Depression Is Something No One Deserves, But You Will Grow Stronger Through Your Battle

Depression Is Something No One Deserves, But You Will Grow Stronger Through Your Battle

It gets better.

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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.

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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The Selflessness Of Self-Care

It is OK to nurture yourself before nurturing others.

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Do you find yourself prioritizing taking care of others before taking care of yourself? I do.

Let me introduce myself. My name is Saiarchana, and I am a nurturer. Nurturing people is something that has almost become second-nature to me because I am so accustomed to doing it. I love uplifting others and being there to give them support when they are in need. I love giving support to others so much that I am even majoring in Psychology. Nurturing is something that is incredibly important to me. I nurture others because I don't want anyone to feel alone or unsupported.

But, sometimes I forget to nurture myself.

I used to believe that taking care of others involved sacrifice. This kind of sacrifice was my own energy and self-care. I lived under the belief that by pulling away and taking care of myself, I would be labeled as selfish. So, I kept on nurturing others around me.

Until I broke down.

I was giving so much support and care to others, that I had forgotten about me. I am also a very important person in my life. My relationship with myself is incredibly important, and I had forgotten that. I was so focused on pouring love and care to others, that I had forgotten to water myself with those same sustaining forces. I was getting drained and worn out from nurturing and giving love to so many people around me because I was neglecting myself.

When I realized what was happening, I finally understood: Love is not starvation. I do not need to starve myself in order to feed others. I do not need to neglect my self-care in order to care for and give love to the people around me. Nurturing others does not equate to neglecting myself. Because, once I neglect myself, I end up not being able to show up fully for the people in my life.

I read a quote by an influencer named Allie Michelle. Michelle said:

"Taking care of yourself is selfless. An empty well cannot give water to a village."

When I read this, it was as if my eyes developed clearer vision. I recognized that I believed that self-care was selfish when actually it is one of the most selfless things I can ever do for this world. When I am able to take care of myself, I am at a healthier and stable position to give care to others. When I give from a place of lack, I end up lacking more. Giving my energy to others when I am in desperate need of recharging my own energy will end up making me feel emptier. It is like the good analogy from Michelle's quote. I cannot give from an empty source. When I forget to give love and care to myself, I reach a point where there is nothing left to give to others, because I haven't maintained a solid foundation for myself.

Giving care to others should be a fulfilling experience, not a draining one. In order for it to be a fulfilling experience, I need to make sure I am not giving from a place of emptiness. I need to nurture myself because doing so will give me a stable foundation. So, I finally understand the key to nurturing others: making sure I am nurturing myself first.

So, what now?

I am going to continue giving love and care to others. But this time, I am going to make sure I am nurturing myself too.

I hope you nurture yourself too. You are worthy of the love and care you give to others.

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