No Judgment Zone

Let’s Get Real…no judgment zone!

Kali and I had quite an adventurous day. She is an incredible hiking buddy. The kid can go on and on. The parkway is

lit with fall colors. Magnificent. True magic up there.

As I drove back home it hit me: soon winter will be here. My chest constricted. Most people don’t know I suffer immensely from SAD (seasonal affective disorder). And believe me I have tried “to snap out of it,” “exercise for it,” “take supplements,” “meditate and calm the mind,” name it, darlings. I’ve done it. Even through a deepened spiritual practice I find myself in the arms of grief and depression.

Yesterday I read a post of a man on my FB friend’s list. We’ve never met. He was vulnerable in sharing his depression. I read the comments and started to cry. I don’t know him. But I do. I know how depression can hit the most happiest of folks. I feel it coming right when the weather cools down. When the leaves are all gone. When the days get short and gloomy. And when the first snow hits the ground I literally have a panic attack.

Okay so if you are judging already then I urge you to stop reading this. Move on to something else!!!

I am no one’s hero, especially for myself. So after having ended up in the hospital several times during past winters I have been proactive. I now put my self righteous attitude to the side and go get meds for three or four months. I shut my ego off. Because…because the emotions are real. The hole is dark, narrow and deep. I refuse to be defined by what others think. I know how mental health can knock you on your ass if you aren’t careful. No one knows what someone is enduring inside.

Healing happens when we face it.

I urge you to stop before you give advise to someone with mental health issues. Please! Depression is not exclusive or inclusive. It’s not racist. It doesn’t care about your religious or political beliefs. It is a chemical imbalance. It is a lot of things and it doesn’t require your judgment.

And please don’t say something like “it is all in your head” cause it really is and you sound like an idiot saying it. It’s all in my little head, alright.

My husband and I have discussed moving from the mountains many times. We come up with several places and as soon as I remember that winter is severe there I take the fantasy out of my mind. I need sun. I need warm weather. I never imagined people suffered from weather changes. There is such a thing as the winter blues.

Darlings, being vulnerable is courageous. So many of you feel alone. You feel depleted and worthless. You are NOT. You are here for a deeper purpose than you can see at this moment. Get help. Talk with someone. Recognize that your mental health doesn’t determine failure. It doesn’t decide anything but that your mind and body need help. If you had a heart condition you wouldn’t hesitate getting help. If you had kidney issues you would run to the doctor. So why is your mental health ever in question?

I’ve lost several folks to suicide. I won’t tip-toe around that subject ever again.

I know myself well enough not to ignore the signs. Today, hiking through those mountains with my kid brought joy. As I stared out to the furthest peak I was reminded to be gentle with myself. The next season will be here soon. I am grateful for a husband who never judges and holds me when I breakdown in tears…when I can’t verbalize the sadness. And he also lets me know I am not alone.

You deserve the assistance needed to move through this. It’s okay. I got you. You got this. I love you.

Pictures are from a gorgeous day on the Blue Ridge Parkway hiking with my little girl.

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