I would start this post off with depression and anxiety statistics but I’d prefer to talk about what Mental Health Awareness Month means to me. Over the last couple of years as I’ve worked through the shame of dealing with an “invisible” illness I started to truly understand my purpose and began walking in it.
10 years ago I tried to kill myself.
Whew, that is still such a hard pill to swallow but there is nothing but power in stepping out of the shadows and putting a face to the struggle. I am her, she is me and while there are ten years between both versions of Breana we are still one in the same.
Depression will always be a struggle for me. There are times when I can feel myself slipping into it, when the all encompassing feeling hit me and if its as if no one can help, I am stuck on a one woman island and its up to me to figure it out. It is truly a battle – a battle of life and death on some occasions because the power to die outweighs my reasons to live. It is in those moments when I rely on my network of people who will lift my spirits.
A lot can change in ten years. Shit, a lot has changed in two years. While I am no longer that broken girl calling the suicide hotline begging for someone to save me I still resonate with her. We are one in the same, I couldn’t have become this version of Breana without that one.
I am so thankful I didn’t die that night and while I owe the man who picked up my call for my life, I owe myself much more. In that split moment I chose to keep living in spite of my readiness to die. I now understand why I am here.
I am here to be a face of the invisible struggle. We will no longer hide in shame. We will give a voice to our struggle and reach out to those who are here to help because our lives matter.
The struggle may be real right now but I am living proof that it does get better, just keep trusting the process.