My Most Vulnerable Post Yet: Does This Common Mental Illness Affect You Too?

This one is going to be a bit difficult to write and even harder to let you guys read, but Let’s Flourish Together is all about self-betterment , and as a mental health advocate, I’m hoping this helps someone else understand their mental state more. 

My readers who’ve been following me since I wrote my blog Understanding Depression and Anxiety know that I have battled mental health issues for several years now. If you thought I was vulnerable then, well, hold my Bahama Mama, because you’re in for a ride. Until now, I’ve always been pretty quiet about where this battle started because it’s tough to talk about, but I know this will help at least one person out there, so I’m sharing it with you today. 

When I first started my therapy sessions last year and gave my therapist the rundown of my life, she concluded that a particular incident I went through started my experiences with depression and anxiety. It all started in 2013 when I started my freshman year of college with my best friend that I’d known since middle school. I was super excited to embark on this scary but fun adventure with someone I developed a close bond with for almost ten years. She was more like a sister to me rather than a friend.

Fast forward to meeting Marlon, who is now my husband, and introducing him to my best friend. We all liked to hang out together after class and go to the gym together to play games. Well, one day, as we were waiting outside of my dorm room for Marlon to meet up with us, I decided to tell my friend what I was feeling. I said, “Hey, I think I really like Marlon. Do you think I should go for it?” I was so happy when she encouraged me to say something to him, so I did just that. I’m sure most of you can see where this story is going.

I worked up the courage to tell Marlon that I liked him, and I was pleased to find out that he liked me as well. So, I told my friend the good news, and Marlon and I started to date to get to know each other. About a month in, I get a message on Facebook from my friend basically accusing my of standing in the way of her and Marlon being together, even though Marlon never saw her in that way. I don’t know why I still have this message, but I still look at it every now and then — I guess to see if it still hurts. Unfortunately, it still does. Here’s a shortened version of the message she sent that day:

“That very first day we all went to the gym together I started thinking that he was really nice and that if we were to be together, I could actually see a future with him… I was gonna tell you so that maybe you could help me tell him but on the phone you told me… he liked you back and I just went along with it… I’ve always felt like I’m your sidekick. I just wanted to have my own spotlight for a change.”

When I got the message, I was blindsided and sad that she felt this way, but I already knew what I had to do. I always believed that you should never let a man get in the way of friendship, so, stupidly, I tried to end things with Marlon only one month in. Thankfully, Marlon wasn’t having any of that 🙂 . Sadly, my best friend turned every one of our mutual friends from middle school and high school against me. No one would return my calls, texts, or DM’s — I was met with silence.

There was one incident that I’ll never forget — Marlon and I were walking to the diner, and we saw a friend that all three of us knew and cared for. This friend went to elementary school with my best friend, and she went to high school with Marlon. Naturally, my best friend introduced us, and we grew quite close to the point where we hung out together even when my best friend wasn’t around. Anyway, she was walking out of the diner, and when I waved to her, she completely ignored me and said, “Hey Marlon,” and completely walked right past us. I felt unseen, invisible, alone, and broken. It still stings to even talk about it because it’s like I’m reliving it all over again.

I tell you my story because this situation is why I struggle with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and I think it’s important to talk about. I want to normalize the idea that PTSD can come from almost any experience that had a major impact on your mental state. That period of time and for the next three or so years, I had no one else to turn to, and I felt completely alone. My therapist suggested that the PTSD came from losing all of my friends all at once so suddenly and from not being seen or heard because none of my ‘friends’ asked for my side of the story before completely ignoring me. To this day, I have no idea what she said to turn all of my friends against me, but whatever she said to them, I don’t believe it was the truth. If they knew that I had no idea that she liked Marlon first and that she encouraged me to say something to Marlon about my feelings, then maybe they wouldn’t have abandoned me. But, who knows what would have happened?

My advice to you all, especially if you suffer from depression and anxiety but have no clue where it comes from, is to reflect back on your life and think about what you’ve been through. Sit down and have a conversation with yourself — what experiences really hurt you that you don’t let yourself talk or think about? What have you gone through that has had an impact on your life and left you to never be the same again? Once you think you’ve figured it out, please go see a therapist and talk it through with them. It helps tremendously, and once you find the right therapist, everything starts to make sense. 

I hope that sharing my story has helped someone today. Maybe you went through something similar, or maybe you thought that only people with combat experience can have PTSD? Maybe the vulnerability that I shared with you will encourage you to be vulnerable in your personal life? Whatever the reason, I’m thankful for you all giving me a safe space to freely share what I’ve been through. 

“When I started talking to my therapist, we hit the source of my PTSD and the trauma that came from the things that occurred when I was younger — issues with my father and how that may have affected me. And the PTSD from being fired from the radio. I was unpacking all of these different things.”                                                       

     — Charlamagne tha God

29 thoughts on “My Most Vulnerable Post Yet: Does This Common Mental Illness Affect You Too?”

  1. Great advice. I hope you see that that situation may have been tough but you powered through it like a boss and to see you here now pursuing your passion makes me so proud. Keep up the good work Mrs. Everett!!

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  2. I salute your brevity for sharing this side of you with us. You are such an inspiration and just to let you know you’re not alone. You’ve been powering through it all because you’re a tough person.

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  3. Wow what a story! I’m so glad it worked out for you and that you’re geting help you need. I usually think of PTSD as war and horrific murder and trama and such but I’ve had things just like (losing a bunch of friends at once) that impact me too.

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  4. I’m so sorry to hear this happened to you…it must particularly hurt as you were close for such a long time. Time heals all wounds and I hope over time and with love and support from your loved ones, you’re able to overcome everything.

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    1. Thank you so much for reading, Lily. It really hurt to lose her as a friend because she was more like a sister to me. I’m hoping that with more therapy and more time, I can heal and finally delete that darn message. Thank you!

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  5. Yes, I have experienced both and I know many others who have as well. This is a wonderfully written post, thank you for sharing it.

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  6. I am so sorry your friend did that to you. I just recently deleted a Facebook message from a girl I worked with. I guess when I got let go, they told her I was talking bad about her. So, she messaged me telling me I was nasty, I was rotten. Just all these mean things.

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    1. First off, I’m so sorry that you got let go and that you received such a nasty message. I’m glad you were able to delete the message and begin the process of moving on. Hopefully I can get there too!

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  7. Wow, that is terrible what your friend did to you, and I can understand why you suffer from PTSD. Please understand that her actions were a reflection of who she was and not of you. Also, that was a past reality and you have everything available to you now to create a new reality, free from those limitations that keep you from your full light. Be well! ❤

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. I thought for so long that it was something that I did. Honestly, sometimes I still wonder. But, I’m still learning to let that hurt go as best I can. Thank you so much for reading.

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  8. I can tell now that the best thing I ever did for the last couple of years is seek medical help for my depression, that I wasn’t aware or I’m trying to ignore for the past years, thinking that I’ll be fine after a good bath. But no, I wasn’t . After I finished a week of taking anti-depressant, I feel much better. as in far better.

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    1. Anne! I’m so glad that you sought out help! There’s so much stigma around seeking help, and there really shouldn’t be. Like you, the BEST thing I’ve ever done was get therapy. I’m so so so happy for you and wish you nothing but the best in your journey!

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  9. That is so sad. I love to have friends but a friend treating us like that is something I hate most. I usually not go along with anyone I just call them friends but that’s all. nothing more special. I am an introvert and most of the time I spend my time at home, not with friends.

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  10. This makes me sad when people do that to people, not caring about other person’s feelings.. Although you are now completely healing, can feel it hurts, but you are into the road so, keep going and thanks for sharing your story

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  11. 
I’m sorry you went through that. These things can really stick with us throughout our lives and I have similar ones with ex best friends of mine from the past. Thanks for opening up about your story and it actually does encourage me to be more vulnerable in my personal life.

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    1. I’m so glad that you’re inspired to be more vulnerable. I’ve learned that vulnerability helps you learn more things about yourself. It’s not easy, but it’s so rewarding. Thank you for reading, Hannah.

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  12. I’m sorry to know about your situation. Mental illness is no joke well in my part I’m stop using my old Facebook that can give me toxic and anxiety. Sometimes you need unfollow people in real life. Awesome post!

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  13. You don’t deserve to experience that and I’m glad that you are much in a better place now. My cousin also has a mental illness and I always make sure to make her feel that she’s not alone and that I’m ready to listen to her any time. Wishing you found more people who will support your journey.

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  14. Thank you for sharing this deeply personal story on a very sensitive subject. We tend to minimize certain things that happen to us, because we believe they ‘shouldn’t’ affect us as much, but we have to acknowledge when they do and seek help. Thank you from shining some light on this important topic and raising awareness with your personal story. I must say, as a reader, it had me hooked.

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