As I lie here awake, pondering whether I should write this or not, the thoughts going through my head make it hard for me to ignore. There have been numerous days and nights where I have done this exact same thing. Pondered, considered, and refrained, all due to fear of what others may think and fear of accepting the truth of my experiences. Except this time, I decided to write.
It was time.
What I say may come as a surprise, especially if you have met me or know me personally. This is what I have been losing sleep over and longing to write, and I knew I would when I was ready. Maybe it is the clarity or the clean slate that I have been seeking.
The last six months of my life, I have been spent living and dealing with depression and anxiety. All in which I can say I never thought I would experience. Something changed in me, as if I were being taken over and kept in the dark by the cruelest demons. This all happened to me in a short period of time in my life, but it was other moments in my life that were buried beneath the surface that contributed to me getting to the lowest point in my life.
I didn’t feel like myself.
I lost all my self confidence. I would observe myself in the mirror, closely and self-consciously, and critique every detail. The only thoughts that came to my head about myself were negative. I was scared to post anything on any social media because I thought everyone else would think the same thoughts I was thinking about myself. This led me to hate taking pictures with my friends and family because I cringed at the way I looked in every single photo. In my eyes, I wasn’t beautiful, and I didn’t know if my eyes would ever see myself in any other way again.
I lost my motivation. I stopped caring about school when my depression began, letting my GPA drop from a 3.8 to a 3.0, which I’m surprised I even managed to get. I was mentally exhausted all the time and all I wanted to do was sleep when I had any free time on my hands. When I wasn’t sleeping, I would drink to try and drown my sorrows and get out of my head for a little while. I would hesitate about going anywhere around my hometown, making excuses and restraining myself, because I was afraid I was going to run into someone I knew. My motivation for everything that mattered diminished and the hindrance of developing it back stood in my way.
I lost faith. I didn’t believe in myself or recognize the aspects of life that were good. Everything seemed the same, all meshed together in a messy concoction of uncertainty. I never gave myself credit for the accomplishments I earned. Instead, I brushed them off as if it still wasn’t good enough.
I lost my self identity. I wasn’t the positive, bubbly girl that everyone knew me to be. I wasn’t sure who I even was. Truth be told, I felt like a stranger to myself, unsure how to introduce myself back to the old me. It felt impossible. I was moody, emotional, reserved, and numb. I questioned my worth and my purpose and I felt there were no answers. I didn’t know how to be or how to act when the only thing I knew about myself was the thoughts internally consuming me.
I lost control of my life.
I gained fear. I would sit at the edge of my seat anticipating something bad to happen to me. I feel that I couldn’t catch a break. I was scared that life would be too hard for me to handle if things didn’t change. I would be so worried about not satisfying others’ needs, when I couldn’t even satisfy my own.
I gained the feeling of worthlessness. I was battling my own demons while trying to tend to someone else’s, making the weight of the world too heavy for my grip. When I was brave enough to share how I was feeling for the first time, I was told by the person that I loved that I should have “dealt with my issues” before getting involved in a relationship with him. As if I didn’t already feel worthless enough, the continuation of his mistrust and passive aggressiveness broke me into a thousand more pieces.
I gained hatred and negativity. Not only did I feel this way towards myself, but I felt this way about the world around me. I would see everything one way and avoid looking the other way. Everytime I felt a glimpse of happiness, the negative thoughts would linger in my mind and put my hopefulness to a halt.
I gained an anchor, pulling me straight down to the bottom. Soon or later, I would drown.
Through everything that I lost and gained, all I could help but feel was alone. It wasn’t until I admitted to myself and my loved ones the reality of my depression that I realized I wasn’t alone. I found that the less I kept my feelings inside and the more I shared my story, the loneliness started to fade away and my life started to get a little bit brighter day by day.
I never imagined that I would feel thankful for this experience, but I truly am. It taught me characteristics about myself that I didn’t know existed, and it challenged me to get out of my comfort zone, which is allowing me to share my plight with you.
If you’re reading this and you can relate or are experiencing depression, I want you to embed these thoughts in your head:
You are strong.
You are loved.
You are priceless.
You are never alone.
Tomorrow is another day. Keep believing.