About Me

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My name is Maribel. I have two wonderful children and a strong faith. I am also a survivor of depression. I want to share my stories and feelings with everyone in the hopes of removing some of the stigma associated with this disease. You are not weak, you are not crazy. It is not a feeling that you can just wish would go away; it is a struggle from day to day. Some days are good, some days are great, other times everything around you seems bleak. The good news is that there is hope, and depression can be controlled. Thank you for visiting my page. I hope you will enjoy reading my thoughts. At times you will find my posts to be educational and uplifting. Other times I am sure they will be raw and personal. My hope is that you will travel this road with me as we continue to explore what is in store for us in this journey called life.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Academy Award

And the Oscar for Best Actress goes to…..
How many of us have ever stood in front of a mirror and pretended to have been that actress? I remember doing that often as a little girl. I’m not a little girl any more, but I have played that actress role many times.
Many people that know me have at one time or another said something to the effect of, “You have a beautiful smile,” or “Your smile is infectious.” I do admit that I love to smile. I smile at strangers on the sidewalk as easily as I smile at my friends, but like a clown that smile is oftentimes painted on.
I had my first bout of depression 5 years ago after I filed for divorce. I had been carrying too much for far too long. I was always known as the one who could hold everything together while everybody else was falling apart. I was the one consoling my friends, lending a listening ear, or giving my shoulder to cry on. Many times I’d say, “Call me if you need anything!” Rarely did I ever call anyone when I was having a problem. Part of my hesitation had to do with not wanting to bother anybody else; part of it had to do with not wanting to appear weak. After all, my friends and family needed me! Unfortunately, that was a recipe for disaster.
My initial struggle with depression caught me by surprise mainly because I had never experienced such a condition before. I had read about it many times and even watched my own mother suffer through it, but that did not prepare me for what I was about to experience.
Spiritually speaking, I consider myself to be a spiritual person. Notice I said spiritual, not perfect. Behind my smile I have secrets that would probably knock the socks off people close to me. Nonetheless, I try to live my life in accordance to God’s ways as best as I can and thanks to His mercy and grace I am saved. I am a firm believer that a relationship with my Lord and Savior should suffice, but depression is a disease that sometimes robs you of that joy.
Intellectually speaking, I am fully aware that I have much to be thankful for. I have goals and dreams. I continue to hold out hope for the elusive love of my life. I have my faith, I have two wonderful children, and I have a good job. I have good health, I am intelligent, and I love to help others. I love to travel, I like to learn new things, and I love to observe nature. I like doing all those things and more, yet I feel empty much of the time.
I don’t know that I can truly explain what that emptiness feels like. I suppose I could try my best to describe it, but how do you describe something that’s not there? It’s like not being able to laugh at a joke, or smile when you see a child at play. It’s a void, a feeling of uncertainty. Or perhaps it’s not a feeling at all, but the inability to feel.  It’s the absence of joy, the absence of anger, yet the presence of sadness.
I have faith in God that as I did once before, I will rise above this tide. One day soon I will wake up and realize that I am smiling back at the mirror with a radiant, genuine smile. Until then, I will continue my path on this journey. I will continue to play the role that I know best.

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