Stigma Fighters: Amber Farman

Writing helps me process my emotions and feelings. I’ve had a lot of growth over the pastfew years, but there are times my secret dark cloud of sorrow comes crashing back into mylife. Speaking your truth also means acknowledging when you struggle and when you fall flaton your face, leaving you stumbling to stand up straight again.

When I was in my early twenties, I was severely depressed. Actually there were a few dark days when I started looking into places to commit myself. This is something I rarely talk about. Recently, while I was away in Cabo with good friends, this past came up again. I’m not sure really how or why it did, but I admitted to my close friends that I held a gun in my hand on a few occasions. The look on their faces reminded me that sometimes our secrets can be shocking and so shameful, but only if we let them.

Today those dark days seem like a lifetime ago. My first two years of marriage were horrible,really. Not because of my husband, but because I was living with a horrible secret. Deep down I felt as though I wanted to die. I wanted to close my eyes and forever sleep.

Imagine waking up every morning sad simply because you’re alive. Imagine going to work and moving along in your daily schedule, only to be thinking of ways to kill yourself. Imagine having your thoughts consumed by how to do it. Would it be pills, a gunshot, or possibly throwing myself in front of an oncoming train (our first house backed up to train tracks)?

Living that way in secret is hard to explain. You’re in a constant fight with your thoughts. You tear yourself up into pieces and believe you’re not worthy to live. Your life no longer has any value. After almost two years of living this way, I finally began to realize that my depression was hormone-induced. I stopped all forms of birth control and began to seek professional help to restore my life and regain some self-control. It was as though I finally removed my darkened sunglasses and all I could see was an incredible light. I also got pregnant and was so thankful for the gift of my son to really show me that life is so worth living. By that time I knew that living was what I wanted to do.

Although that time was almost fourteen years ago, there are times that secret dark cloud finds me again. It comes sneaking up on me when I least expect it. You see, I’m always on the move, always working on projects. Sometimes I crash into a wall and literally get so exhausted I can barely function. Mix that with my cycle and hormones being off and being alone with my thoughts and it can be a disaster. I recently came across an article about the kind of cancer I had. Before I knew it I found myself in a tornado of sadness and anger, with that same dark cloud hanging over me. My thoughts began to torment me. Most of the time I can win this battle between my depression and survival. I can overcome this pretty quickly. This past week, however, I was already emotionally and physically exhausted. So those dark thoughts began to consume me and I felt as though I was losing the battle. This time around it took me a few days to come out of it.

This reminded me of my long battle with depression years ago. I’m so thankful that I don’t live in torment every day of my life, but I also know it’s something I will face again. Once again, I’ll need to pull myself out of on another bout with those dark clouds.

Today I needed to write about this to acknowledge my truth and my struggle with depression. As much as I have happiness and live an amazing life, I still struggle on occasions. I sometimes have to go to war with my thoughts. When I begin to push people away, those are the times I need people the most. Those are the times I am weak, when I feel so tired and incredibly alone.

You see, we can’t always be that strong person who has everything together. Sometimes even those of us who seem to do everything can’t really do it all. The secret dark cloud of sorrow is almost out of sight, but it took a little more work this time. Today I speak my truth in hopes of being transparent and showing you that I sometimes struggle with life. But I also choose to overcome and move on, and enjoy this amazing gift of life.

If you struggle with depression or thoughts of suicide, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. There is help out there. Sunshine will once again return after the dark clouds disappear. It may take some work, but you can overcome.

Five Steps in Helping Me Overcome:

• Giving of myself to others

• Writing down five positive things about myself daily for six months

• Letting others in and admitting I was struggling

• Seeking counsel

• Finding a project I was passionate about and diving in to make it a success

For more information to find help visit:

http://www.adaa.org

amber author

Amber Farman has always been an entrepreneur at heart, even if she didn’t realize it. In 2001 she opened her first business and continues to successfully run it today. She lives in Northern California with her husband and four kids as well as two horses, one goat. pig and the best golden retriever ever.

In 2009 at the age of thirty-one she was diagnosed with breast cancer. With no family history this shocked them all. Through her journey with cancer, Amber was given a new passion for life. Each day is a gift; each day is a new day to start over. In that she is grateful.

When she is not busy working, she is passionate about her non-profit Families For Humanity or giving back to the community around her.

Visit her at http://amberfarman.com/