I Did Not Wake Up Like This: How I Won My Battle Against Mental Illness

How I Won My Battle Against Mental Illness

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.

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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:

Well Hello! My name is Lisa and you’ve stumbled upon my own little corner of the world. I’m a lipstick-loving, high heel junkie, mom, and wife. When I’m not here bringing you the latest in beauty, fashion, hot topics, and bits and pieces of my life with my family, you can find me over on youtube swatching lipsticks and sharing my latest natural hairstyles. Make sure you also follow me on Instagram and Snapchat under my brand name Lisa A La Mode. I’m a real person. I promise.

  1. Thanks for being transparent and courageous enough to share your story. Mental illness is such a taboo topic in the black/minority community and because of this so many people suffer daily. However, it’s brave individuals, such as yourself, that give hope and inspiration to those who may be suffering silently. I have experienced the damage of untreated mental illness, as in this past year alone, I’ve lost three people to suicide. As a family member/friend, you sometimes blame yourself for not being more in tune with that person or for not being supportive enough or encouraging enough, or for not making yourself more available. It’s a tough pill to swallow because you know in your mind it could’ve been prevented. Therapy not only can help the individual suffering from mental illness but it can be helpful for that individual’s support system, as well, to better understand the illness and what that person is going through. Thanks for sharing your story!

    1. Yes ma’am! Therapy is great for all parties. And I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. God is so good, girl. I’m praying for you! xo

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your story!
    I’m going through depression and I feel I need to hide it from those around me especially my job and kids which makes it so much harder.
    You’ve helped me today to not be ashamed or afraid of my illness.

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