I’ve had weeks to listen to Solange’s new album A Seat at the Table. Cranes in the Sky is one of my favorites. It puts into words and melody what it feels like to be depressed. You see I have dealt with depression since age 14 due to sexual abuse at age 9, and continue to deal with it as an adult due to low self worth, guilt, and shame. The lyrics to the song could be my soundtrack.
As the song states I try to drink it away. I started drinking at age 16 but didn’t start drinking on a regular basis as a way to medicate until I was around 23 and was going through a divorce. I would drink at night to sleep and go to the local BW3’s after work each night. I began smoking weed at around 15 and use it to calm down my anxiety. I never got into a full weedhead as a teen because I was pregnant from age 16 until 20; having 3 children. I started smoking again during my marriage when I would become depressed and also smoked off and on with my husband and his friends. No matter how calm the marijuana made me feel, I would always come back to the feeling of emptiness, hopelessness, loneliness.
On the weekends my girls and I would go shopping. Sometimes I would take the money that was meant for bills and I would spend it on dresses. We would go out and I would wear those dresses to the club. Even when I was married I would often get attention from other guys and take their affection, but it was never enough…There was always something missing.
At one point I was working two jobs, I worked during the day at a restaurant and at night I worked in a fast paced, high energy environment. I tried to stay busy working to keep my mind off of the lowered feelings I had for myself. I tried to create distractions from the empty darkness I felt daily. Then at that second job I meet a man named Robert.
I was still married to my children’s dad but was seeing Robert also. I would even spend the night at Robert’s and trample back home in the morning like nothing happened. Robert treated me like I was the most beautiful girl on earth. He always told me how sexy I was. But only when we were in the bed. When I saw him at work he treated me just like he treated all the other chicks. I found out later he was sleeping with at least two of my coworkers. That meant I was sleeping with them too.
On one of my most depressed days I came home and grabbed the utility scissors and cut off all of my hair. I looked like a boy named Billy. The cut was raggedy and didn’t have any form to it. It made me feel free and I was good for a minute, but pretty soon I was in the hospital and more broken than ever.
I moved so many times but realized that no matter where I lived; I was still taking ME with ME! Atlanta, Evansville, Columbus, Dallas, no matter where I move, here I am. Eventually the sun would go down, the rain would began and I would be sad all over again.
I did anything to not have to face the depression. Like Cranes in the Sky I don’t wanna feel those metal clouds. For years I ran from my reality. I tried to take my life; sleep my life away. But one day I found someone who saw how valuable I was. I also began to see how valuable I was to God, the father.
I started attending a Healing Church called Healing Streams Word & Worship Center. What a coincidence. I started taking care of my body. I began walking and working out. I started doing yoga and unlike Solange running and riding my bike actually helped me. I started working on my mind. I started by changing my thinking. That’s the first part of recovery. I began support groups and self care classes. The dizziness I felt and the high strung energy began to dissipate.
I was in an intensive outpatient group that taught me how to deal with depression. It showed me what happens within mind and body and how to control things. Spiritually I am learning how to replace the shame and guilt with love and purpose. It’s very hard. It’s hard to unlearn something you have lived with forever. I am learning God’s plan for my life. I am volunteering and helping others who had my same story. It’s still very hard. It hurts it does feel like metal cutting through you, it’s a dark hole that seems to have no end. But I won’t give up.
I’m sorry I didn’t edit this or anything. I just don’t have the clarity to proof it. The end.