The first time I was truly affected by depression I was in the 7th grade. For three years I battled off in on with different levels and types.

The first type of depression (This may or may not have a name) I felt made me feel like an empty shell. I didn't enjoy anything and I didn't hate anything. I just didn't feel. For quite some time it was as if I was an emotionless zombie going through the motions of the day. I saw no point in life and nothing made sense. People didn't phase me and I felt numb to family and friends around me. I don't know what brought this on, but I'm guessing it was a defense mechanism because I didn't want to feel the emotions that would come along with my circumstances.

As my hormones changed and I got closer to being a high schooler I encountered a new type of depression. A depression accompanied by anger for those that I felt caused my pain. I never acted on my inner aggression towards those in school, but I'm ashamed to say I allowed myself to have a mouth when I was at home. Although much of what I said was not incorrect my words came from a dark place of hatred and self-doubt. The words became my weapons and my home a battleground.

The final type I felt was in my ninth grade year. This is also the type that I have become accustomed to, and I figure it's the type I'll struggle with off and on for the rest of my life. The depression was filled with self-hatred and fear. Everywhere I walked I was scared of the judgment of others. I questioned who I was to anyone and if I even mattered. At this point in my life, I came to the conclusion that people weren't all that bad and the world wasn't that much of a despicable place. However, I looked within and saw my monsters. I saw someone who couldn't fit in and wasn't worth others times. Someone who didn't know when to stop talking, or just had nothing good to say. These thoughts of not being good enough to anyone made me stop talking. Finding my way out of this darkness was the hardest thing I've ever done and till this day I stand on a cliff hovering over my demons. Sometimes I allow my legs to dangle over the edge and my thoughts grab hold of me.

Depression is one of the hardest obstacles in my life and in a lot of others. It's the symptom of hardships, yet also the cause. Everyone has their way out of depression, but sometimes that means escaping our world altogether.

To those who have ever been depressed, are depressed, or at any point in time become depressed, here are my words of advice and encouragement:

Always tell yourself you are ok. No, you're not always ok or are you going to be, but there is something about telling yourself that you will be that allows you to keep moving. I have to tell myself this nearly every morning to avoid falling into my depression and it works almost every time.

You are important, you are something. Your place on this earth can't be taken because no matter how alike you are to another no one will ever have your experiences that made you who you are.

I realize that these words are hard to digest for someone who has depression because when I hear them I always hesitate to accept the fact that I'm a part of those words. Some days it really does feel like I'm not important, I'm not anything and I'm replaceable, but in the back of my mind, beyond my warped logic, I know I'm something. That is what I need everyone to remember that even when deep deep down you feel like a pile of crap just say " I am something" because you are.

As someone who likes to think they've come really far in their life, I hope to inspire those who have suffered how I have. I remember the pain ,and sometimes still feel the pain, that my own mind caused, and I never want another individual to go through that alone. I see the light and beauty in all the individuals in this world and I don't want the light of a person's soul to fade before it's shared with another.

So if you're struggling in your life please take these words to heart and see you're not alone, you choose what to tell yourself, and even if you don't feel it You're special.