here remembering myself horribly hurt and in a wheelchair and I'm overwhelmed with feelings but mostly reflecting on how far I've come. I love and miss my best friend every single day. I'm positive that won't change until we are together again. I am choosing to try and live my life in a way that would honor him and make him proud. Living With Purpose.

5 thoughts on “Not Ashamed

  1. Friend, you should not feel ashamed to have to ask for help or for taking medication. Sometimes life hands us situations that are extremely difficult to deal with, eg your marriage troubles and loss of a loved one, and almost nobody can go through their entire life without needing help at least once. There’s no prize for being strong. All it does is it bottles up your feelings until they escape in a catastrophic way. Believe me, it really does help to talk to someone and accept help every once in a while.

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