I haven’t written for a while. There have been many things that have occupied my brain while I haven’t been writing. Work, Pandemic, Fight for Racial Equality and Equity, more Work, and a big round of Depression and Anxiety.
I have many thoughts and feelings on all of those topics, and I am still struggling to organize them in my head, so they make coherent sense on a written page.
Today, I just want to focus on the mental health aspect of my life.
I have spoken here before about how I go through rounds of depression, and they can last weeks to months, usually with a pretty good stretch in-between. I don’t know what causes them to start, but I do know that I usually have to recognize them and do work to make them end.
This latest round lasted about 6 weeks and was really tough for me because I was very isolated due to the Pandemic and the anxiety that the Pandemic was also causing.
There were days that I didn’t want to get up. Days where I would go lie down in the middle of the day and not make it back to work. Days where I would go through the motions of working, but I wasn’t really present. And this time around, there were days where I did not want to wake up the next day. (Please note, I am not suicidal, and I don’t think I could ever hurt myself, but there are days when it definitely seems easier to not wake up)
I am lucky that I have an excellent support system around me, and many years of therapy to help me realize that these things are happening. So, I reached out to friends. They helped me calm the anxiety and reach out to doctors who helped me get the therapy that I needed. And my therapist is helping me in many ways.
At my last appointment, she helped me see that even when I am down, I really don’t want to leave life. I have way too much to live for here. I want to see my cousins and my friends’ kids grow up and become fabulous adults. I want to see my co-workers change the world and maybe help them do that. I want to see my family and friends again.
And last Friday, I realized that I am not ready to lose anyone I love. My mom unexpectedly had to go to the hospital and then have surgery, and it really cut me to my core. I really, really didn’t want to lose her, and I finally realized that is what other people would feel if I were ever to leave.
So, man, I have decided that I don’t want to die anytime soon. I want to live another 50 years. I want to experience everything, even the pain, and I know it will be hard, but I want to do it. I have a lot of things that are against me for living another 50 years. I am overweight and have health issues. I don’t want to be selfish, but if I am going to hang around, I am going to need to take care of myself, and truthfully, I don’t know that I have ever seen this fact so clear. I don’t know yet how to make the changes I need to make, but I will make them because I want to be here for a long time.