Written by Diana Briceno
Depression is a common thing on my mom’s side of the family, but I never really wanted to accept that I was also struggling with it.
My personality has always been the type that keeps things bottled up, because I would feel like such a bother if I explained my situation to someone. The few times I started to slightly open up, I’d be completely misunderstood. People would think I was seeking attention for my sadness, that I would just “get over it”,or that depression is not a real thing. This caused me to feel ashamed and keep everything to myself; by sharing, I felt like I was putting my emotional burden on others.
Eventually, I became so overwhelmed with all the emotions and all my internal struggles that I got to my tipping point. In December 2011 I tried to kill myself, and well obviously (and thankfully) it didn’t work, because I’m still here alive and breathing. That was one of my first eye openers that I needed to live my life. Still, I let my health get out of control and gained 50 pounds. I would put a lot of my focus into work and make myself feel like I didn’t have time to exercise or make healthy meals; the excuses were endless.
Anyway, let’s fast forward to the last couple months of 2015. This is when I decided to start getting off of my medication. I felt so alone in this process, because I had nobody I knew going through a similar journey. I tried to look on Instagram for fitness people who brought up mental health or just anyone really, but I couldn’t find any at that time. This is when I decided that maybe I had to be the one to initiate the conversation, maybe others like me were scared to be judged and were also waiting on someone to relate to.
In January 2016, I began to openly talk about my depression and how eating well and working out has helped me get off my pills and get it under control. I was so surprised to see the amount of support and people sharing their journeys. It’s like all these accounts I couldn’t find before, found their way to me and I felt like there was now a community of people who help could one another.
I cared way too much about what people thought. I also realized that sometimes those who misunderstand depression just needed to be educated about it. I met my husband 5 years ago and he did not understand it at all, which really angered me; but then I realized I had to talk to him about it and try to explain, as best I could, how it was. He is now my biggest supporter and always listens to me. He gave me the push I needed to be unafraid to talk about my good and bad days.
Now there’s so many people that I see online that share their stories and we message back and forth. It feels so good to not feel alone in this because sometimes it can get really dark and we need some help to let us see the light in any situation. I want everyone going through difficult times to know that the hard times will pass. You are not alone and people care about you. People that you might not even know in person care about whether you live or die. I wish everybody could see that and really realize that because it’s true!
You are not a burden and there’s people out there that will listen to you and try to help. Keeping everything inside makes it feel like a slow painful death, don’t do that to yourself. Talk to someone, be it a friend, therapist, teacher, anyone really, because you will feel a weight coming off of your shoulders. Sometimes repeating the nasty thoughts out loud makes you really realize how wrong they are. There’s no need to be ashamed of your moments of weakness, there is strength in discussing them which in turn helps you learn how to overcome them. •
Diana Briceno is a stunning boss lady. Having the opportunity to stumble across her amazing, as well as inspirational Instagram account, was an honor. Her transparency and disclosure of her unique road to recovery with depression, and current fight against relapse, will make you feel like you are a bit a lone warrior. I appreciate her bravery for showing those with a mental illness, that it’s possible to LIVE with a mental illness and fight against succumbing to it, with everything you have in you. All her days may not be perfect, but she keeps it real no matter what, while creating a healthy lifestyle, free of medicine (Shero), and encouraging others about the importance of caring for their mental health; it’s alright to fight!