Mom, why are you making that face?” So asks my five year old while we are driving home from the grocery store.

What face?” I ask unaware.

This one.” She scowls demonstrating

Oh, I’m just thinking,” I reply.

“I make that face when I’m thinking too. When I’m thinking sad thoughts.”

My heart breaks. Because my daughter knows sad thoughts and I wonder if that’s how it starts. And because I, at that moment, am planning my suicide.

I called my husband. “I have to tell you something when I get home and if I don’t say it now then I don’t know what will happen. Tell the kids to go play.”

That’s a lie. I know what will happen; he will be planning a funeral.

I don’t know why I told him. In that moment I could not see any positive purpose in my existence. Only pain and suffering for myself and those around me; because of my depression. I will be lightening their load, truly.

Another lie.

Let me say it again.

Another lie.

I told him because I thought about the foundation. And how we are encouraging people to reach out and ask for help.

Because it matters.

That thought led me to confess to my husband.

Honestly, I don’t know how I got here. I thought I was taking care of myself. I guess I wasn’t.

I am now in intensive outpatient therapy three times a week, seeing a psychiatrist once a week [and going through an array of medication changes]. I also see my individual counselor once every other week [hopefully weekly for the next few however longs].

I am lucky.

Lucky because I have a support system of family and friends. A job that actually does care about its employees and not just its numbers. I’m lucky because I can take the time off to get the help I need. To save my life.

Not everyone can say the same. And I wonder how many people are dying because of it.

Currently, I am improving, but terrified. I no longer have suicidal ideation. But, I have fear.

I am terrified of facing those who only know me on the surface and acknowledge that I’ve been struggling.

I am terrified of facing those who thought I had it all together and was managing just fine and acknowledging that in fact, I wasn’t.

I am terrified of saying I’m better because then everyone expects that I am ok. Back to my old self. The truth is, I don’t see how I will ever be the same. I’ve been lost in a black hole and have been desperately reaching toward the surface.

The view is different up here.

And I like it.

But, it.is.work.

I tried to ignore it. And that only helps for so long. And in the end, it doesn’t help at all.

I still need medication and yoga. And let’s not forget Jesus. But I also need counseling.

Regularly.

I need coping mechanisms.

I believe that the treatment plan for mental illness is related to the severity of it; like any chronic disease, it is an individual plan. I am learning how to live with it and even [hopefully] thrive in spite of it.

I am passionate about Love Will Foundation and our mission for a reason: it is personal.

I am saying these things out loud because I am tired of darkness consuming me; I am choosing to bring it out into the light. I am standing against the very real and painful stigma that accompanies this conversation.

I thought about posting this anonymously, but then I thought:

If I am not willing to share my story, how can I expect that others will. And then nothing changes.”

I am not more or less because of that.

I am human. And I am 1 in 5.

XO,

Sara

3 thoughts on “Love Will Voices: Taking a Stand

  1. Sara, thank you for sharing your story. I’m crying and have goosebumps because of the beauty in how you continue to express you journey. You are a truly amazing human being and I am privileged to be a part of your foundation and your life. You are correct-you would NOT be lightening anyone’s load and the world would never be the same without you in it. I love you; I respect you; I’m here for you. Any time, anywhere and in any way you need me to be there for you and your family💚

    Like

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