- Posted September 17, 2013 by
New Castle, Delaware
This iReport is part of an assignment:
The written word: Your personal essays
Stacey's Story: Demons of Depression
The name on my birth certificate is recorded as Stacey-Michelle Robinson, but those who dwelled within the confines of my inner circle referred to me as Olivia Pope, Iyanla Vanzant, and June Ambrose. Operating in the spirit of Olivia Pope stemmed from my gladiator mentality when it came to confronting a crisis and ensuring the threat resurfaced no more. My inner circle chaffed me saying it was in fact I, who Shonda Rhimes mirrored the Scandal character after. Whenever a member of my inner circle experienced an emotional catharsis, they would cling to me as if I were Iyanla Vanzant because I could not only identify, but relate to the mental aftermath associated with the familial patterns and pathologies that rest in their consciousness. My haute couture fashion sense was indicative of the fact that I was a style architect in my own right; hence, the June Ambrose reference. As a result, I was often consulted as a re-imaging expert and style catalyst behind some of Delaware's elite.
At present, I am experiencing a crisis of my own. I wish I could fold my arms and nod my head like Barbara Eden did on I Dream of Jeannie and appear directly in front of Olivia Pope. I want to rest my head on the shoulder of Iyanla Vanzant and release this emotional catharsis buried deep within, and although I consider myself a fashion connoisseur, I am in desperate need of a style architect. My wardrobe, which once consisted of high end designers from Gucci to Pucci and shoe boxes that contained red bottoms; has been reduced to Old Navy flip flops and deconstructed nightgowns as a result of one too many bouts with the washing machine agitator.
How did I reach a place where the soles of my feet remain planted in the shadow of darkness? A place so dark even night vision goggles would fail to produce light. Albeit my educational enrichment equipped me with the fundamental principles surrounding the dynamics of depression, memories of graduating with honors from an institution of higher learning with a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Dynamics and a Master of Science in the Administration of Human Services was far removed. The sudden and unexpected shift in my life forced me to pull a blanket over my head and journey into an even darker place. Although my ophthalmologist never deemed me visually impaired, I lacked visual perception and was therefore unable to interpret my surrounding environment.
Being visually impaired amplified my sense of audition. So much so, I could hear voices without physical sources being present. I found myself asking each of the voices one question and one question only, "How did I reach a place where the soles of my feet remain planted in the shadow of darkness?" In desperate need of an answer, I pulled the blanket back over my head and followed the voices even further into the darkness. I was determined to get an answer from at least one of them, but all they did was taunt me by calling my name and encouraging me to take a bottle of pills and slip quietly out of my misery. The voices also brought to my attention that my inner circle had been reduced to me, myself, and I. All things considered, who would even realize I was unaccounted for? Not a soul, so I gave their words of encouragement some thought.
Proverbs 18:21, KJV:Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof; immediately came to mind because the moment I considered slipping quietly out of my misery, demonic faces were attached to the voices that were calling my name and provoking me to be non existent upon the face of the earth. When it was discovered that I was waxing and waning between my decision, they took matters into their own hands. During times when I would slip into the non rapid eye movement stage of rest, they would pin me down and try to smother me under the very blanket I pulled over my head to escape what had become my reality. After barely surviving a number of battles with these demonic forces, I came to the realization that I had to arm myself with some serious ammunition in order to defeat the very ones who were attempting to put me out of my misery. The first thing I had to do was ease the blanket off my head without them noticing.
I managed to escape like a thief in the night but my spidey senses were tingling and the rapid palpitations in my heart traveled to my throat. Fluid was secreting from my eccrine glands and the tears I shed were obstructing my view. I lost control of almost every bodily function and my ability to breathe freely was reduced to inhaling quick sips of air. My eyes opened in an unfamiliar place. When I regained sense of self I discovered that I had been admitted to a private psychiatric facility under the auspices of my psychiatrist as the first line of defense.
To prepare me for battle, I participated in psychotherapy sessions designed to identify the factors contributing to my depression. After several weeks of intense therapy I was ready for combat and armed with ammunition in the form of Prozac, Abilify, Wellbutrin, Zoloft, Cymbalta, Ativan, Clonazepam, and Jesus. My intense therapy sessions uncovered the answer as to how I reached a place where the soles of my feet remained planted in the shadow of darkness. I was standing in the dark trying to hide the pain and shame attached to the undesired sexual encounters I was forced to comply with as a child. I was trying to erase 43 years of fatherless moments. I was afraid someone might recognize me as an abused woman even though the bumps, bruises, cuts, and scars have disappeared and I am no longer under my abusers control. I was standing in the dark because I was once a dime piece and now my curvy figure is considered morbidly obese. I was standing in the dark because I was completely overwhelmed when I was diagnosed with Diabetes, Diastolic Cardiac Heart Failure, Pulmonary Hypertension, Fibromyalgia, Depression, Anxiety, and Bipolar Disorder. Did I mention I also had to get my left hip replaced?
Although I hide under my blanket from time to time, I am making great progress and I am confident that I will be able to reintroduce myself to the world as the power forward executive that lives within me.