I Am Not Weak

Every night before I lay my head on my pillow I take a little white pill that will help me to function at my best for the next day to come. It seems simple, but the stigma attached to such a simple act is intense. So much so that I’ve been careful over the years  not to leave my medication bottle in plain site when we have company over, and that I find myself hiding this truth of mine from even some of my close friends knowing full well that it’s a part of my life…likely for the rest of my life. 

It’s been almost 13 years since I began this nighty practice and I can honestly say that I really believe that the last 13 years have been the most fulfilling years of my life thus far. I live in a loving marriage and have given birth to 2 children that are healthy, bright, and extremely handsome (insert gushing mom emoji here). I’ve built a very successful and flourishing business over the past 15 years and I’ve authentically connected with hundreds of people through my work and life activities. I have the most diverse and amazing group of friends and an incredibly supportive family, and I exist every day feeling the desire to continuously grow personally and professionally in a community that has shown me love and appreciation for the real person that I am.

I’m completely confident with my decision to make anti-depressants a part of my life indefinitely. However, I have to be honest and say that I still find it hard to openly talk about. Writing this has my chest and tummy in knots. My apprehension lies with the belief that I think that people see the need to take anti-depressants as a sign of weakness. But, here’s the thing…  I definitely don’t feel weak. I’ve actually never felt like a weak person. I had some crappy stuff happen in my life and at times things have been quite tough, but I’ve never felt that these seasons made me weak. Yes, I’ve gone through emotional spells, or felt lost, or found myself sitting in a state of despair, but I’m not weak. So putting that label on a girl that is confident, driven, loving, and believes in herself is not something I can stand by and swallow. I am not weak.

I guess as much as I want to believe that I don’t really care about what other people think, the truth is that I still do to some extent. I don’t want people to make judgements based on what they think they know about a situation that they haven’t lived through personally.

The sad reality is that we live in a world filled with many pompous and insensitive jerks. People that are quick to judge, but also quick to hide themselves. It’s when I focus on the opinions of these ones that I find myself in the occasional space of guilt and I get glimpses of shame. The good news is there are just as many, if not more, beautiful souls that are determined to spread love and kindness like wildfire. I’m fortunate to be surrounded by many of these loving people. It’s because of them that I’m being brave and vulnerable today, because I know that no matter what, these people are my people. They’ve got me through whatever has come and will come.

I’ve questioned my decision to commit to a life on anti-depressants on more occasions than I can count. I’ve attempted dismissing the little white pill from my routine on a handful of occasions. Unfortunately, the result is extreme irritability, anger, suicidal thoughts and a dislike for the person I am.

Sadness. Hopelessness. Shame. It’s all in there and it’s an awful place to live, yet I’ve compromised the good I’ve lived while taking medication to escape being part of the stereotype that exists with being actively treated for a mental illness.

The empowering thing is that I do have a choice. We all do! My dad always said, “Life is about choices.” If you have a choice to live in a dark cloud of sadness, or a state of peace and openness, which do you choose? I’m asking you honestly. I’ve choose the latter. If it means that I have to take a pill before I go to bed at night, then so be it. I don’t know how many days I have left, but I don’t want to live them miserably. I don’t want that version of myself for my family, my friends, and I definitely don’t want it for my children.

I’ve been pre-dispositioned with a disease that can attack my brain and thoughts. I’m owning up to this and admitting it publicly, and I treat it like I would treat any other illness – I take my medication. I don’t like that it has to carry a stigma. If I was a diagnosed diabetic and my body wasn’t creating enough insulin I would take the medication to be well and maintain my best life. Why is it different if my brain isn’t creating enough serotonin or the levels of norepinephrine that  it should be? Shouldn’t I take the medication so I can be well?

Depression came on subtly with me. I didn’t want to admit the feelings I was having. I knew deep down that something wasn’t right and I was familiar with my familial history of mental health diagnosis, yet I was afraid to be one of the statistics. At 29, I found myself in my doctor’s office with my 3 month old baby boy feeling disconnected. I felt an unexplainable absence of happiness. I felt uninterested in the amazing life event that just happened. I felt alone, sad, and just hopeless. Postpartum depression is not something anyone really expects to happen to them, but yet I had arrived here.

I was optimistic that with time I would get back to a space where medication was no longer something I needed. But for me it wasn’t the way. I still take my pill every night. It’s something I have to do to to be a great mom, wife, sister, daughter, and to be at my best. And you know what – that is okay!

I wanted to share this today because it’s #truthtellertuesday over here. If I’m asking others to share their vulnerable stories through mental illness or suicidal encounters, I too need to step up and share more about mine. Its not easy. I’m nervous about being so open because I don’t know how people will react. Will I be judged by others? Is it possible that some friendships may dissolve? I don’t know, but I just want to be honest about who I am in hopes that maybe my story will help someone else to embrace and feel more confident about their own.

❤️Andrea 

This Post Has 28 Comments

  1. Nicola Roberts

    Thank you for sharing your journey. So thankful for you and the path you’re on.

    1. andreahusted

      So thankful for YOU and all of your support in this! You are amazing!

  2. Laura RB

    Love this. Love you. You are incredible, strong, and beautiful. xo

    1. andreahusted

      Right back at you Laura! Love you.❤️

  3. Amélie

    Thank you for sharing your story. Let’s be open, be real. We are all in this together! Thank you for inspiring us to talk about what’s all around us, we are stronger that way. 🙏🏼

    1. andreahusted

      You are so amazing friend! Thanks for all your support in everything I do!

  4. Crystal

    Thank you for sharing your story. You will touch so many women who have felt the same but were afraid to talk about it. Love you my friend

    1. andreahusted

      Thanks Crystal! Even just one person will completely make it all worth it. ❤️

  5. Melissa

    Yessss No shame in doing ALL the things to make sure you’re at your best, living your best life❤️ Life spent with overwhelming sadness, the desire to stay under the covers, isolation or knowing you are just functioning isn’t a life. If a little white pill helps bring you back to life, so be it!! You are such a beautiful soul. Thanks for sharing

    1. andreahusted

      Oh Melissa! You’re support is so appreciated! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  6. Sandi L

    Thank you for sharing your story, Andrea. You are very brave and have such a nurturing soul. I feel very privileged to have the honour of knowing you. Love you Beautiful! xo

    1. andreahusted

      Thank Sandi. I definitely didn’t feel so brave when I first posted this, but the encouragement has been amazing. Grateful for you too friend! ❤️

  7. Sharon Jamison

    So proud of you Andrea, you are an amazing mom, wife, sister and daughter, i wouldnt change one thing about you

    1. andreahusted

      Well now I’m blushing ☺️!

  8. Melanie DeBoer

    You are such a brave and inspirational woman. You are touching and changing so many lives just by sharing and being vulnerable. Love this! Thanks for opening up.💞

    1. andreahusted

      Thank you so much Melanie! ❤️ You are always so full of encouragement :).

  9. Michelle

    You Andrea are definitely not weak. It takes a very strong person to open up like you did. Your story is truly inspirational. It’s strong successful women like you who have the courage to share their stories that make other people want to share theirs. Thanks for opening your heart and sharing your story.

    1. andreahusted

      Thank you Michelle! Your comment and kindness means a lot! Really appreciate you taking the time to send this!

  10. StephanieHW

    Andrea you are one of the most authentic and warm souls that I have met. Now I can add brave and strong to that list. You’re courage gave you the strength to seek help and has given others the power to find their voices too. Thank you for sharing. xxo

    1. andrea

      Thank you so much Stephanie! These words… ❤️! You’re so amazing.

  11. Bianca

    Andrea, what an inspiring post ❤️
    From the moment I met you, I’ve always been such a big fan of your loving, kind spirit which just shines through in all you do. You continue to amaze me and inspire me. This takes bravery to simply just write down and then so much courage to share with the world. Wow! Proud to know you and the light you continue to shine in my life. Thank you 🙏 you are so special! Love you!

    1. andrea

      Awe Bianca! We have always had such a special bond. It started on day one, and I feel like even though we don’t see each other with our lives being in different places, you are truly such an important source of comfort and you ALWAYS send so much love and encouragement. Your light shines so bright! Love you girl!❤️

  12. Tracy Gibbs

    Andrea, my beautiful and courageous friend. I am so grateful for your authenticity, truth-telling and making space for voices, shared experiences, for change. 💜💜💜

    1. andrea

      Thanks so much Tracy! I’m so grateful for you! Thanks for always being a huge encouragement friend. ❤️

  13. Nicole

    Andrea,
    I sat down in a quiet place away from all distractions so I could give my full attention to your poignant message. I have so much respect and utmost admiration for you. I read all the comments and the words “authentic”, “courageous”, “brave” among others really stood out to me and you are amazing. It is so important that we look inward and advocate for our health and determine the path that best suits our needs. Thank-you for being you ❤️

    1. andrea

      Thanks Nicole! You are always so genuinely encouraging and kind. I think you’re pretty incredible too! So glad we’ve become friends through our kids becoming friends… it was meant to be! So much love and gratitude for you. ❤️

  14. Krystal

    So appreciate and value your voice and your courage to share your story. You, my dear, are a BEAUTIFUL soul!

  15. Sonya Strohm Mottershead

    Finding time tonight to really explore this site, and also came across your own story Andrea. Thank you for all you are doing to champion the normalization of mental health and to work toward suicide prevention. I really believe these stories will touch the lives of people who need to be reminded that things can get better, that hope exists, and that they are worthy. Thank you!

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