Depression comes in waves. Sometimes you are swimming in the great big sea, a smile on your face, the entire world in view with a promise of a better tomorrow. Other times you get swept away by the current, giant waves crashing over you, taking you down under until you begin to drown. It's a daily fight. Sometimes you will swear that you are at the top of the world. Other times you question why you should continue on.
Depression is a road of endless stop lights. Once the light turns green, you feel excited because you are finally going again...
Until you hit another damn red light.
One after another.
It really doesn't make sense. Why do you have to deal with this? Why does anyone?
I've been battling with depression and anxiety since the 6th grade. I knew something wasn't adding up when I was constantly angry on the inside and constantly exhausted. I knew something wasn't right when I felt numb and when I was writing poetry about how I wish I could escape my own mind.
What 11-year-old writes such things? What 11-year-old wants to hurt themselves?
I remember feeling nothing and everything at once. I remember sitting at a computer and telling my teacher that I couldn't breathe. That was the first time I ever had a panic attack.
Ever since the first mark I carved into my very own skin, I knew something was wrong. After that, nothing was ever the same again.
Depression used to control my life. I used to let it consume me. I used to allow it to be my identity. I fell in love with my mental illness and forgot what life was like outside of the world I had created. A world where nothing got better. A world where I didn't want to get better. There would be times when I swore I would be okay and other times when I blamed myself for feeling the way I did. If I'm being completely honest, sometimes I still do. I still ask myself why I can't "just be happy." I have no reason to be depressed, yet I still am. I have so many reasons to be happy, yet I'm not.
Don't get me wrong, it's not like I'm never happy. I used to be worse. My eighth grade, freshman year, and junior year were my worst years. I battled with self-harm and I battled with thoughts that my loved ones would sob at if they ever heard what used to go through my mind.
I'm better than I used to be, but I'm still not where I should be.
I started taking antidepressants this past April and I am currently on my 3rd medicine with an anxiety medicine on top of it. This has been a struggle all on its own. It has gotten in the way of school, of my job, of my relationships. The medicine heightened my depression and heightened my anxiety and so far, I have had no luck. After a discussion with my mother and my therapist, I decided to give my brand new medicine a try.
I wanted to give up.
I wanted to throw in the towel because I was so sick and tired of feeling awful on medicine yet awful without it. It makes me feel like I can't win.
Even though things get so bad sometimes that I want to quit, I have to remember that it gets better. I have to remember what all there is to live for. I have to remember my happiest moments and grip on to them because they are proof that that happiness exists because I have felt it before.
If you're at your lowest of lows, keep in mind that you will remember. You will remember what it feels like to be alive again. You will remember what happiness tastes like and what it means to be in love with every second that passes.
Sometimes it takes a long time to remember, sometimes it takes a few moments. You take what you can get and you grasp on to it because a few seconds of feeling everything is better than feeling nothing at all.
It will happen out of nowhere. It will feel like everything is crumbling apart around you until suddenly, you're on top of the world; completely untouchable, completely free. You will step outside into the sun and feel the warmth soaking into your skin and the wind breezing through your hair, inhaling the fresh air. Closing your eyes, remembering that you are alive.
One day you will realize the beauty in everything; the small joys. The little antique shop around the corner or the dandelion left unpicked, full of potential; the stranger who smiled at you or the laughter that fills your ears, knowing there is hope.
You will feel infinite, like there is magic at your fingertips and that you can do anything. It will hit you as you walk down the streets in the same town you've lived in all of your life, except this time, it's different. You will feel whole. You will be reminded that this is your life, that you can do anything with it. You will be reminded that all of the endless possibilities allow you to be free.
There will be people, too. So many people. People you've never met, people you're the closest to, and that special someone who somehow has the ability to make your world stand still. The people who help build you up instead of tear you down; the people who make everything feel okay.
You will be in love with life again. You will find the happiness in each day and you will be grateful. You will relish at how far you've come and realize that you still have so much to go. Isn't that the beauty of life? That there is always somewhere to go? That you will never stop growing or learning? That there are little things to look forward to each and every day? That we don't know what's coming but finding that is what makes it so incredible because it could be anything?
You won't always feel alive. You won't always feel infinite. You will fall down, and you will break.
However, if you break, you can rebuild.
And I can guarantee each time you rebuild, the foundation will grow stronger and so will you.