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K’s Story

“We may be at war with our shadows but we need to win… No, we will win…”

Share your stigma experience.

There is a dark shadow version of myself that constantly lurks over my shoulder to remind me that everything I see is a lie.She used to just merely whisper but as each day goes by, she starts to raise her voice until she is screaming at full voice: “You are nothing. You are no one. You are worthless. No one cares you about you. No one hears you. No one wants you around.”

There is a crumb of my former self yelling to be heard, yelling to be saved but no can hear her.It’s as if this crumb is hanging on by a thread in the black hole of my mind and falling deeper and deeper into oblivion. Some days, the crumb finds the strength to pull herself closer to the surface in the hopes that someone will finally see that she needs help to be drawn out.

But then the phrase, “you are not you,” repeatedly rummages through out my thoughts. I am puzzled because how can I not be myself? This is me: the shadow, the crumb, the face…they are all me…. I want to laugh, I want to smile, I want to be fun loving and I am… but the shadow has been cast and has trapped the vibrancy behind this blank demeanor. The shadow is consuming me piece by piece. She has taken hold of my body so I can’t catch my breath. She tightly grasps her arms around my chest, so I am slowing suffocating, each breath more strained than the next.

I don’t want to push people away but the shadow told me it’s what’s best. People say you must do what’s best for you… but what if I don’t know what’s best for me. I always do what’s best for everyone else. I am a fixer. That’s who I am. I need people to need me. I need people to depend on me. I need people to expect the highest result from me. If they don’t, why am I here and what is my purpose…?

And that is the scariest part… the uncertainty. What does life hold? What do people truly think? How will I feel by the end of today? I wish I could just know… but I guess that would also take away the beauty of the unexpected…. The beauty of persevering until you “see the sun” as Pasek and Paul would say.

How did you overcome this experience?

I meet with a therapist each week to learn positive coping mechanisms though Cognitive Behavior Therapy. I have also started taking antidepressants. I also journal and blog whenever I feel my mood worsen.

Help others by sharing a brief, positive message.

We may be at war with our shadows but we need to win… No, we will win… we will reach into the depths of our soul and extend our hand to that crumb of our former selves so that they can see the sun once more.

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