Updated: Jan 29, 2019
"Depression and anxiety can lead to severe self-loathing, ultimately resulting in self stigmatization, guilt and a desperation to ‘heal’ yourself. When these self-defeating expectations took over, I found myself feeling like I needed to punish myself. I lost myself and acted out physically against myself. Not once, but twice, I have lashed out at myself by bashing my own face in. My eyes were swollen shut, my hands bruised, and as I thought about how I would explain this away to others, I felt even more shame.
Depression is a painful cycle that is all-encompassing. It physically hurts to be awake and I found myself sick all the time, rendering me physically and mentally too weak to leave my house for anything, including work and errands, such as groceries. That went on for 3 years. Even then, it took me a year to pursue professional help. Don’t ask yourself ‘why is this happening’, depression doesn’t need a reason, and focusing on the ‘why’ can lead you down a dark place.
My next hurdle was finding the proper balance between my medications and therapy. The side effects of medications can be hard, and will take a toll on you physically, but your perseverance is worth it. I have successfully gone from 7 psychiatric meds to only 2. By choosing to seek help, I accomplished two years of psychological and biological therapy, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in conjunction with my medications. I began volunteering at my treating clinic, I spoke at events, gave interviews and I eventually returned to work. Full-time.
The self-awareness that originally felt like a curse, has actually turned out to be a blessing. I am able to feel ‘episodes’ coming on now, which allow me to stop any crashes before it’s too late. I finally see my value and have become strong enough to guide others through their journeys.
I’m 'Biting the Bullet' to share something I was long ashamed of because I believe sharing your story of struggle can save someone’s life. 'Because right know, there is someone out there with a wound in the exact shape of your words'." – Sean Thomas Dougherty.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: Farrah Aviva
MAKEUP BY: Sara Irwin