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Meet the face
behind the posts

My name is Kristin and I am an American Airman. Over the past year I have been seeking mental health care for a series of significant personal and professional stressors. I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD) and experienced everything from anxiety, suicide ideation, intent and full-on self-harm where I wanted and tried to die. I was hospitalized, placed on medication, received a month of intensive outpatient care followed by weekly therapy appointments. Throughout my journey, I have returned to work, been removed from the medical High Interest List and am on a path towards termination of my care as I am recovering. My story is one that I don't think is commonly publicized at least not in the Operational U.S. Air Force (USAF) spaces I've worked and been a part of.

 

The Things SHE Carried provides some insight into some of the trauma's that led me to become clinically depressed. They are exactly as the the name states, all of the things I have been carrying internally, while presenting as everything is fine in my day-to-day personal and professional life. While I have served during a period of time where there is a global war on terrorism, I have been battling my own war within. The impact of war is often shared by the perspectives of men, but my experience comes from the perspective of myself, a Black Woman.

These stories document my process in learning how to healthily manage my stressors, heal my trauma, and let go of what is out of my control. Some things I have been carrying appear as reoccurring themes in these stories and include but are not limited to the following: racism, sexism, sexual harassment, abuse, toxic leadership, toxic work environments, personal life circumstances, career and performance pressure, the impact of cultural identity and suppression of it, some of the failures in the military medical care that I received, successes in care, what it is like for me living with depression, and what I learned from the other people I met in therapy.

While The Things SHE Carried started off as a therapeutic outlet for me, I am sharing my stories with a wider audience to help others gain a better understanding of depression, some of the factors that nourish it, and how to get help for oneself and others. To ultimately emphasize the importance in developing awareness of oneself, the environment, and reduce the stigma with mental health in the military and inspire those who are suffering to get professional help; you are NOT broken and you are NOT alone. The views expressed in these stories are my own and do not reflect the views of the USAF.

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