BEHIND THE DIAGNOSIS

How Depression Found Me, But I Fought Back

When I was first diagnosed with Fabio, my doctor asked me frequently if I was depressed all the time. My answer was always NO. I never understood why she kept asking me that. This is my story on how depression found me, but I fought back.

As my relationship with Fabio progressed, I started understanding why that was a common question. The pain your body goes through, the uncertainties of every day, the feelings of being alone and an outsider will definitely have you wanting to throw the towel in. I tell people all the time being with Fabio is more mental than anything. It’s a constant fight and battle with your mind. Some people will never understand the struggle it is to get out of bed some days, let alone have to go to work and deal with the negative Nancys and sour Sams of the world after you just fought yourself all morning.

My Story with Depression

In 2020, I can say depression finally caught me. I didn’t realize what it was at first, but I knew that something wasn’t right. My sunshine was definitely gone and nowhere in sight. The pain and limitations Fabio put on me had been weighing on me for a while, but I was just pushing through like I always do, well at least I thought I was until I got into a car accident on New Year’s Eve 2019. I literally brought 2020 in trusting God in the blink of an eye while watching my life flash before my eyes, but I knew God was the only way I would make it out untouched.

But damn, I didn’t know that would be what depression would use to get me, but it was and he got my ass.

The trauma of the accident has sent Fabio on a domestic abuse spree. My body was experiencing flare-ups I’ve never experienced before, and all I could do was stay in bed and isolate myself. I didn’t want to talk to anyone, go anywhere, get out of bed, or eat. I would look in the mirror and see my reflection, but I didn’t see Shawnta and I didn’t know where she was or how to even get her back. I tried to get out and be around people thinking that would help but I was there but definitely wasn’t present at all.

So what do you do when you can’t just push through like you normally do? What do you do when Fabio and his homeboy depression are tag-teaming you? You hope and pray you have a tribe like I do who literally loved me back to life during the lowest time I’ve experienced in life so far. They showed up for me and refused to let me drown in darkness, and I’m forever grateful. But I knew I had to take it a step further if I wanted to gain my control back.

Depression doesn’t just go away overnight – there are highs and lows, as well as good and bad periods. Talking to my therapist has literally been life-changing. She helps me deal with Fabio in ways I never thought about. She listens to me – sometimes I cry, yell, and get upset, and she doesn’t judge me. She makes sure I pay attention to ME and FABIO. She is literally the outlet I needed to be with Fabio because she helps me stay sane and not let my mind get the best of me.

Fast forward to now, I can say I’m better. I still have rough days where Fabio tries to just pop up. But when I look in the mirror now I don’t just see a reflection, I see ME. I see Shawnta.

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