What Depression Taught Me

What people don’t understand about depression
What people don’t understand is that depression is not just simply wallowing in sadness- it is deeper than that. It is usually caused by a triggering event, until it’s not just one thing to get over from. Sadness is temporary. You get ice cream, you’re okay again. Do something you love, you’re okay again. Depression is something more than that. The things you used to love, you no longer do. You lose the energy to do basically anything. You can’t move forward because there isn’t a path that you can see. You don’t know where you’re going. You are stuck in this one place with nowhere else to go and no light to look upon. You can’t move.

Depression made me feel like an empty shell, numb to any emotions. It is the monster that is creeping outside my window except that it is my own reflection. Depression is the monster calling me under my bed, except that it’s my own voice. It is the darkness that I see when I close my eyes except that it never left me. You don’t know what it’s like to be alone in a room and feel suffocated by your own presence.

I started to question everything, even my existence.

“Why am I here? Why am I still breathing? What am I  doing with my life? Is there a point in living?” 

No one really noticed. People come to me and say,  “You are blooming. You look happy. You don’t look like you have problems.” Maybe because I am able to laugh, and joke around with them. No one really knew when it’s time to go to bed, I take off my mask. I cage myself in a space I created with walls no one can tear down. I was on the verge of giving up. I had no place to go. I didn’t even have an idea where I wanted to go or what I wanted to happen. It’s the first time I ever felt alone and isolated. Silence was so loud it told me to shut myself out.

Then came the consecutive nights of getting wasted, going out, wasting my money and time doing irrelevant shit, anything just to escape. I didn’t give a damn what other people would think, what my parents would say. I did anything that would keep me off a dangerous place- my mind. But I never told anyone that I wanted to die. I wanted to disappear.

I did not open up to anyone because I already knew what they’d say without me telling them what’s wrong. I already knew that they’d tell me that it’s going to be okay. They’d tell me to cheer up and just think of positive thoughts. I already knew those are the things that I needed to do, I  just didn’t see the point of doing it. So I held it in. I kept it all to myself. I didn’t like the life I was living. I was starting to despise myself. I wanted everything to stop. But I knew that it wasn’t the right thing to do. Every time my thoughts become dangerous, I tried my best to reiterate these exact words,

“This is not you. You are stronger than this.”

I fought the battle within me.

I trained my mind to control what thoughts I take in, to watch what words I feed it. I struggled everyday until my heart started to feel less empty. My body started to feel less heavy. I tried hard to find what would keep me going- my purpose in life. I am reminded of what I really wanted to do from the beginning. Although it’s vague and I haven’t really put everything in motion yet, I have a destination in mind. And I am okay again, actually, I’m better than before. It didn’t happen to me in the blink of an eye. It wasn’t a sudden realization. I cultivated my mind to see what really matters. I surrounded myself with people who inspire me and motivate me. I did what I could to get better. Now it has been made clear to me by God. He wanted this for me. He was leading me into this direction. I only needed to trust Him and his plans for me.

What depression taught me
To everyone out there who is struggling with something, I want to tell you that it is okay if you find it difficult to open up yourself. Sometimes it’s wiser to keep things to yourself in order to learn your lessons. There are moments when we neglect to see that we are our problem. If we can spend a minute of the day, reflecting our own actions and decisions, we might learn something new. We might find out that we are also the solution to our problems.

Although sometimes it’s better to not keep things to yourself. You shouldn’t feel obligated to share your problems with anyone (friends or family) thinking that it is the ONLY solution. It is not. But you always have the option to share them if you feel the NEED to let it all out. If you can no longer contain your thoughts. If you think you are a ticking bomb that is going to explode at any moment. If you have become the thing that needs rescuing from yourself. If you need someone to tell you what to do. Sometimes reaching out is what saves you. Surrendering yourself by breaking down the walls you have built and being naked (showing your soul).

You only need to know which battles to fight on your own and which ones to fight with help from others.

If you choose to fight it on your own, nobody has the right to tell you why you shouldn’t do that. If you choose to fight it by seeking help from others, you should not be judged and told that you are weak and you can’t do anything yourself. Fuck them. I fought depression by doing both. I kept my thoughts to myself, but I still surrounded myself with the people who matter to me. I knew that the person who can help me best is myself. Other people are only there for you to help you muster the strength to go on. In the end, it is still you who makes the choices.

Sometimes when we are struggling, we don’t necessarily need a hell of an advice because most of the time we already know what to do. We only need to start doing it. If we cannot find the strength within ourselves, we need to find it in others. We need to surround ourselves with the people who can make us feel loved, help us grow, and the people who can make us like who we are. We must keep in mind that we are not alone in our struggle and there are people who appreciate our presence in this world. We matter and we are important more than we think we are.

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