Re-blogged from our friend Elizabeth at Link of Hearts, a jewelry company committed to connecting, inspiring and raising depression awareness. She's selling handmade jewelry hand-stamped with inspiration words to give us all hope. And she's connecting with support groups at behavioral centers, psychiatric and rehab clinics and pediatric hospitals to give away jewelry to people struggling with depression. Check out more about the company over on her website!
I created Link of Hearts to share my story in the hopes of connecting and inspiring anyone who is suffering from depression, because I know how it feels to struggle with such a debilitating disease. I reach out to women who have been molested because I went through years of coping with such an experience myself. Link of Hearts is not solely for those battling with depression. It’s for anyone of you in need of inspiration, encouragement and words of comfort….and to help you understand that you are not alone in whatever it is you are going through.
Now, I am sharing my most recent story with the women out there who may be familiar with what I have just gone through. Sadly, I had just suffered a miscarriage in my 8th week of pregnancy. My heart is still aching but I’m currently in the process of healing, slowly but surely. I have gone through some really dark days in my lifetime but nothing ever prepared me for this. I had no medical condition indicating I would be susceptible. I was aware other women had gone through it, but I thought I didn’t fall into that category. Somehow, I thought that their situations were logically justified due to their medical conditions. In my case, I felt lost and confused about what happened and why.
One of the first things my doctor said was “I am so sorry. It happens more than you know and women just don’t talk about it.” I wondered why women don’t talk about this. Why not? And that stayed with me. I then realized that if more women shared their experiences, just maybe, I would have been more aware that this happens a lot more than I thought. Or I could have at least made some more sense of it. I don’t think it would have hurt any less, but it would have been a little consoling to know that sometimes, it unfortunately “just happens.” So, I made a decision to share my experience, not because I am asking for any sympathy, but simply because I hope that my story can shed some light on this experience for other women going through a similar situation.
Feeling beaten down after hearing the dreadful words from the doctor, I sent a message to my family letting them know what had just happened. Called my parents and I could barely talk from crying - then I completely shut down. I didn’t want to talk to anyone and I detached from everyone. I sought comfort only from my husband, but in spite of all his efforts and emotional support, I didn’t feel any better. I’m pretty sure other women who have gone through this could probably relate. I was in a totally different world from my husband’s and it affected me on a whole different level. I felt so much loss even at this early stage. It was a trying time for us both. We were there for each other, yet somehow, I still felt so alone. I was mentally and emotionally drained and for a while, my body still thought it was pregnant, which was messing me up even more. I kept my faith but I also suffered in silence... then I came to a point when I was ready, and I welcomed the love and support offered by my family and friends.
I realize now we sometimes choose to suffer in silence. We all have our reasons. When you’re in the midst of darkness, sometimes the last things you want to hear are encouraging words. There is a point when you just want to cry and stay with whatever emotions you’re dealing with, and that’s exactly what I did. I allowed myself to cry as much as I wanted to and I allowed myself to escape from it when I chose to. I grieved on my own terms and I did everything at my own pace. I did not pretend to feel good when I didn’t feel good. I stayed true to my feelings and felt angry and heartbroken. I cried and I questioned my faith for a little bit of time. I did what I felt I needed to do. In most times, these are the things you feel you cannot do when you talk to others and you hear them encourage you to cheer up or to get up from a fall, when you are barely ready. I didn’t want to hear any of that. I knew it came from a good place, but I was not in any condition nor was I ready to be uplifted so I stayed away and I chose to deal with it on my own.
About 10 days have passed and somehow I feel like it’s been the longest week of my life. Yet, it also feels like it went by fast as I’m feeling more relieved and in the process of recovery. Now, I learned that regardless of what you’re going through, whether it is depression, loss, heartbreak or any other illness, it’s OK to suffer in silence and let yourself be. There is a fine line though. Give yourself some time to just be, sulk, cry and do what you need to cope. It is a process and sometimes it can really take some time (and yes, I am still in this process). However, there comes a time when it starts to become unhealthy and I'm trying to be mindful of this. Tragic and traumatic events in our lives can be very debilitating and can even lead to or trigger “depression”. I say that because there is a difference between “feeling depressed” for a period of time when you go through some challenges in life vs. developing a clinical depression that comes with so many other symptoms. I hope and pray that you will find it in you to realize the difference between the two, and know when to start talking to someone and seek proper help. Remember, you are not alone.
With my final thoughts and sentiments, there is something to be said about the phrase “It takes one to know one”, because it truly captures the essence of empathy. So when I say, I can empathize and I know how it feels, trust that I really do. Whatever it is you are going through, realize that someone else has already gone through it, so you are not alone. If you are battling with depression, know that you are not alone because I know how it feels to be in that darkness for a long number of years. If you have been molested, understand that you are not alone as I am here for you to let you know that sooner or later, things will get better and all will be well. If you have had a miscarriage, see that you are not alone and I will be praying for your healing and recovery, as I continue to pray for my own healing today.
Keep connecting, keep inspiring.