Nobody Deserves Their Depression, You Deserve To Overcome It

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

It gets better.


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.

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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Fight And Flight, How I Conquer My Emotional Battles

In times of high threat and peril, science says our innate response usually follows one of two paths: fight or flight.


Like almost any other concept related to humans, the idea of "fight or flight" boils down to either/or, one over the other, choice A or choice B. This seems logical, as science also says we can't actually multitask as humans. We may think we can manage multiple tasks simultaneously, but we're inevitably occupied by one thing at a time. Now, depending on each person, the response to any given situation might vary. Someone might feel courageous enough to stay and "fight," while someone else may deem it wiser to make like a bird and take "flight."

Regardless, this concept revolves around a definitive choice, a choice of just one response, not both.

While I agree with this concept as it is, I've come to think that, in some areas of life, we can manage both. We can fight, but we can also take flight. Although fight or flight generally refers to physical threats/obstacles, I think the fight and flight apply on an emotional/mental front.

This past weekend was quite a whirlwind, blowing my emotions in all kinds of directions, which is really what prompted me to think about my emotional response to the weekend as a whole. As a bit of important background, I'm not a crier by nature. I just don't cry in public/ in front of others. Don't get me wrong, I don't see anything wrong with crying in public. It's a perfectly human response. No book, movie, song, or the like has ever moved me to tears. (Well actually, the movie "The Last Song" with Miley Cyrus did cause a stream of tears, but that's literally one out of a decade.)

Enough about that for now, though, I'll make mention of it again later.

I think this past weekend's deluge was an unassuming foreboding of the flood of emotions that came pouring in on Sunday. The day began like any other Mother's Day, we opened gifts with my mother before heading to my aunt's for a family lunch. Only once we arrived, I was informed that my other aunt, who's like a second mom to me, lost her beloved Shih Tzu of 14 years, Coco. We all knew that Coco's time was likely limited, but it still seemed sudden. I was a bit rocked by the news, but ultimately knew she had given life a run for its money. After all, I like to joke that if I come back, it'd ideally be as a house dog.

Needless to say, the suddenness of it all wouldn't really hit me till later that afternoon.

Fast-forwarding to the evening, we decided visiting my other grandmother would be a nice gesture on Mother's Day. Although she was still out and about, my house-ridden grandfather was there, and so we decided it'd be nice to stay and visit with him. A bit more background, my grandfather was diagnosed with Alzheimer's a few years ago, so we've unfortunately watched him slowly decline since the diagnosis. As such, this is where things went on a steep downhill slide. We arrived mid-nap, which subsequently meant waking him from his nap to visit. In hindsight, it seemed like a very poor choice, as when he awoke he seemed completely disoriented and largely still asleep.

It was as if his eyes were awake, but most everything else about his body remained asleep.

We stayed only but 12 or 15 minutes, as it didn't prove useful to stick around any longer. Enter the flight of my emotions. I've known my grandfather wouldn't be the same every single time I visited. I've dreaded but prepared for the time when he wouldn't remember us, or wouldn't be able to communicate with us the same. As much as I thought I'd be unphased when it happened, I wasn't. At the time, I tried to shuffle through other thoughts. I tried to jump to the upcoming things for the week and what I needed to take care of next. I wanted my mind to float off till my emotions wouldn't be so strong.

That's where I believe the flight response happens for me. When I'm face to face with an emotion-laden experience, whether it's sadness, frustration, or whatever, I try to shift my thoughts away from what's stirring them up. My mind takes flight. Maybe, that's why I don't cry in public. I don't allow my mind to focus long enough to conjure up a physical response.

My mind never stays in flight for long, though. I wouldn't say I'm scared of the emotions, rather I just need them to calm down or settle before I can pick them apart. I tend to process my feelings internally, but they never go unchecked or un-analyzed. That's why, even though I typically don't show my emotions in public, my throat still tightens up and my eyes still become glassy behind closed doors.

Nevertheless, this is where the fight response shows up. Except, I wouldn't say this is so much a fight, even if the situation can be a sort of emotional battle. It's more of a coming-to-terms. I know that I can't outrun my feelings, and I don't ever intend to. At some point, I let them catch up to me, and then the sorting process can begin. It's usually not that tumultuous like a real fight would be, but it doesn't mean that the emotions don't present a challenge at times.


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