Choose Joy

I have had many people tell me I should write a book.

Probably because of how ridiculous my story is to some. However, if I was to write one, I would title it “Prayer, Perseverance and Prozac”. I was diagnosed with major depression 15 years ago, and since then I’ve had two children, fostered multiple children, started a non profit and most recently partnered with some amazing strong women and opened a business. Depression does not mean you have to give up on hopes and dreams. It does not make you “unqualified” to pursue something new. I do know that is how it feels though. Living with depression can seem debilitating at times as individuals are victims of their own brain chemistry. So many of us have been there- breaking under the weight of everyday life and too ashamed to admit it. Why are we so afraid to talk about it? Why are we so afraid to say it out loud? It’s OK to admit you’re not ok. You are NOT alone. One of the most frustrating sayings I’ve ever read, is the ever popular “Choose Joy”. I actually have a sign in my house with that saying, except not for the reason you would think. It’s a visual reminder to me that depression was never about a choice, therefore the phrase *choose joy* simply does not apply to it. You wouldn’t walk up to someone who is fighting cancer and tell them to choose joy. Nor would you tell a diabetic they should stop taking insulin and just have faith. That would be asinine.

Right now we are living through a pandemic. No matter what side of the mask debate you are on, life as we’ve all known it has changed. Give yourself grace. Give your family grace and the strangers you come in contact with daily grace. If you have never personally suffered from depression, I’m almost positive you know someone who has been affected by it. Surround yourself with a core group of trusted people and don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for help… I’m actually preaching to myself with that one. If you are struggling and not sure where to start, here are a couple resources that are available 24/7. Crisis Intervention 262-657-7188 and National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (English and Spanish) 1-800-273-8255. Reach out. Take care. And FOR THE LOVE, don’t let anyone tell you to just choose joy

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