I apologize for the delay in writing this.

As I am sure you can imagine, it took me some time to process the incredible outpouring of love and support that I received regarding my depression after Randy’s blog post

I would like to try to describe to you my feelings in regard to the feedback I received.

Originally, I was completely overwhelmed. I was overwhelmed by the number of people who embraced me in spite of my struggle. I felt the emotion in your emails, messages, and texts and it was loud and clear to me that judgment didn’t exist in them. Randy had tried to encourage me time and time again to be public about my illness and I continued to resist. I now know that she somehow had the foresight to know that I would be loved and supported and that others would benefit from knowing my “secret”.

I also found myself feeling quite normal after so many of you shared privately and publicly, that depression had been or still is a part of your lives. As you know, we often find ourselves judging our insides against other peoples outsides. When I looked around and only saw people’s outsides, (and those people seemed like depression was the furthest thing from their reality) I became convinced that I was suffering alone. Thank you for taking that loneliness away from me. I will be forever grateful for that.

Shortly after processing those feelings, I found myself feeling very validated. Doctors kept telling me that depression is hereditary and for years I kept telling them that I was the only one. Through that blog post, I learned that those doctors were right and having the support and understanding of others in my family who suffer from depression also, reminds me that I will never be alone again.

In the dark times of my depression, dead or alive just doesn’t matter. It’s not like I want to die, I just feel dead inside. I just don’t care. I can’t explain it. I’m just incredibly sad. When I feel good, I think how could I ever feel anything but good, but I also know that darkness can be hiding around the next bend. It’s scary, really scary.  It’s not fair to my husband, my kids or my family & friends, not to mention my business partners, but honestly I don’t feel like there is anything I can do about it at the time. I must say that there is always one thing that can (temporarily) pull me out no matter what. When the phone rings and it is a client in labor, EVERYTHING shuts off. Every time! I become a doula and nothing but supporting that new family as they welcome their child matters.

Depression is a taboo topic and a difficult and embarrassing one to discuss.  Every new patient form I have filled out over the years, has asked if I suffer from depression.  I always wonder, why do they want to know?  Even though I would check yes, no one would ever mention it or address it. I took that as a sign that I was supposed to just live with it. I was suffering in silence and what’s worse is that my husband and children were suffering too. Knowing that they would do anything they could, to “pull me out” and not being able to even reach for their hands, breaks my heart even as I write this.

I am now doused in self acceptance. This is who I am. I will forever carry a depression diagnosis with me where ever I go. Every morning when I wake up, my depression is the first thing I think about because before I do anything else, I take my medicine. Every night, my depression is the last thing I think about because right before I close my eyes, I take my medicine.  The rest of the day, I try not to think about it. I’ve accepted it. My life doesn’t revolve around it, at least not anymore. I now have the tools I have needed to manage this debilitating illness, but more importantly, I have lost the shame.

My windows are open wide and I am not afraid to be who I am. I thank you over and over again for your acceptance of the real Debbie and I hope that I have in some small way, made it a little be easier for you to open yours.

Authored By: Debbie Aglietti