This post first appeared on Lisaalamode.com

Although I love the pow­er of social media and the incred­i­ble and some­times life-chang­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties it can yield, I often strug­gle with the one-dimen­sion­al­i­ty of the whole thing. Folks see this one image of you and form opin­ions based on that one moment in time. I don’t want to dis­count my beau­ty &  fash­ion blog­ging, because it’s fun, and I LOVE it, but it’s such a small part of who I am. When I was get­ting my MFA in Writ­ing from at Sarah Lawrence Col­lege, one of the first things we learned  about sto­ry-telling is that each char­ac­ter must be pre­sent­ed in 3D. In oth­er words, every char­ac­ter, even the ones we want to hate, must be pre­sent­ed from every angle. When I cre­ate con­tent I am telling my sto­ry, but what kind of sto­ry-teller would I be if I didn’t share all the parts that make me whole?
Clin­i­cal Depression/ Major Depres­sive Dis­or­der (MDD)
I was first diag­nosed with clin­i­cal depres­sion when I was 17 years old. Since that time I have com­mit­ted myself to being aware of my trig­gers and aware of my propen­si­ty to be self-dep­re­cat­ing. I rely on friends and fam­i­ly who under­stand my lim­it­ed abil­i­ty to clap for myself, who, at a min­i­mum, will tell me they love me even when I am not lov­able.

Self-Mutilation
I began cutting myself when I was 14 and continued to do so until I was about 18 years old. As I reflect on that time in my life it feels almost surreal. I don’t even know where I got the idea that  cutting myself was the thing to do. I can only tell you this: I hated myself. I’d imagine wrapping a rope around my neck and hanging myself in the garage or slitting my own throat, but all I could manage were the superficial razor slits on my wrists and forearm. I existed in a state of such overwhelming anxiety that I convinced myself that somehow not being here was the only means of attaining some relief. I just wanted some relief.
How I Got Help
The simple answer is therapy and medication. Anti-depressants and talk therapy saved my life. That and age. As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned to be grateful for every small blessing. And when my mind isn’t clear enough to see these blessings I have my friends to remind me. I’ve also learned that life is rife with challenges, but we must learn to make choices that allow us to thrive in the face of adversity.
What You Should Do If You or Someone You know May Be Suffering from Depression
Clinical Depression is a mental illness and it is life-threatening. And it does not discriminate. I’m writing this post because I know the stigma against mental illness in the Black community and I am not ashamed of my beginnings. I survived because I got help, please do the same.

To Learn  More About my Story Watch this video:

I’m a Lip­stick-obsessed Jour­nal­ist and Fash­ion Blog­ger. You can find me over on my blog or youtube chan­nel swatch­ing lip­pies and strut­ting around in 5-inch heels. I’m a also a brand coach, spe­cial­iz­ing in video mar­ket­ing and dig­i­tal brand devel­op­ment. Find me @lisaalamode.

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1 Comment on "I Did Not Wake Up Like This: How I Won My Battle Against Mental Illness"

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Justice S

She is right being men­tal­ly ill in the black com­mu­ni­ty is like being gay.They ignore it or shun you.We should do bet­ter as a commuity.She is brave for say­ing this.

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