I’ve talked about it before, how depression lies to you, how it makes you feel that retreating from the things you enjoy, the people your love, the moments that bring you joy, will make you feel better. It tells you that the cocoon of your bed will keep you safe. If you just sleep a little bit more it’ll be tomorrow and all of this will be over. It tells you that taking risks and putting yourself out there will only increase the pain, so you should stay on the couch watching Storage Wars. Depression is deviously insidious by making you feel unworthy of even a fleeting moment of comfort in the presence of other people. It has fooled the majority of the population into thinking phrases like, “cheer up” and “get over it” will make it go away.
Depression is a mental illness and like most mental illnesses, some people can function normally with it, others need medication, some fight tooth and nail every single day to keep going, and yet others lose the battle. There should be no shame in treating an illness. Yet, so many who suffer from depression are too ashamed to take anti-depressants or see a therapist that they don’t seek help. They avoid taking the medication, they feel like they’re all alone.
For a long time I was unhappy. Then a series of events crashed down on me making that unhappiness something worse. I was not just unhappy, not blue, not “down in the dumps”, but really severely depressed. I suspect I had always suffered from depression. But the fact that it was my “normal” state I created coping mechanisms to keep going. But all the events that happened within a 3 year span caused me to spiral into a depressive state where even food could not reach. I was walking in the grocery store and found myself on the edge of crumbling into a
crying blubbering sobbing wailing mess. My knees felt like they were about to buckle and I had to walk out without any groceries.
In spite of all this there was a tiny piece of me inside that was clawing it’s way out of the abyss. That piece knew that if I didn’t get help I’d be lost. I knew I did not have to suffer alone. Help wasn’t instant, there was no magic pill. It was a long hard journey that took about 5 years just to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I took medication, I saw a therapist. It didn’t cause me to go into debt either.
I didn’t let it take control of me. I know that even though I feel better now, that depression could come back and take over again. But I can’t live my life in fear. I focus on the good things in front of me, right now. When I come across people who I can see are struggling. I want so badly to help them. To teach them what I’ve learned. But you can’t help people if they don’t want help. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength and love. Love yourself enough to let the people in your life love you and help you.
You are not alone, don’t let depression win.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255