4 Ways THIS Mom Copes With Anxiety And Depression

"The way your brown eyes make love to the sun sends me into euphoric bliss that causes me to fall further in love with you."

"Oh Charles! The warmth of your touch makes even the coldest of sorrows fade into a calming sea of peace. "

I woke up this morning to the blaring yet sweet sound of Kehlani singing the hook of her joint with Cardi B. I didn't get much sleep due to the sounds from the dwellers of the apartments around me, so out of frustration I began grunting and throwing punches at the air and my blanket (imagine fighting a swarm of bees while lying on your back). The white ceiling caught my attention as I began to focus on the little dents from the broom handle I used to try and silence the people above me. My anxiety was trying to get the best of me since I was already stressing about how to provide financially for my home AND my business. I calmed down after letting out several deep breaths, wishing I could pull the covers back over my head and continue my snore session. Needless to say, today is a school day for the short one (Mellie) and the bald one (Baby Boy), and I have to work.

Aside from being sleep deprived, I felt pretty good. Sadness, anxiety, and stress had released its stronghold on me, at least for now. My depression is deep-rooted. I don't talk about it much, aside from hints of past situations in some of my short stories. I'll share my full story one day. What I will say today is that depression is tough to deal with as a single woman with no boyfriend/husband and no children, so imagine what it is like to try and manage your depression while trying to raise your babies to be mentally-sound productive members of society. It's hard as shit! My babies crave my time attention all of the time. I can't ALWAYS run to my bedroom for a screaming/crying session and forget having the time to see a therapist.

I sat down with a therapist in the past and stopped going after about five sessions. I felt embarrassed about my issues and experiences, and even though she remained completely objective, she was too close for comfort. She was an older Caucasian woman who I felt could not relate to me, and I thought I was "fixed" enough to figure the rest out by myself.  The worst thing a person who suffers from depression can do is keep their emotions, thoughts, and feelings bottled up and stay to themselves. There is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking help. It's the best thing a depressed individual can do. As uncomfortable as I was when in therapy I can attest to the fact that it helped a bunch.

The problem with depression is that not enough people talk about it. They're afraid to. They're afraid of being judged and laughed at. Even if time allowed, many won't seek help due to the negative stigma that comes with seeing a therapist. With that being said, not many people are comfortable with sharing their deepest darkest secrets and feelings. However, I've found that sharing my experiences has helped others who aren't so vocal. I've received messages from others who've related with what I've experienced, and while I'm no counselor and I still deal with specific issues, they left the conversation feeling inspired and motivated to improve their mental state.

Before I get into how I cope, let's take a look at some of the symptoms of anxiety and depression:

Alright, so how do I cope day-to-day? Again, I'm no therapist, however these are the practices that have helped me remain sane.

  • Prayer/Meditation (Journaling) - Prayer and meditation are extremely powerful tools when it comes battling mental illness.  The state of our mind sets the tone for our way of living. What we think on and speak becomes our reality. The bible states in Philippians 4:6-8, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy - meditate on these things." Write down your thoughts and feelings. Schedule time each day to sit quietly and reflect on scripture and on your journal/meditation notes. You'll find that thinking on the things of God will relieve your anxiety and depression and will help to manifest a blessed and fulfilled life. 
  • Keep Your Home Free From Clutter - Keep Your Home Free From Clutter - Have you hear the saying that a cluttered home or car is indicative of a cluttered mind? Trust me when I say that it's true! I don't like dirt or filth, but I will admit that at times I'll wash clothes and let them pile up. Instead of folding/hanging them up right away, we pull clothes out of the pile or basket during the week. Yea, I know, but I'm getting better. I realized my anxiety or depression would kick in when I'd let those clothes pile or when things were not in their proper place. I'd be irritated at the babies for no apparent reason and would be in a negative mood, not wanting to help with homework or play with them. Not fair to them right? Create yourself a checklist or reminder to do certain chores or cleanings, and keep your home smelling good at all times. I use my handmade soy candles to keep my place smelling like either a garden of fresh flowers.
  • Seek Therapy  - Therapy is super beneficial for those suffering from depression and anxiety. Personally, I don't tell those closest to me all I'm going through. I've trusted individuals to be friends and remain discreet, however, my business was shared with their friends and family. On the flip side, not everyone can handle the feelings and emotions you want to express. A lack of response from them may make you feel that they don't care, however, they just may not know how to respond or don't want to give their feedback out of fear of how it will make you feel. Check with your health insurance provider or do a Google search to find a therapist in your area. I personally would want a faith-based African-American woman as a therapist, someone I feel I could relate a bit better to.
  •  Be Intentional - Finding relief from depression and anxiety is hard work and takes INTENT. You have to choose, DAILY, to meditate/pray, clean your home and heal from whatever has your mind in a bind. To be completely honest, I lock myself in the bathroom or my room and cry out to God as silently as I can so that my babies don't hear me. Some days I don't want to get up, and to be completely transparent I've even wished I could give my babies up for adoption. Not because I don't love them or because I'm not capable of providing for them, but because I've always been afraid of experiencing a breakdown they would see and would not be able to recover from. My brothers and I were taken from our mom because of issues she was experiencing at the time, and sometimes I struggle with accepting what God told me vs. generational curses. B & M are my biggest fans, and I do my best to show them that God has the power to heal and provide even when we are lacking. Healing is YOUR choice and YOUR responsibility. No one can or will do it for you.

If you're reading this and are struggling with depression or anxiety, please know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE!! I share my stories to be a voice for others that can't speak for themselves. Send me a message and I promise to respond. If committing suicide has ever crossed your mind, I urge you to reach out to the Suicide Prevention Lifeline @ 1-800-273-8255


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