This is my story. I haven’t done anything extraordinary. But for those like me, who have faced depression, my story might help them see there’s always light at the end of the tunnel; that they aren’t alone.
I have a wonderful, sweet, caring, and just hands-down incredible boyfriend who not only understands what I’m going through but accepts it and every day helps me fight my ‘demons’, as I call them. In addition, I have the greatest family support: my mom, my personal hero and best friend, my brother, my in-laws and my closest group of friends. I am privileged. I know some of you out there can’t talk about what you’re going through without someone telling you “just shake it off you” or “stop being sad.”
Mine is a case of chemical imbalance caused by birth-control pills—yes, birth control! I finally stopped taking medication close to 6 months ago, after a year of treatment, and I’m apparently having a relapse now. Today I’m writing from a darker place because of the way I feel. If you asked the people who know me best and love me the deepest, they would describe as a zany, full of life and passionate woman. Today I’m far from that, and I can’t even recognize that girl in me.
Depression has many faces and we all feel and suffer it in different ways. I can only talk about my story and hope it helps some of you out there. I’m not doing this out of altruism; this is therapy for me too, helping me put my feelings in to words so I can understand them better. I need to separate reality from what my depressed brain wants me to believe is true.
I have recurring and compulsive thoughts related to the people I love the most. My mind continues to torture me by telling me, “You don’t want this relationship anymore. Why are you wasting his time? Isn’t it better to live alone?” The lack of feelings and empathy with depression can trick you into thinking these thoughts are true! They aren’t and I know this because I’ve been here before. I know (even if I can’t see it right now) I’ll get past this and my love for my boyfriend, family and friends will remain intact. Depression makes you lose sense of who you are; you feel as though you have no dream or future. There’s only pain and darkness in your mind and you only feel emptiness.
With all of this, I also have terrible anxiety and I feel it like a current running through my body, making me shake and not letting me sleep.
The key (and i know it sounds easier said than done) is to avoid despair.
I PROMISE THIS WILL END!
My boyfriend gave me one of the biggest lessons in life when one day I apologized for feeling so sad. He turned around, held me and said, “Would you apologize if you had the flu or a fever?” I told him “No” and he replied, “Exactly!”
Depression is an illness and you can’t control what’s happening to you. The only thing you can do is put on your boxing gloves and fight it. But you can’t do it alone! Seek help, talk to specialists and don’t push away the people who love you; even when you feel like running away and giving up on everything.
I received a text a couple of days ago from someone very dear to me. It said, “I am not what I have done. I am what I have overcome.”
Make that your motto. Having depression doesn’t mean you’re weak or less worthy. It only means you have a steeper hill to climb on your way to happiness.
Don’t give up!