This weekend I geeked out. I kid you not.

My husband and I have always been huge fans of super heroes. So, when the opportunity became available for us to meet said super heroes we jumped on the chance. You see, we’ve made the commitment that we only have this one life and we are trying to live it to its absolute fullest. Attending the 2018 Portland Heroes and Villains Fan Fest this weekend was living life.

It was in that very, very crowded room we got peeks of actors and actresses from Walking Dead, Arrow, Punisher and more. Heck, we even saw the very first caveman from the Geico commercials. It was surreal. What was even more awesome? A meet and greet with Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickard. Wanna get me to be star struck? Put EBR in my line of vision and I have an ear to ear smile. Even my husband, who rarely ever smiles in pictures, had an ear to ear smile. Add to that we got to hang out with some friends who geeked out with us, it was a pretty special day.

As I sat here thinking about my weekend and how absolutely amazing it was, one thing stood out. There was so much people in that room and not once did my anxiety keep me from enjoying the day. Not. Once. There were times my husband and I got separated in the crowds. There were times that people were so close to me that there was no personal space.

Not once.

Anxiety and depression have been a part of my life for over 15 years. Studies have shown that it’s common for depression and anxiety to go hand in hand. I, unfortunately, didn’t break that mold. I’ve spent the last year and a half working on feeling “normal.” I’ve studied both depression and anxiety. Studied my life and triggers. Studied why people continue to be depressed and anxious. Studied what those who conquered either crippling shortcomings did to conquer them. Then, with all the information and God’s healing grace I stood this weekend not once having an attack.

I can seriously cry right now just looking at how far I’ve come. And, no, I’m not trying to toot my own horn. But, at that same time, I should be proud of my accomplishments. And this is an accomplishment. The last time we were in a massive crowd like this we were at a Carrie Underwood concert. And let me tell you, I could see my husband not 15 feet away. We stood in separate lines and that alone had freaked me out. In the middle of the line I began to cry. My body shaking. My heart pumping. My head spinning. It was bad. The crowd at HVFF was worse. And yet, nothing.

This is how I know anxiety and depression is beatable.

People will tell you it’s all in your head. That it is beatable you just have to want it. I will tell you they’re right, to an extent. It is most certainly beatable. I don’t think anyone wants to be depressed. I sure didn’t. I hated not being able to be out in public without my husband because I was afraid of freaking out. I want that to be different for whoever is reading this that feels stuck. You aren’t. There are millions like us out there.

I wish I knew how to create a support group for people who were depressed and just need someone to talk to them, or believe in them. I think that was the hardest thing for me – people thinking I was just crazy. So, it made me ashamed of how I felt and ashamed to talk about it. But, I’m no longer ashamed to say I have struggled with depression and anxiety because I know the growth that comes with conquering it.

I want you to conquer it too. I can sit here all day telling you all the different things that will help you beat depression. But, really, there was one thing that started the domino affect towards healing: talk about it.

Lovely, where ever you are, I want you to know, there are avenues, communities, people who want to listen. No judgement. Just a good old fashion lending an ear. I’m one of those people. Even if you don’t know how you feel, why you feel that way, being able to say, “Hey, I feel empty. ” That’s 100% okay.

Where ever you are today, if you are battling depression, or anxiety, or both don’t be ashamed. Don’t be afraid. You aren’t crazy. People have told me that I was crazy because of my depression and anxiety. I’m here to tell you, this weekend, not even once. xoxo