2019 started out with a lot of hope, a lot of goals, and a lot to do. I had just started working at my business full time, I had a really good Christmas season with some shows and events that helped us make some good sales. Things were looking up.
I struggle with depression. It usually hits around the holidays, it is its worst on my birthday (January 4), then it continues at a low hum throughout the remainder of the winter. I’ve struggled with it for as long as I can remember. Consider it a battle wound of making it through childhood.
Christmas of 2018 I didn’t have my normal depression. I had just quit my day job, things were moving, life was happening, I really felt like my life had meaning for the first time in a long time. It was magical. After the intensity of Christmas, I hit this point where I realized that this was actually a lot of work. And I was alone. When I was working a job, I had coworkers I loved. I always enjoyed the camaraderie and friendship of having coworkers. For the first time since I was 14, I didn’t have that. I really felt alone.
I busied myself by getting ready for an event in New Jersey. I told myself this would be the ticket. This was my magic bullet to success. Long story short, I spent thousands of dollars for an event that flopped (it was outside of everyone’s control, there was a fire near the venue and no one showed up). I suddenly felt like a failure. I put a big bet on this event. I wasted resources, I used social capital selling a story about what this event would do for us. And it was a flop, and I felt like a failure.
Oh hey, there’s the depression. It was more intense than anything I have ever experienced. Here’s the part that’s hard for me to talk about, and the part I think needs to be said. For the first time in my life, I actually wanted to die. I felt like I was the most useless person on earth just taking up space.
People talk about how selfish suicide is. But what you don’t know is that when you’re in the throws of it, you honestly feel like it’s the kindest thing you can do for your friends and family. For me, only my husband could even see my depression. I didn’t tell anyone that I wanted to die. I saw how every day he’d come home, and his face changed when he saw that once again, I wasn’t happy. I didn’t want to be touched, I didn’t want to be bothered with, I didn’t want anything. The pain I saw on his face convinced me that if I would die, he would be better off. He would grieve, but he would move on.
I am grateful that as loud as those voices were, God’s voice was louder. Even though I didn’t believe it, somewhere in my head I still had a voice reminding me that these were lies. My mom retired right around the time that I quit my day job. She checked on me every day, wanting to help with the business. I never let her in on how dark it was, all I ever told her was that I was discouraged, and on the really bad days I “had a lot to do” so I wouldn’t be going to the roastery. But every day she still texted me, and asked me if we had work to do. Her consistency was always reminding me that I was needed, my presence was wanted, and that I was loved.
I know that there are people who care about me. People who, reading this, probably feel hurt that I didn’t let them in. Let me just say, that is a me problem, not a you problem. I’m writing this because I am working on that me problem. I eventually came out of it, I got my roastery set up the way it needed to be, took a class for a food safety certification, and just started making small steps forward.
Here’s to the future, hope, and trusting that God knows what the future holds.