Depression Isn't Who I Am - It's What I'm Going Through

By Jessica Rodarte

This is my story.

I have been suffering from depression and anxiety since January 2016, but I was officially diagnosed in June 2016. I used to be a critic of people who suffered from mental illness and didn't realize that it was an actual illness until I was affected by it. I had just finished college in May 2015, received job offers right away, and jumped on the opportunities as they came my way. But my last job was when the depression really hit me.

I was in a horrible environment I would cry on my way to work, cry on my way home from work, get home, and go right to bed and repeat the same routine all week. When the weekends came I couldn't even enjoy them because I knew it wasn't long until I had to go to a place that was sucking the life out of me. My mental and physical health were withering away right before my eyes. I had no appetite, I wasn't sleeping, and I lost 10lbs without even noticing or caring. I completely shut down in all aspects of my life and I couldn't pull myself out of this funk.

I lost interest in everything. I honestly just didn't want to live anymore. I wanted to give up. It wasn't until my parents finally told me that it was okay for me to quit this job and take time to figure out my life, to heal and get the help I needed. Now that decision took a while for me to make. I felt that by quitting I was a failure. That I let my family down. It took about a month after my parents told me to quit that I actually made the decision to leave this job.

It was the best feeling in the world to finally be free, but now it was time for recovery I had to heal myself. I started anti-depressants and began to see a therapist. Deciding to go on medication was a hard decision because I don't like to put things into my body that I feel are unnecessary. But I was so far deep in the depression that I couldn't pull myself out anymore. It was a long process of healing and learning how to love myself.

At first I didn't tell anyone what was going on with me besides my family and boyfriend. I felt ashamed. I didn't want people to form this idea of me that I was "crazy." But after taking time to deal and accept that I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety, I wanted to turn my negative into a positive, I created my blog, Beeing Jess, where I shared my news with the world.

It took everything out of me to post my first few posts about my battle with depression, but after doing so I felt so free! I wasn't ashamed to let the world know hey this is what I am battling, it doesn't define who I am its just something I am going through.

I was so sick and tired of seeing people on social media pretending that life is so great and only positing a fake reality. I made the decision to share my blog on my Instagram to show people that it is okay to share your bad times as well as your good times. The more honest and open you are with others it really opens their eyes to see that there is more to life then positing about what car you just bought. Since sharing my story with others I have had many people that I went to school with reach out to me thanking me for sharing my story and that they have been or are facing the same battles in their lives.

My mission is to share my story in hopes to spread awareness and influence people to share their stories! To be open and honest about what battles they are facing. 1 in 4 people suffer from a mental illness so it is a common thing, yet no one wants to talk about it. I am so blessed to have a family that understands mental illness and are there for support. When you have a mental illness you really can't control how you feel. One day you are the happiest you have ever been and the next day it could be the worst you've ever felt. It is an emotional roller coaster. But it is something that many face and the awareness needs to be spread. I really found comfort in knowing that I am not the only one dealing with mental illness. There are so many platforms on social media that are trying to start the conversation of mental illness. It is absolutely beautiful and I try to get involved as much as I can by sharing my story in hopes that it will inspire others.

I just began working again after taking about 5 months to myself and it has been a transition, but I absolutely love my job and I am surrounded by amazing people everyday and it makes all the different win the world! I finally feel like my job matters and that my work is appreciated. I have been at this new job for a little over a month now and it continues to get better everyday.

Although my life is going well, I am still dealing with the depression and anxiety. I am currently tapering off my old medication and started a new antidepressant and it has been rough. Anyone who has ever been on an antidepressant understands the process of starting over again. Your body freaks out due to the medication change and it gets worse before it get better. I did break down a couple of weeks ago and didn't want to be on medication anymore I was tired of my body freaking out. I developed a tremor in my hands because my body was going through withdrawals. I wasn't in control of my body and it was scary. i've lost weight again and deal with occasional sleepless nights.

It is still a battle everyday but I am on the road to recovery. I've come to terms that it will always be a part of me. I will never be the same person I was before being diagnosed, but it has honestly changed my life for the better. Finally dealing with my past and learning how to love myself again is something I would have never done if I didn't get the help I needed. I am so worth loving. Everyone is no matter what battle they are fighting in life.