To those suffering from depression:

Chances are, you don’t know me. But that’s okay. You don’t really have to.

I know you’re probably sick of waking up every single morning having to force yourself out of bed, having that twisted feeling in your stomach. There’s this voice inside your head yelling at you to just give up because things will never get any better. And then you sluggishly go on with your day.

Yeah, I’ve had those days. I still do actually. But I hope you know that it will get better.

What do I know, right? I’m just a twenty-year-old university dropout who sits at home all day. Well, I do know that depression goes  hand-in-hand with a lot of other things. In my case it’s mania, anxiety, anorexia, and bulimia; so I can relate to a lot despite my young age. I know what it’s like when you feel like you’re not good enough for anyone, like you’re just a burden, like everything around you is going to collapse, like you’re alienated from society, like you need to starve yourself, and so on…

We may not share the same experiences that brought us to our respective sadness, but we still have that same emotion in common. And that’s all you really need to make a connection with someone. Isn’t it a relief to hear that someone else understands? You won’t get the strange looks or scoffs or even the occasional “just get over it”. It’s one of the most hurtful things you can say to someone who already feels like he/she has hit rock bottom.

I just want you to know, even if you just need a quick reminder, that you’re not alone – you never truly are. It’s hard to believe but it’s true. If all you need is someone to talk to, I’m sure there are hundreds of thousands of people out there who are willing to listen, me including.

The recovery process is difficult. You’ll have to revisit the pain all over again and open doors that you’ve wanted sealed shut for the rest of your life. I knew all of that and that’s one of the reasons I refused any kind of help. The other reason is because I thought I could solve everything by myself. I didn’t think I needed anyone… no matter what anyone told me.

My turning point came when I was sitting in the ICU, listening to the screams and cries of the other patients, including my roommate. Some had to be restrained, others sedated, but it didn’t help the commotion. Did I really want to spend the rest of my life going in and out of that horrid place? Of course not.

I began thinking about everything else that I wanted to do in life: backpack around the world, learn at least three more languages, finish university… I didn’t want to give all that up, and so I accepted the help. See, others can try to help you as much as they can but you’re going to have to get yourself up first. I didn’t know that at the time. I thought everyone else could do all the work for me. If you just find a way to get yourself to believe that things will get better, then at some point they will.

Although it’s been a painful, tiring journey for me so far, I wouldn’t change a thing. Everything that’s ever happened just made me stronger and I hope you feel the same way about your own journey.

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2 thoughts on “To those suffering from depression:

  1. Hiya, Deirdre! 🙂

    I used to, and still do a lot, feel the alienation you mentioned! But it’s not as bad as it used to be. This is because I have a wonderful person in my life who is far better at helping me than my previous therapists put together! I, like you, used to think only I could handle it and no one could really help me, but I was wrong! I believe we all need a little help from someone, though sometimes help from a fellow depressive may not be the best treatment as it can act as a security blanket for people like us. I believe we can sort of sit together and talk about the problems, be a support network, but not really make progress because all our logic and mind-sets are flawed and biased because of the illness. To make good progress we need someone outside the illness but who understands it!

    I hope this doesn’t offend anyone, but it’s just my opinion. 🙂

    Oh, and I agree, “Cheer up, pull yourself together!” is not only hurtful but really, bloody annoying! (>_<)!

    I hope you've had a good weekend so far, Deirdre, even if it is sitting on the sofa watching films (There's nothing wrong with doing that some times, or even all time if ya a little 'low'). I do it myself! 😀

    All the best!

    – Phil :O)

    1. Hello!

      That’s a really good point that I failed to think about. It is true that when two people are miserable together, the tend to, well, just be miserable. I guess I was thinking about the few exceptions when my best friend was diagnosed with depression as well and we just helped pull each other up all the time. So I guess I healthy balance would be good!

      And thank you! My weekends been… busy because I just went down to San Diego, but it should be a lot of fun here. I hope yours was great too.

      Have a lovely week!

      – Deirdre

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