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NERDS RULE INC's Fix Ya Crown Podcast with Dr. Tristaca Guest Shanae Lewis

Shanae Lewis- Topic: Depression is not my Story

I've had experience with the mental health aspect for well over 25 years. I never knew what true depression looked or felt like but I always knew that there were people that I knew directly or indirectly that were dealing with some depressive thoughts and even displayed depressive actions. Growing up I always wanted to get out and see what the world had to offer and for awhile I thought my mother was being overprotective and didn't want me to have fun with my friends. So as I entered my Junior year of high school the friends that I kept weren't the best but I felt that I had found a level of freedom. I started hanging out late after school, sometimes until 1030-11 at night on school days doing things that I knew I shouldn't be doing. After I graduated from high school I knew I didn't want to go to college but I had no sense of direction or ambitious, so I began to hang out with the wrong people and do things that were very dangerous and could've been life ending for me.

With my grandmother working in the mental health field and having dealt with her own depression she noticed that I was displaying some depressive behavior and tried to talk to me about it; but like a teenager that thinks they know everything I would always try to convince her that I wasn't depressed I was just "living my life" and having fun. I began to heavily self medicate and drink very heavily and frequently, still not seeing the problem. Fast forward a few years and I had finally gotten into my first relationship and had decided to dive head first into it without any regard for myself. Things had gotten really bad and I had began to isolate myself from all of my family and those that I had considered dear friends. Nothing longer seemed fun and I felt as if I were just someone taking up space in every aspect of my life. Things are slowly but surely getting worse, mentally I was exhausted and didn't know what to do other than spend of lot of my time self medicating or crying in bed.

It is now years later and I have a baby that I was unaware that I was carrying for 9 months and I'm not in the best mental space because things in my life were in shambles and I had no idea how I was going to get through the day. I was 29, just had a baby out of nowhere, living with my mother and step-dad and no solid source of income (I was at my rock bottom, now with a baby). I hadn't been working and now I am learning to be a new mother and also still trying to find myself and my purpose but I had to fight through and make life happen. Now it's 3 years later and I'm a offered a job with Mental Health America for their COVID team after working side jobs delivering food. For the first few weeks it was a real adjustment for me because I always felt that every job I had never utilized my talents and experience so I just looked at it as something temporary. I just want all of my young and even older black women to know that we are not alone, we do not have to always be strong and it's ok to need help sometimes. The world already puts enough pressure on us that we have to find our sanity within ourselves so that we can be better for the ones that look up to us as inspiration and strength.


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