What Depression Has Taught Me, 365 Days Later

What Depression Has Taught Me, 365 Days Later

Dealing with depression is tough but there is always a silver lining to everything.

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Having to deal with the struggle of depression for the last year has been hard, but it wasn't until recently that I tried to look at the good it's brought my life.

For instance, here is a list of things that living with depression has taught me over the past year.

1. Empathy

Having dealt with and still dealing with depression first hand, I can relate to others that have ass well. It's one thing to sympathize with someone, but it's another thing when you can empathize with them since you actually know their struggles.

2. How to look deeper into things and understand their true meaning.

When I have my low moments I try to learn from them, grow from them and not deal with them head-on. Avoiding the dark times can lead to even darker ones, but looking deeper into the void of whats hurting you can help you find something good in it or find a resolution for it.

3. Everything is temporary! 

Whether it's good or bad everything in life is temporary for me, unless it's my faith. No matter the situation you are going through know that it will pass, something better with come down the road. Nothing will last forever.

4. Listen more.

If it wasn't for my grandma listening to me vent and caring about my well-being I wouldn't have gotten the help I needed.

If it wasn't for my counselor listening to me talk about my troubles, my dark times, my struggles then I wouldn't have learned how to cope and deal with my depression and anxiety.

Listening to someone is a simple yet effective tasks!

5. Looks can most definitely be deceiving. 

Numerous people have said that I don't look like someone who could be depressed or have bad days. The truth is depression can affect anyone regardless if you are rich, poor, bubbly, etc.

6. Writing has become my greatest escape for my depression!

Being able to express myself through writing has become a wonderful coping mechanism. Most days I stay in my bedroom, looking at the same four walls wondering what is wrong with me to feel the ways I do, but writing about my feelings and sharing the messages I have for the world helps tremendously.

7. Friends will come and go!

No matter if that friend has been with you your whole life or just for a few short days, some friendships will end and that's okay. Know that there is a friendship out there for you that will stay forever!

8. Erase all the negativity from your life.

If the negativity is a hobby, person, job, etc. If it brings you down and doesn't make you happy, then remove it from your life. There comes a moment in our life's that we have to remove all the toxic that brings us negativity. It's hard to do, but the outcome of doing so is rewarding.

9. It's okay to be selfish!

You need to do what is best for you, not anyone else. Depression can be a lonely struggle to deal with and in the road of recovery and acceptance we need to do things that benefit ourselves, our sanity, our life and we need to not worry about whether or not bettering ourselves mentally will hurt someone else.

For instance, if you want to keep the knowledge of you going to a counselor or getting on medication private from others than do so. You don't have to tell those around you until you are comfortable. Allow yourself to seek the help you need on your own time, no one else's.

10. Learn to love yourself!

This is one I still struggle with everyday, but we need to love ourselves first before we can love others.

11. Fearing failure can only hold you back. 

Failure is always a scary thought, but sometimes that fear can limit us at the same time for going after something that could change our life for the better!

12. Embrace the person you are!

Don't be embarrassed about being yourself, everyone is unique in their own way and going through life at their own time. Dealing with their own struggles. Don't ever feel like being yourself is never good enough!

These are just a few of the life lessons that I have learned the past year with trying to deal and better myself even with depression.

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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To The Girl Who Feels Like Drowning, Trust Me, Just Keep Swimming

Every girl goes through the ups and downs, it's a part of life.

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Growing up, I was surrounded by powerful women, my Tia and Nana. They both always taught me that no matter what life will go on and there's nothing you can simply do about it. Of course the younger I was the more I believed it cause all I had were simpler problems. Like learning how to ride my bike or trying new foods.

As I got older and into my teenage years, I started to doubt their truths. I had felt that the whole world was against me and that I couldn't do anything right. I didn't get the ACT scores I wanted, I didn't get into the college of my dreams, but then I realized, life isn't about those simple things.

It is about learning who you are and how you are going to grow as a person. Of course, I went through what most girls go through, heartbreak, loss of friendships, feeling that I wasn't enough to my parents. At the time it felt like my world was going to shatter, but guess what? It didn't. I'm here today living the best life I possibly could and I couldn't be any happier right at this moment. Every teenage girl goes through this and feels that there was no end. Let me tell you, it will get better and you will forget about those hiccups in life because you will later realize that they were nothing as compared to life's bigger problems that will be thrown at you.

Now in college, I have realized that those problems were so small. Yes, I still stress about school about my GPA and grad school applications, but I do know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel (as cliche as that sounds). There are times where I feel like I am drowning all over again, but then I go to the things that make me happy and that is making time for myself. Like going to the gym, yoga, and just getting out. Giving yourself time to take a breather is essential to feel like that everything is going to be okay.

It wasn't overnight that I was able to embrace the art of letting things go. I learned that either way if what happened or what I have been through I learned that I have my own good qualities that I figured out that make me the person who I am. Luckily, I had good positive role models that I was able to go to and ask for advice. There were nights where I cried to my Tia about boys or feeling that I wasn't doing well with my life or school.

As a young girl who lives in today's society, you feel that you are drowning and it is difficult to come up for air due to social media and what society, in general, expects of what you should be and how well you should perform. Just know it is possible to get out and when you do it is the best feelings when you realize everything is going to be okay. Nothing lasts forever and we need to realize that. You can look up all the inspirational quotes and all the youtube videos you want, but they won't be effective until you see the bright side within yourself.

Just remember to just keep swimming.


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