I am known as the “strong” friend. The one who everyone goes to for advice, money, a sitter for their kids, a place to crash. You name it, I’m the person for it. But that becomes a very hard title to carry when you have your own issues beating down your door and you have no one to turn to for comfort…
I started to feel the pressure in early 2018. I was growing increasingly tired of the house that I was living in. There were people being shot on the next block over, there was always trash in front of my house, my neighbors argued at 3,4,5, and 6 in the morning, my children’s father was passing out defaming flyers about me to everyone in the neighborhood. I needed a change, so I fought to get one. I wanted to buy a house, but I needed to fix my credit. Then I needed a co-signer. Fast forward to 2019, now I needed a new mortgage person to help me because the person I was working with took 3+ months to let me know if I was approved or not. *Come to think of it, I still never received an approval OR denial from her!* I finally got my approval and for way more than what I was expecting. Thank you co-signer! Now I’m searching for a house. Did I mention that I decided to start a new business? And they cost money- lots of it. On top of the fact that I am still going back and forth to child support and custody court with my ex (and every court date means I have to pay my lawyer). I’m at a point now where I am literally spending over $3,000 almost every month; I have no idea where the money was coming from. House hunting is stressful. Down payment money is stressful. Closing cost money is stressful. Then I find out that I have a stalker that was actually coming INTO my house = stressful. I am severely understaffed at work = stressful. My kids are being abused at their other parent’s house which I am learning about from therapy = stressful. It got to a point where I would run my fingers through my hair and come out with a handful of hair. I dismissed it and figured that I just needed to take more vitamins and lay off of flat ironing my hair. So, I braided it up and threw some weave into it and kept it pushing. Never once managing my stress, just covering up the effects of it.
I started having extremely painful menstrual cramps- I usually never get menstrual cramps. I started having panic attacks. I started getting major migraines, and my face started breaking out again. Yet I still never stopped and paid attention to my body and what it was telling me. Until I got a period that was so bad that I thought I was having a miscarriage. I went to my doctor convinced that I was pregnant and didn’t know and I lost the baby. Me believing that was a wake-up call for me. I told myself that I needed to stop. Stop working, stop stressing, stop overdoing it with my body. Then, I took my hair out and this happened.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen that much of my hair at once in my hands, even when I was pregnant and my hair was falling out. I cried when I saw this. Then I cried again after I washed my hair and saw how much hair was in the sink. The reality of how much stress I was carrying on me hit me like a ton of bricks. This moment was it for me- this was the moment that I made up my mind to do everything that I needed to do to take care of myself. No matter who feels slighted, neglected, who’s angry at me saying NO, I have to put myself first. Because losing that much hair is absolutely a sign that I need to stop. My schedule is changing. My day ends earlier. I’m home more. And I am spending more time with my kids. I cannot change everything, but the things that I can change are changing. If I lose business, friends, and money over it, well… I can always get it back. Cuz if I die, they won’t matter anyway, right?
Situational depression IS REAL! I would have never known this had this period in my life not happened. And the effects of it can be detrimental. Just ask my hair. If you feel anxiety about a situation, it’s time to rethink and reevaluate it. If you’re having panic attacks, something is wrong. If you have unexplained migraines, something needs to be looked into. And LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! Weight gain, weight loss, loss of appetite or wanting to eat all the time; lack of sleep, or always wanting to go to sleep- these are all signs of depression. Wanting to be alone all the time, having a short temper, not being able to manage your thoughts, or having trouble finding a positive side of a situation are all signs that something is wrong. And these are all signs that I had and I overlooked because I thought that I was “just tired and needed some more sleep”. Allowing depression to go unnoticed and unmanaged (either through therapy, meditation, or medication) can cause serious physical, emotional, and social damage- to you and others around you.
Please- seek help if you think this is you!
As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!