Depressed in New Orleans

Words can not express the love and gratitude I have experienced today! I had to bench myself from the game of life after years of fighting to survive physically and mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. It was like one day last year I was sharing what I was continually going through, and the next moment my heart was racing, my chest felt full, sweat dripped from every pore of my body, a sense of doom and failure evaded my mind, and everything seemed to close in on me.

I remember telling myself to go outside, take a walk and go get some air and as I opened the door, a quiet voice told me, “You better not go that door.” Before I heard those words pop in my spirit, I felt that my so-called walk to get some air would turn into me walking away from what I knew was my life, including my loved ones.

Instead of taking that walk, I called my sister to tell her how I was feeling and if this girl didn’t tell me, “Look, I’m gonna call the police to do a good check because you aren’t doing well and you in that house alone.” I wasn’t suicidal, but whatever I was experiencing left as I asked her was she crazy. I didn’t want the damn NOPD to do any check on me and take my ass to some insane area of Orleans Parish Jail. I know from experience…

I was 17 years old and had just buried my baby girl the day before, and I took a handful of Tylenol. I told my Mama within minutes of swallowing. She called the ambulance, and they gave me a charcoal concoction while en route to Charity, where NOPD stood by while the doctors pumped my stomach. Good thing my Momo arrived to verify that my baby died and was buried the before as I fainted when her tiny satin casket went in the ground.

The Charity social worker and psychiatrist agreed that I was grieving and had postpartum depression, and there wasn’t a need to admit me to the 3rd floor nor charge me with attempted suicide. The police literally told me that it would be on my now criminal record, but they were directed not to file the report, and I was allowed to go home with my Momo. Thinking about it now, I wonder why I wasn’t offered any mental health services?? I guess church and prayer was prescribed.

If you don’t believe that the law can prosecute suicide attempts, read this article. In July 2018, a Massachusetts man in his 50s tried to kill himself in his backyard using his fiancee’s gun. He survived, but that was just the beginning of his ordeal. The local district attorney’s office decided to devote its resources to charging him with many offenses and spent the next year and a half fighting to keep him incarcerated, as documented in a recent article in The Appeal

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/policing/2020/03/05/prosecuting-suicide-mental-health-issue-not-a-crime/4873427002/

But back to my talk with my sister, which temporarily healed me of my affliction. I was good long enough to book and board a flight to my Mama’s house that same day. But, leaving New Orleans nor being around from certain people in my family did not help. It made me feel worse. Sadly, some of the people I love were triggers to what I found out was Anxiety Attacks. Actually, I was diagnosed with Situational Depression, Trauma-Induced PTSD, and Anxiety. Once I heal, resolve, and end situations that are causing me to be depressed and in angst, the diagnosis will do the same.

With that being said, I’m not healed, but I’m better and finding ways to manage. I made some significant life changes, and it came with being ok with loving from afar, but most importantly, loving ME.

Y’all know how much I love my city and those of you who contribute to keeping the heartbeat of New Orleans alive. It’s been hard being away from home, but it’s been a joy watching from the sidelines. I’m so thankful to those of you who sensed something was going on with me and put it on your heart to check in on me. It’s several of y’all who have yet to meet me in person but love and support me as if we are family.

Please know that “Going Through” (as they used to call it) and “Hitting Rock Bottom” is perfectly normal. We all go through hard times. It’s called Life. I don’t know about all that talk of heartache making you stronger because I felt weak as hell, but I made it out of the darkness and can see the sunshine on the horizon. My Daddy did tell me that even when it’s dark and raining, the sun is shining. And he wasn’t lying 🥰

Thank y’all, for walking with me in this life journey of ours. Here’s to walking with y’all for many more birthday’s to come 🍾🥂🎂

Love y’all, Dee “NOLA Chic.”

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