Living with Depression: Diary of a Depressed Black Woman

I have always been transparent about my experiences with mental illness and living with depression. It has not always been an easy journey, but I have found that sharing my story with others has been a powerful tool in my healing process. However, after finding myself in a dark and hopeless place, I stopped sharing so much. I was afraid of being judged and felt alone in my struggles.

But I know that I am not alone, and neither are you. That’s why I truly believe we can find purpose in our pain by sharing our experiences with others. And I also feel led by God to share my experiences in hopes of helping those who may be suffering in silence.

Today, I am sitting down to share episode two of Diary of a Depressed Black Woman(See Diary of a Depressed Black Woman: Episode 1 and a bonus episode here). This is a deeply personal journey that I am excited to share with you. My hope is that by opening up about my own struggles, I can create a safe space for others to do the same. So, grab a cup of tea, get comfortable, and let’s dive in. (If you would prefer to watch as a video, there is a video summary below.)

Living With Depression: An Update and How I Am Managing

Back in May 2022, I experienced a series of events that led to a severe depressive episode. My days were filled with endless sleep, tears, and laying in bed. It was a difficult time, and my will to live was slipping away.

I was seeing a psychiatrist and a therapist, but despite my efforts, things just weren’t improving. It felt like my mental impairments – ADHD, major depression, and anxiety – were all conspiring against me. It was overwhelming and felt like an impossible challenge.

Many people that do not deal with mental illness tend to believe that taking medication and seeing a psychiatrist and a therapist would be the magic solution that would fix everything. However, it quickly became clear that managing my multiple mental impairments – ADHD, major depression, and anxiety – would require more than just medication and talk therapy.

I remember feeling so frustrated and defeated when the medications I tried didn’t seem to be helping. In fact,  usually, the medications were accompanied by side effects that made me feel worse.  Each medication also requires time to build up in your system before you can start to experience its benefits.  

I was experiencing a rollercoaster of emotions – I might have a little hope one day, and despair the next. The process of finding the right medication can be a long and exhausting one, and I had to be patient and persistent to find the right combination that worked for me.

But even with the right medication, it wasn’t an instant fix. I still had to push through and try to function in my roles as a wife, mother, employee, and small business owner while battling my mental health. It was a difficult and overwhelming challenge, and there were times when I felt like giving up.

Once, in the depths of my depression, I found myself sitting down to plan my own death. I knew exactly how I would do it, but I couldn’t bring myself to decide when. As crazy as it sounds, the weight of my struggles had become too much to bear.

But even in that dark moment, something inside me kept me from taking that final step. I realized that I didn’t actually want to die – I just wanted the pain to stop. I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving my children and loved ones behind.

I also knew that I couldn’t let my mental impairments win. I had to keep pushing forward, taking things one day at a time. I had to find ways to cope and manage my symptoms so that I could still be there for my family and run my business. It wasn’t easy, but I refused to let my poor mental health define me.

It’s important to remember that managing mental health or living with depression isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. It takes time, effort, and a lot of trial and error to find what works for you. But with patience, persistence, and the support of loved ones, it is possible to manage and overcome even the toughest mental health challenges.

Slowly, over many months, things started to change. I learned that living with depression and managing my mental health wasn’t just about taking medication and going to therapy. I had to make some lifestyle changes too.

I became more intentional about my devotional time with God, and started paying closer attention to my diet and what I was putting into my body. I also began incorporating physical activity into my daily routine. These were all things I could control, and they made a huge difference in my mental health.

It wasn’t easy, but with time, I started to see improvements. While there’s no magic cure for depression, I now know that I can learn to manage it better so that I can enjoy a better quality of life.

My journey hasn’t been easy, but I want to use my experiences to help others. I want to promote mental health and wellness awareness and show other women like me that they’re not alone. It’s important to create a community where we can share our struggles, find hope, and inspire one another.

So, if you’re out there struggling with your mental health, know that you’re not alone. There’s hope, and with a little bit of help and some lifestyle changes, things can and will get better.

Do you struggle with mental illness? Do you feel alone and misunderstood but you are afraid to open up? I am not a mental health professional but feel free to DM me on social media if you need someone to simply listen. I can be found on Instagram at @shes_pretty_poshDirect Link to my account here.

There is also professional help available:

SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) National Helpline

This is a free and confidential resource for individuals suffering from mental illness or with substance abuse. You can view their website and find more information here. The number for the helpline is 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Whatever you do, remember, you are not alone and you are loved. Hang in there sis…. it gets better!