According to NAMI (National Alliance of Mental Illness), depression affects nearly 16 million Americans every year. Sometimes the shame of being judged or no one understanding makes people suffer in silence.

I feel like people have convinced themselves that they should not complain because no one wants to listen to their issues. No one wants to be around someone who is always so negative. The issue isn’t talking about your problems, it is speaking to the wrong people. It is ok to share with family about what you are going through, but there are professionals that could help determine where the root of the problem is coming from. Suffering in silence is when a person is suffering or remains unhappy without saying anything.

I know about suffering in silence because I learned to press through my pain. Admitting I needed help wasn’t easy. I learned how to suppress my feelings and move on from my pain as if it never existed. I carried pain from my childhood and pain from toxic relationships.  I allowed people to shape the way I saw myself. I even heard someone say that “I was ugly”, and “I was not enough”. IT ALL HURT. There were years of pain that I kept bottled inside. I had compartmentalized every painful event. I had absorbed a lot of negative thoughts. I was viewing myself by my circumstances. I could only see my hurt and pain and didn’t think more of myself.

I remember going through a series of things: my job was overwhelming, I was hurting from a breakup, and I could feel it all taking a toll on my health.  I tried to ride the wave and convince myself that it would get better, but it was getting harder trying to maintain it all. One day so much pressure was applied from everything that had compiled inside of me for years and I exploded. When my burst happened it literally felt like my insides had spilled all over the place. At this point, I didn’t like what I saw, and I finally had the courage to deal with what was in front of me and clean up the mess; my mess. For many years, I dismissed everything and didn’t deal with it. This was my time to look myself in the mirror and ask God for healing. I was in so much pain, I made the decision that I wouldn’t stop until I was completely healed. I found that healing is nothing short than a weight loss journey. You have to be intentional, transparent, and willing to put in the work no matter what it takes. Just like a weight loss journey it is a process and sometimes you may feel like you’ve mastered it all, that is when you have to press in a little further. There is always something new that arises or resurface. Healing is a process and not an easy one.

The moment, I believed in my mind that I wanted to become better, everything else started to take form. There were days when I was on a high and felt like I was healed and then I discovered more areas that needed work. Healing isn’t a marathon or race. It takes time, it takes patience, and it takes a lot of grace. Grace that you will have to give yourself over and over. There will be moments when you asked why you allowed all of this to happen. It is absolutely ok because you’ve chosen not to stay there, and your focus should be moving forward.

No one has to suffer in silence. When you find yourself in a situation that isn’t right for you, exit. You don’t owe anyone an explanation. This is what self-love looks like; knowing when to make the best decision for yourself. Speaking out against the things that pains you. And walking away from the things that isn’t feeding you mentally, emotionally, and physically. You don’t have to suffer in silence