My name is Jessica Rodarte, and this is my story about battling depression and anxiety.

Thinking back on my life, I think I have always had a little bit of anxiety but never knew. January 2016 was when my life changed forever. Depression slowly sucked the life out of me and I was stuck in this big dark hole.

I struggled with depression and anxiety by myself for 4 months until I finally admitted I needed help; I could no longer face this on my own. I was diagnosed with Depression in May 2016. I didn’t realize that I was suffering from depression for the first 4 months until my doctor told me, “Its not normal for you to feel this way.”

solidI had been suffering for so long that the way I was feeling had become my new normal. Sleepless nights, loss of appetite, and constant anxiety had become my life. I looked in the mirror and didn’t recognize the person staring back. I shut down completely in all aspects of my life, mentally and physically. Depression is living in a body that fights to survive with a mind that tries to die. I never thought this would be my reality at 23 years old. At that point I decided that I needed to get help and help myself. I quit the job I hated and have been taking steps in the right direction to be happy.

I am so blessed that I have a great support system: my family, friends, and boyfriend. Without them I don’t know where I would be. My journey with depression hasn’t been easy. It’s been a long process to find myself again. I have been going to therapy and have been on medication for 4 months now. Medication was the last thing I wanted to rely on, but I was in such a bad place in the beginning of my journey that it was my only choice. And now I am so glad I made these choices to better myself. I will never be the same Jessica I was before being diagnosed with depression, but I am working towards being a new better healthy version of myself.

I was so ashamed and embarrassed of having depression. I let it define me and gave myself a label that wasn’t true. When I finally realized that there was no reason to be ashamed of my battle with depression, I began to embrace my journey. I started my blog as an outlet for me to write about my depression. I felt the need to share my story in a world that pretends to be perfect and not show its true colors.solid (1)

Since starting my blog, many people that I knew started to reach out to me and share that they were going through the same thing. It was very nice to know that I wasn’t going through this alone. I have taken the time to research mental illness and know that 1 in 5 people suffer from it.

But yet, it’s a subject that no one talks about. Some don’t even believe that mental illness is real. I have found many social media accounts that are devoted to spreading that awareness and I try to get involved as much as I can. I use the platform I have to spread awareness about mental illness and spread word that the stigma must be broken.

I am grateful for my battle with depression because without it, I wouldn’t be inspiring and helping others. I hope that I can help others share their stories and struggles and realize that you don’t have to be perfect. Being perfect is impossible, but being the best version of yourself is pretty close. I’ve learned how to love myself again; self-love is so important in the healing process. I’m not perfect, but I can finally say that I love myself.

Written by: Guest Blogger Jessica Rodarte

Check out her blog for more information about her journey

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