As I sift through my last few posts, I am astonished by how much can change in a year’s time. I tear up at the memories of being consumed by the darkness that had engulfed me in it’s unrelenting grip and I thank God I am in that place no longer. Being at the bottom of the well depression threw me in felt like home to me, but I can now look back and realize that it was more of a prison than anything else. Although I can not sit here and boast that I am completely rid of all sadness and claim that I am completely freed from that imprisonment, I am however on much more stable feet and when I look outside, I can finally see and feel the sunshine.
That’s what we all want, right? To feel alive. To feel that warmth of the sun’s rays on our face and let the happiness it brings us pulse through our veins and deliver unto us the feeling of relief and contentment. I can recall the times where the sun would peak out from the clouds and momentarily dance upon my skin, only to be swallowed back up by clouds before I could feel any sort of hope. I remember when each day, no matter how beautiful it truly was outside, felt like rainstorms. I remember not being in control of myself, and constantly crashing even on a straight path.
I was allowing myself to become lost in the identity depression slapped on me, instead of creating an identity of my own. I would blame everything around me for the piece of garbage I felt like I was, and blaming others did not fall short of that. I had to realize that my problems were MY problems, and only I could control the torture bringing me down. I know, it sounds so cliche right? But they’re cliches for a reason, and that reason is because cliches, most of the time than not, hold true. But I can understand why a person who feels like they are worth nothing would feel so pessimistic about there being a new beginning over the horizon.
I honestly don’t think depression can be adequately described because of the fact that it is felt so differently among each of it’s victims. Those who have felt such extreme self-loathing can empathize with those who have also felt this way, but that is not to say those feelings are the exact same. Each person has their own story to tell; each person has their own reason for feeling as low as they do. The thing I had to realize was that just because my issues were not as severe as another person’s, did not mean that I needed to feel guilty for hating my life. You are allowed to feel pain. You are allowed to feel like you want to give up. It doesn’t matter if it’s over a break up, or your best friend hates you, or if you lost someone dear to you. Depression does not care what age, race, gender, or sexual orientation you hold. It holds no stigma, except the ones we place on it. It can consume anybody over any problem that person allows it to.
Allow me to state that I do not believe a person suffering from depression should be blamed for allowing themselves to become that low. No one is to blame. As the saying goes, shit happens. Some of us are just not equipped to cope with these things as some other people are. And that is okay. What’s not okay is PRETENDING YOU’RE OKAY. The more I tried to pretend just so others did not know what demons I was facing, the lower I sank into my hole. So I had to be brave for myself. I had to tell myself that enough was enough and if I did not do something now, then I may as well have given up my precious life to someone more deserving.
So that’s what I did. I looked myself in the mirror, tears and mascara streaming down my bright red cheeks and begged myself to get better. I told myself what most people with depression want to hear from someone else; “It breaks my heart to see you this low. You are worthy of a happy life. You are wasting away and I want you to get help.” The thing is, when we hear something like that from someone else, it may sound good, but that does not make the problem better. Support is a truly amazing thing, but the biggest supporter you need is YOURSELF. So I stared at myself in the mirror, hating everything I had become, and gave myself a shoulder to cry on.
“I can’t do this anymore. I don’t want to live like this.” There was the phrase that caught me. In one of my countless sobbing breakdowns by myself, I did not tell myself this time, ” I do not want to live.” Because I DID want to live. I wanted to grow and experience the things life had to offer me. I did not want to die like I had convinced myself of so many other times. The things I would miss out on, the people I would long to see, I could not bare the thought of those things being filled with the word “never.” I had to realize that I was either going to get my shit together, or die, because the way I was living, I may as well have just been dead already.
So all the things that were bringing me down needed to be cut out of my life. A big part of that is cutting out certain people and activities I used to fill the void inside myself. I had to say goodbye to the person I thought I loved because he was not that person anymore and I had to accept that. I had to cut out the toxic people who made me believe drinking or drugs were the answer to all of my problems. I had to fill my time with positive words and people and surroundings, otherwise I can assure you I would not be alive today.
And I am so happy to be alive today. My life holds so many beautiful things presently, and in the future. I can accept the fact that happy people are not happy all of the time. Every day is not rainbows and sunshine and laughter and butterflies. It is LIFE to experience pain. It is LIFE to feel heartache, and emptiness, and feel like we’re so low that we can’t get up. But it is OUR LIFE and OUR CHOICE to grow from all of that instead of allow it to suck you under the current. Today I look at myself in the mirror and I see a completely different person. No, I don’t love everything I see physically, and no I don’t look at myself every day and see a smile spread across my face, but I see someone who can and will get through the eye of the storm, even if I’ve lost all shelter. And that is something I am so proud of.
So I am choosing to share this, along with the stories my future holds, with all of you willing to read this. And to those who will read this who may have read my previous posts and offered me their love and support, I want to say THANK YOU. Thank you for allowing me a place to go to when I felt like I had no where to turn. Thank you for letting me know I was not alone in this fucked up world. Thank you so, so much. I can’t promise you that my writings will be the most amazing things you have ever read, and I can surely promise that I won’t be this positive in each word I type, but I can promise that I will share my life as openly as I always have because it is the only way others like me will know that there is always something better for us than we tell ourselves.
God Bless you all, and may this post bring some of you hope.