I don’t think anyone understands depression unless they deal with it themselves, first hand. So many people claim that happiness is this simple fantasy of just being in the right mindset. Programming yourself to look at the day and smile because it’s easy to move your muscles to create this lie for yourself that it’s actually a good day, that you actually are comfortable with your circumstances, that you can find the good in a bad situation. That may work for some, but for some like me, it doesn’t. We’re either too pessimistic or too realistic in how we interpret things. It’s easy to find a negative or two before we find a positive. It’s hard to grab hold of happiness, because we know how fleeting it can become. We don’t find the value in making ourselves feel better, only to hurt again. Sometimes its easier to continue with the burden you have than to relieve yourself, only to add more later.
I made the foolish mistake of letting go of some of my pain, and it only came back. That feeling of isolation, the feeling of guilt for simply existing, it’s all back. I thought I had moved on, but I forgot what depression can truly do to a person. It can wait, it can hold out, and return at any moment and become the devil in your ear, reminding you of how worthless you are. How much of a failure you have become, how you don’t matter, you aren’t appreciated, and everyone around you is just waiting to lie to your face and mock you, hate you, despise you, judge you. It can quickly twist your mind and so easily too. Make you believe that the closest people to you don’t care. That you will never meet anyone who will understand you better than him. And depression begins to sink his teeth right into your veins, he gives his poison, and it controls you. He consumes you.
A battle of depression is no battle at all. It is a war. A constant war that will never end. Once infected it is always there. He will always come back, always be right next to your ear with another slanderous comment to destroy you. It’s the devil himself, whether an atheist or not, he exists for you. It is a war of attrition. If you find happiness, you better hope it lasts for some time, because you know deep down that its going to fade. That people will leave you. That you won’t be able to hold on for too long. You will always meet struggle, conflict is right around the corner for you and your best bet is to just hide. He tells you all these things. And you give in, you believe it to be true because you saw it happen before.
It’s that very thought that destroys you though. He’s in your head, telling you all this, but you think it’s yourself being honest and real. The only reason happiness fades is because you let it. The reason people leave is because you let them go. You become weak, and no matter what you do you think you lost the strength to carry on because the world crumbles in your hands. And it’s your fault.
And that’s how depression wins. He turns your own mind and body against you. Your heart suffocates underneath the pressure. And you no longer have free will. You just live day in and day out wondering what could make you happy again. But your heart is silenced by your mind that you think is on your side, though it tells you nothing can save you.
I realized all of this tonight. After I watched my own two hands turn against my body again. After years of winning this battle, I collapsed, and I watched my hands cause pain and harm to myself once again. I thought I had escaped, and I never realized that it was so close to me this entire time. Hiding in the shadows, waiting for me to stumble.
Looking at myself now I feel so ashamed and disgusted. That I allowed someone get to me this badly. That I can’t even reach out to anyone in specific for help. That I would rather sit here and let my pride be my downfall and consume me once again. I’m ashamed that I can’t even reach out to this person anymore. Because I’m afraid of what he’ll think, how he will respond. I’m ashamed to reach out to friends because I don’t want them to get the impression that I’m weak, that I actually need them. That I need help. I don’t want help. I don’t want pity. I want to win, believe me. And I know I can’t do this alone, but I struggle. And watching myself reach for a lighter and holding it up to my arm terrified me. I can’t believe I have reached this level again. That I’m struggling with this again.
I’m ashamed to have this weakness. I’m ashamed to admit it. I’m ashamed to admit that another human being has destroyed me this easily. I’m ashamed that I forgive him. Ashamed that I forgive this devil. Ashamed that I still con’t forgive myself.
Please, to whoever I send this to, whoever reads this message, just understand that a friend who is struggling is not someone to overlook. Please. Don’t let your friends down. If you put a person into your life, treat them well. Love them. Care for them and never let them go until they hurt you or give you good reason to see them off (But still forgive). You never know the struggles that your friends endure. You never know the pain in their pasts, the scars on their wrists, thighs, or hearts. This goes for any person who makes an appearance on your life. Love them. Forgive them. People are fragile.
The human heart is such a beautiful and innocent thing. Don’t let it go to waste. If you love someone tell them because you may never get another chance to see them again. Always, always, always, tell someone how proud you are of them, how happy you make them, how glad you are that they came into your life, and how you couldn’t imagine a world without them. Remind them with words, remind them with kisses, remind them with hugs, and don’t ever forget the look on their face when you retract. Because there is a great chance, that for once in their lives, you made them feel like they belonged, like they deserved to be alive, that they can win this war. There is a chance that you saved their life with that simple act of honesty. A simple glance of vulnerability from one person to another is that person’s saving grace. Don’t ever forget that. It’s not just people that suffer depression that need that though. Everyone needs to see that.
This scares me to write. Its honesty, its vulnerability, its content, everything about this is something that I wish no one would ever see from me. But I think people need to see it from a first hand account. I think people need to understand that there are familiar faces that suffer these battles and these heart aches and these pains. But we need our eyes to be open. We need to see what the world can sometimes cause. And we need to respond with love. Most of us don’t want to ask for help. But I’ll be damned if I stop myself from loving a person who suffers this.
I wish I could remove the scars from your hearts, If I could, I would take your burdens and carry you to safety. If I could I would shower you with all the love that the world could give you and make you feel alive, and beautiful, and worthy of all this love and affection. Because you truly do. You truly, truly do. Believe it, give that to yourself, and see the difference it will make in your life. And don’t hesitate with the next friend you see and just frankly state how much they mean to you. if you can love yourself, and bestow that love to others, you can help conquer depression. Whether people wanted your help or not—they need it. And don’t ever, for a second, believe that someone is strong enough to make it on their own.