Two years ago, depression snuck up on me when I wasn’t looking. Today I am doing much better, although I’m only human and I’ve been battling anxiety and depression my whole life, so I do still experience bad days from time to time. The older I get, the more I realize how important it is to talk about mental health so I can understand why I feel the way I do and rise above it. I also want to share my story in hopes that it might help others. Below is an excerpt from my diary from around the time I was really struggling.
Sitting here, thinking about it all
It’s like hanging off a cliff and I’m about to fall
Feeling so empty, but that’s nothing new
I’ve been depressed all day and the day before that too
For all that I’ve loved, it seems like I’ve loved alone
My heart is barley beating as it’s turning into stone
If I had to sit and think of all the things I love
My name wouldn’t be something that I would even think of
How could I be so lost, when it seems like I’ve got it all
No matter how much I have, I can’t help but feel so small
I wish I could explain all this pain that I’m feeling
Focusing on the negative, there’s just no time for healing
So broken on the inside, I just want to cry
But when I’m around my friends, I just smile nod and lie
It’s becoming such a burden, how much I’m holding in
I want to let it out, but I don’t know where to begin
I want to speak up, hoping you’ll set me free
But these silent tears I’m crying, no one can rescue me
Over the last few months, I’ve been too embarrassed to admit to anyone, including those closest to me, that I’ve sunken into depression. I didn’t realize how broken I was until every time I laughed, I wanted to cry. To be honest, I haven’t been myself for quite some time now but nobody seems to notice. I guess I’ve just gotten so good at pretending to be okay because I never want to disappoint or bother anyone with my sadness.
I’ve been fighting this battle with myself, and I feel like I’m losing. I feel like I’m losing hope, purpose, and control to the point that some days, I don’t want to wake up at all.
What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I be normal? How did I get here?
I have everything these days, so sometimes I think it’s all in my head. But if that’s the case, then why do I still feel so empty inside? Why does my body feel so paralyzed? Why is my heart filled with darkness and why is my mind filled with so many negative thoughts?
The thing about depression is that it doesn’t only affect you. It slowly begins to affect everyone around you, too. I know this because it’s affecting my relationships, my job, and even my health. I’m sorry for all of the relationships I’ve sabotaged in the past couple of months and to all of the people I’ve hurt in the process, while I was hurting.
Please don’t hate me. I already hate myself enough.
I’ve been such a Debbie Downer lately, which is why I’ve been distancing myself from all of my friends. To be honest, I just don’t want to be a burden. I must be so annoying to be around and it’s getting harder to fake it and put on a happy face. I’m not even really sure what day it is anymore since I’ve been so tired lately.
Sometimes I wake up, realize I’m still here, and then close my eyes and go back to sleep because that’s a few extra hours I don’t have to be me and it feels really nice.
When I can’t sleep anymore, I like to just lay in bed and stare at the wall for a few hours while the negative thoughts creep up on me. I swear my daily routine consists of emotionally eating, sleeping, and repeating.
Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, the last guy I dated (things didn’t exactly end well) Tweeted about how good it feels to see that his ex isn’t doing so great and that she’s gotten fat. Ouch. That hurts, B. I wish I could have told you what I was going through, but you changed your number. I never meant to hurt you. I was projecting negativity onto you, but my pain was never about you. Please stop trying to break me. I am so broken as it is. I guess I’ve been so busy being depressed, that I didn’t even realize I’d gained any weight. I’ll just add that to the list of everything that’s wrong with me.
Shortly after writing the above journal entry, I realized that my depression was affecting my health. Once I recognized what I was experiencing, I forced myself to get help. First, I called my mum and we cried for two hours straight, which surprisingly made me feel better. It almost felt like the minute I said I was depressed out loud, it set me free— like I no longer had to keep my dirty little secret, like I was no longer a prisoner of depression. Then I started seeing a therapist.
Today, I continue to work on myself and am slowly regaining a sense of purpose. Although I’m not fully healed, I have managed to get back to a much better place. I really believe that recognizing you’re depressed is the first step to recovery—and that’s why I’m sharing this with all of you.
Sometimes we’re so focused on seeing the good in everyone else around us that we forget to look at ourselves. Sometimes we get so caught up in helping everyone else that we forget to help ourselves. Remember to work on yourself and put your happiness first. Life is worth living so let’s stop taking it for granted.
There were all these times you thought you wouldn’t survive but here you are, give yourself a pat on the back that you’ve made it this far. So who gives a fuck if you’re broken, don’t you understand that that’s the most beautiful thing about you? I wish you could see what everyone else sees. It’s your imperfections that make you so god damn perfect and unique.
You are so much more loveable and more beautiful than you give yourself credit. Don’t ever feel embarrassed for being sad, it means that you’re human and you’re feeling and that’s beautiful. There really is so much love and beauty in this world if you just start paying attention — if only you realized that it starts with you.
Please be gentle to yourself, please be as kind and loving to yourself as you are to others, and please please PLEASE don’t take social media so seriously. I think we live in a time where people are more depressed than ever before and a lot of it has to do with social media. I want to continue to use my platforms to help others because I know what it’s like to feel completely worthless and unlovable, and have this darkness inside of you, like there is something wrong with you, and I never want anyone else to feel the way I felt.
I am so thankful for this life that God gave me and feel blessed to have this voice to be able to help others. That is my purpose and my reason for smiling. Making you laugh, helping you feel like you’re not alone, and putting a smile on your face is what keeps me going.
Lastly, before you go, if there is one last thing I can leave you with, it would be this:
“People can be so quiet about their pain, that you forget they are hurting. That is why it is so important to always be kind.”