by Catherine, 2015
I often dread the days where I have to get up in the morning, and pretend that everything is alright, and that I hopefully survive the day without one negative thought, or thinking about my unspeakable past. There is a miserable place that depression takes me to after gaining full dominance of my mind body, body, and soul. It’s as if the depression is absorbing all the oxygen out of me. But yet, I believe that the same depression that pins me down from time to time, also allows me to serve a major purpose in my life. This purpose is here to fortify me, and possibly to fortify others.
My depression has been with me for so long, it’s as if we are close friends, or “frenemies” as I would rather call it. Like frenemies we are, I remember the first day we met, it was 2008 and I was 13 years old at the time. It was a chilly sunny bright January morning, with a crisp white blanket of snow outside. Although it was glaring outside, all I seen was the colors draining from their forms, and everything becoming dull. During the beginning stages of my depression, everything was coming at me hard. I didn’t know what to do, or who to turn to. Nobody knew that I was contemplating taking my own life, even if it meant that I would go to hell based on my religion, I always thought to myself, “So what I’m already here”. As it went on, I began to self-mutilate myself by cutting my wrists. Unlike some people, I was well aware what I was doing, and didn’t want to make the wounds to deep where they would be noticeable where it would send off a radar that I needed help or something, but deep enough that hopefully the ones that caused the thoughts and my depression could possibly feel the thrust of the razor against their own wrist.
I went to two youth psychiatric hospitals during the ages of 15 and 16. There I gained three new labels: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Panic Disorder, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. It hurt that I wore these labels around, it was as if they were imprinted in my arm like a holocaust tattoo.
As those times passed by, I can’t say that I’m completely through with depression. It still haunts me to this day. My depression likes to perform magic shows, sometimes I can wake up in the morning and be fine if I haven’t had a horrendous night prior to waking up, and then in midday, Poof! There it goes; it comes and steals the joy out of a good moment. It will drain my energy and steal the colors from cars, trees, people’s clothing, anything. But one of the best things after going through these years are that, when people first meet me, they would never in their mind think that I’m an 18 year old who has been battling depression for almost seven cold years. Instead, they see me as a vibrant person who seems very well alive, and who is always smiling, laughing, and being a ball of energy. They don’t see that inside I’m actually worrying uncontrollably about the future, or when another episode of anxiety or depression symptoms is going to loom in. I hope this doesn’t sound like a bad thing, but I actually like it this way. I try to avoid letting people see me at my weakness, because I used to get ridiculed about it. During this time I have also learned to know who is there for me and who just wants to be a fly on the wall and chime in when they feel it’s necessary to. The thing that hurts the most is seeing people come in my life, and soon after I start to open up to them, they drop out like flies. As if my situation overwhelms them and they don’t want to be put in the middle. I find myself questioning myself when I meet new people who have an interest to be in my life, “Are you a reason, a season, or a lifetime?” But I believe those people who are genuinely there are here for a reason, to help assist me through difficulties, to provide guidance and support, and to aid me spiritually, physically, and emotionally. For the ones that are here for the season, they are my closest lesson learned. Either way with these people here, I believe my road of recovery is well underway.
The story I’m telling here is my confession in some sort, my way of coming clean. Many people would wonder why I chose to talk about this so openly, or does writing about my condition hurt in anyway? My answer is simply yes. Of course it hurts to go back and have to revisit the past a little, but that’s the point. Talking about it allows me to empty out all my thoughts, but most importantly to hopefully raise awareness to those who may be going through the same struggles as I, that there are better days ahead, as cliché as that may sound, but it’s true. I sometimes have to remind myself every morning to get my day going on a positive note.
I believe something bad happens so we can find the good in it. I can be a living testimony to say that, although my chapter in my book is not completely over, I have found many goods in this time of triumph. I also believe that people can lead you to your invincible time and make you happy beyond your comprehension. Or they can tear you down and destroy you before wiping you off their feet and throwing you away. I can also be a witness to that, but either way, those people were put in my life to make me stronger. Unfortunately my life is not a silver spoon, but that doesn’t mean I can’t have that in my future, I don’t have to allow my life to be full of copper and despair. I know I sparkle through God’s eyes, and I matter no matter what anyone says. He will never leave me nor forsake me. “I can do all things through him who gives me strength.” Phil 4:13
This is my story and what I believe in, I hope my story inspires others and leads them to give life to someone who they know who may be going through the same situation. Just know that you are never alone. This I believe.