MY LIFE: Why I choose therapy for my anxiety and depression

Life is hard right now. Actually my life has been fairly difficult for the last four years. I hint at my struggles here & there. But, knowing the internet is an open forum for petty parades, I keep my business close to me. However, therapy saved me from death and I thought I’d share my journey. Therapy helped me realize that you should always plant seeds of courage, confidence, and motivation so they can bloom during your darkest days. It’s why I stay positive, it’s why I blog.

Last year I went to therapy because I was having intense suicidal thoughts. Life had really gotten the best of me. In the past four years I was hit with a wave of horrible; some of it my fault, some just coincidence, all of it bad. I’m a Christian, and even the Bible advises us to SEEK GOOD COUNSEL And that’s what I did.

During the first session, I sat with my therapist and told her my life (focusing on the last four years) she looked at me astonished. She said, “your feelings are valid. Anyone would want to give up after the life you’ve had.” Whoa! I’d always pushed my feelings aside thinking others have it far worse than me. But realizing that, I might be ‘others’ people referenced, knocked the wind out my sails.

My life was kinda bad.

Let me give you a rundown on the last couple years of my life: I lost a romantic partner to opioid and alcohol addiction, quit one job, fired from another, tried & failed running my own business, lost several long-term friendships, dealt with emotional family issues, health issues galore (did i ever tell y’all I was on my cycle for 75 days?), savings account wiped clean, credit score in the pits, car on its last leg, and I gained like 60LBS. I wanted to give up.

During our second session my therapist diagnosed me with depression AND anxiety. Anxiety! I didn’t even know that was a diagnosis. I thought it was just the feeling I got whenever I had to walked into a room with people in it. Turns out, ya girl, has had severe anxiety for a REAL LONG TIME! The diagnosis of severe depression was no surprise. I’ve dealt with depression since I was 11 years old. Just having someone give you a MEDICAL diagnosis for a way you’ve been feeling for your WHOLE LIFE is freedom in itself. I’m not weird. There is an issue.

In 2018 things started to turn around. My therapist helped a lot. I started being a bit more open about my wins and losses, I chose a healthier path and reduced my weight, I wrote a book, found another job, made some new friends, tried to date (whew Lawd), saved a bit of money, and worked on staying mentally sound. Suicidal thoughts were finally few and far between. I started to feel like me again.

Depression is worrying about the past, anxiety is worrying about the future. Stay present.

I know you see me on Instagram and Facebook, ‘out & about’ for the blog. Y’all don’t know how many coping mechanisms I use to get prepared to do my blog job: self talk, breathing exercises, role-play, and plain ol’ gumption. I power through because I know I need PEOPLE to help me stay out of the pit. Knowing that people are encouraged by my style posts, my book, or social media tips makes me happy to be here and serve.

Even today (11/4/2018), as I write this blog post, I’m struggling to stay positive. My job cut me to half time (no insurance, no more therapy), my car won’t start, and October was/is the worst month of memories. I’m continually praying for breakthrough! I’m happy to say, I know I’ll make it. I don’t know HOW but I’m not gonna focus on that. I take everyday for what it is. Can’t change the past and I cannot worry about tomorrow.

Until I get a full time job, with benefits, I’ll use the techniques my therapist gave me. When I’m not working I volunteer, I send encouraging texts to friends, I leave thoughtful comments on Instagram, I share my small wins, and ask for help when I have loss. I can’t worry about embarrassment because ALL of us will experience trauma one day. But you must keep trying. I’ve decided to stay here. I’ve decided to be positive. It’s an action I must take EVERY MORNING. I live with the threat of depression but I have to choose life.

If you are experiencing feelings of suicide, depression, and/or anxiety, click here to seek help!

6 thoughts on “MY LIFE: Why I choose therapy for my anxiety and depression

  1. Melissa, you are truly an angel for sharing this. I can only imagine how hard it is to be this vulnerable. I started seeing a therapist this year and it has truly been a blessing. I love it! This morning while reading your post I said a little prayer for you. I have been following you for some time, and only had a handful of interactions with you but I can tell that you are so talented and educated in so many way. I know that something greater is coming for you. Stay strong, keep taking those wins and loses because they all count. Continue to inspire us and continue to choose life, you are worth it!


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