THE DEPRESSION - By Carolina Portugal Soares Franco
Pedro Lima's death continues to hover in my head and I cannot remain indifferent. Maybe because he's not yet 50 years old, he's a handsome man with a young, healthy look and a smile full of light. But, above all, because I also went through depression and that's why it touched me in a very special and different way.
Pedro was the example that a beautiful smile can hide a lot of things, like a very confused head and a dark, shattered and sad soul.
“Not everything is what it seems!” – never has a proverb made so much sense.
I thought a lot before writing this text because it's not part of me to expose my life in such an intimate way, but if I can help or alert someone, I'm already very happy. Now that I've gotten over it, that I've understood and sorted the matter out in my head and that this is already part of a distant past that seems to have happened in another life, it makes me want to make known what I went through. I feel that I must do it both for myself and for anyone who may be useful.
Psychological illnesses such as depression are silent, opportunistic and obscure. Depression, in particular, is a complex illness that goes unnoticed and robs us of our freedom to live and our happiness. It takes advantage of us when we are fragile, sensitive and when we least expect it. Suck us. It consumes us. It kills us slowly and silently and, from one day to the next, we find ourselves entangled in a strong and thick web that looks more like a maze with no exit.
When we realize it, it has already taken advantage and lives inside us without asking permission. It makes us not want to live life not even for the things we love to do, it makes us not want to get out of bed for another day, it makes us feel that we are a heavy burden and a problem for those around us. around us. It makes a person survive. Our head is really very treacherous and gives us the power to manage to make everything that itches us bigger.
It is essential to know how to ask for help, but this step is not always easy to take. We think it might be a bad day, but this bad day prevails for more days and days. It is essential that we know how to distinguish this or that they help us to have this perception. Accompanying such a heavy, obscure and sometimes lonely process makes all the difference. Suffering and surviving in silence is not a solution.
We live in a society that (still) doesn't let us feel at ease and this subject is almost understood as a taboo from which only the weak suffer and, for this reason, it is so often dragged out ending tragically.
(In)Fortunately, I know very well what I'm talking about. If I could choose, I wouldn't say that I would go through what I went through again, but, thanks to God, to my family, to my usual friends, to my padel friends (who without knowing so much helped me) and, mainly to my dear and tireless husband that I managed to find the way out of this dark and confusing labyrinth and return to peace and light on my path.
I remember thinking how long it would take to pass and being apprehensive and anxious knowing that it wouldn't happen overnight and that creating a time horizon was the worst thing I could do.
It was going to end up passing... And it passed! It was 2 years of weekly psychotherapy that made me a much better person. 2 years of restructuring my person, modifying several neural pathways and where I learned to break and break certain patterns of negative thoughts. 2 years when I rediscovered myself, reinvented myself and readapted myself. In which I became more confident. Safer. Stronger. More decided. More capable. More woman. More daughter. More sister. More Mom. In which I reinvented myself and rediscovered myself. And, above all, I became a very happy person, full of desire to live life and smile. I still remember when I started to feel like smiling again. But smiling really and willingly! Because I, like Pedro, pretended to smile several times throughout the day because for me this was the option that gave me and others “less work”.
When everything started to get better, it was like a baby learning to smile for almost the first time, as he hadn't done it in a real and genuine way for some time. And it felt so good, but so good that I no longer remembered how good it was!
I will never be the same! And I say this with immeasurable pride and without any shame because I like the Carolina of today much more. I'm so much better today!
Despite the fact that in recent years I have felt very well, I continue to do my monthly session, which gives me so much pleasure and continues to offer me the tools to be more and more fulfilled and to be better every day. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all those who helped me walk until today!
It is up to our generation to be more attentive, as well as to educate our children so that they feel safe to speak openly about any subject that generates a buzz around them and that is stigmatized by society. It's not fair and it doesn't even make sense to have to keep and repress less good feelings within us. Especially because after living them, then yes, we will be able to understand the true meaning of happiness and fullness!
May this sad outcome of Pedro's give a little light to those who need it most!
May Pedro's family and friends find all the strength in the world to overcome this moment of great pain and loss.
By Carolina Portugal Soares Franco, Mother of 2.