This insightful post was written by a sweet friend my mine. I am proud of her for sharing her story and very honoured to feature her words on my website. By no means do either of us claim to be medical professionals but through this blog, I pray you reach a deeper understand of what those with depression go through and or realize there is so much hope. I pray that what you are about to read accomplishes exactly what it is intended for <3
I’ve suffered from depression for 3 years now.
I don’t say the word ‘suffer’ just so I can get your sympathy. Trust me, when I tell you I don’t want it I say this because it’s the truth.
Depression is a monster that has the ability and power to go from making you feel slightly hopeless to suicidal and having no motivation to live. It’s frightening, terrifying and straight up annoying at times.
But it is something that can be conquered; there is hope.
I was about 16 years old when I kinda figured out what depression was and that I was someone who had it. It was a confusing and hard time for me. I lost many friends, I acted so weird and not like myself at times. So much so that even I noticed it and was upset about it. I tried to make sense of it all on my own and things just got more and more confusing and more and more frustrating.
I’ve been a Christian my entire life and came from a normal family so I was so confused why things got so bad and why I was even depressed in the first place. I didn’t say anything to anyone up until a year and a half ago where I came so close to attempting suicide and I cried out to a friend because I was so scared. I wasn’t happy with life anymore and I kept using the reason that I had NO reason to feel this way to avoid what was actually going on.
Big lesson: I thought only people who had hard lives and bad family situations got depressed.
I reasoned that I had no reason to feel the way I did. That everyone lost friends and life went on, that I had no reason to not want or be able to leave my bed some days.
It was very hard and I felt so alone. I was always getting sick and I fell so behind on school that I wanted to drop out cause who wanted to be a LOT older when they graduated. I was embarrassed because I had no reasons as to why I was constantly sick and depressed and having no motivation to want to continue school and extracurricular activities. But that reasoning was making things worse. Maybe if I had accepted what was going on sooner things might have been different. I can just reflect on the ‘what ifs’ or use that time moving forward, right?
Reasoning that there is nothing wrong with you or you have no reason to feel the way you do is not doing you any good. It’s something I learned the hard way. Because that reason is depression and depression is ruthless and cruel. Don’t be afraid to accept that as a reason.
That’s all well and great but how do I get out of this?
The first and very important key thing in getting help and reaching out to others is a support system. A strong, understanding support system is something everyone wants and I believe what everyone needs. With depression, everyone has their own feelings and ‘triggers.’ With depression, one thing that may hurt me might not hurt another friend of mine with depression and vice versa. It’s all just very different and sometimes we ourselves don’t understand the reason for feeling the way we do. So, how can you help?
The answer is simple. Just talk to us! Sometimes we want to talk about the problem and even if you DON’T understand what’s going on in our head we just want someone to listen. That’s all we want. Sometimes we also don’t want to talk about what’s going on in our heads and just talk about anything but that. And that’s okay! Pushing us to talk about what’s going on in our head when we don’t want to is frustrating and sometimes can put us off talking to you about it.
Basically, we just wanna know we are cared about and that someone wants to actually know what’s going on in our heads.
Help us make sense of it.
In my mind and from what I’ve discussed with friends, the hardest person or group of people to talk to and even bring depression up to is one’s parents/immediate family.
Depression is a scary thing to admit and talk about!
Trust me. We know. We know what’s going on in our heads and how it’s affecting our every day isn’t what everyone (and even ourselves) call ‘normal.’ We know. We really do. All we ask and want is to be loved and for you to understand when we say ‘I’m having a bad day today’ or whatever we chose to say that we will be understood and not accused of being overtired or overdramatic.
Sometimes we have ‘down’ days and leaving the house is difficult and exhausting for us. PLEASE try and understand. Don’t treat us any differently but please don’t argue when we don’t wanna go out and do anything every once in awhile or for a few days at a time. Sometimes we just need and want time to ourselves to figure out what’s going on in our heads and that’s okay.
As I’ve said, I’ve had depression for 3 years and it SUCKS. Things have changed for me but not necessarily gotten better because with depression there is a way to ‘get rid’ of it but it’s hard because one wrong move and it comes flying back at you like a boomerang. Does that mean one can never be free of Depression? Absolutely NOT. There is freedom from it but it’s a journey. For some, it’s longer than others. The best way I had it explained to me when I was going through what I consider my darkest days of having depression about a year and a half ago is using book/reading terms. I want to explain it here so you can read it and maybe feel understood and make sense of what’s going on. OR so you can share with a loved one going through a hard time.
Everyone has different lives. Maybe they have similar struggles but how it’s approached is different for each person because they are different, amazing, and unique people living their own lives. Because of that everyone’s life is a different book and because of that, you can’t compare your life to others.
When it comes to depression and mental health we sometimes meet people who are or have struggled the same as us and I know that many times I’ve looked at someone who seems to have their life a little more together despite depression or other struggles and I get frustrated and jealous.
Why can’t my family support me more like that? Why can’t I be just a little bit happier like them? Why can’t my life be more together?
But here is the thing. You can’t compare your Chapter 3 with their Chapter 15 or 20. It’s okay if overcoming depression takes longer than other people. We are all different. All amazing. All unique and ALL strong in this fight with our own minds.
And yes, sometimes it’s very very hard compared to other days and it feels like this ‘Chapter’ in your life is never going to end. You feel ready to give up and call it quits on this book…but the most important thing to remember is not all chapters are the same length and each one holds a different part of this GRAND, AMAZING, and BEAUTIFUL story that is your life.
Another thing to remember is that when things seem to be falling apart entirely and you’ve hit rock bottom that the hero of the story always hits rock bottom. It just means the climax is on its way. That victory is close at hand for the hero of the story. And you. YOU are not the villain, or the sidekick or the mentor to the hero. It’s your life story.
YOU are the hero.
Your victory is close at hand.