Today is World Mental Health Day & although it’s been 24 years since it began, there is still a very real stigma surrounding mental health.
Today I have seen supporting messages, inspiring posts & have spent time reading other people’s stories. Now, I feel it’s time to share my own. Honestly I’m terrified and more than slightly ashamed but I owe it to myself & to everyone else who has been brave enough to speak out.
I have for as long as I can remember. I was officially diagnosed in my mid-teens. I have taken medication, I have been to seminars, I have seen counsellors & I am still not okay. I have what some may call ‘high functioning’ depression, but there are some days where I’m barely functioning at all. I have yet to identify all of the triggers & I certainly haven’t discovered a cure but I have to hope there will be better days.
I am loud. I am confident. I am outspoken. I am funny. I am depressed.
“It’s so difficult to describe depression to someone who’s never been there, because it’s not sadness. I know sadness. Sadness is to cry and to feel. But it’s that cold absence of feeling— that really hollowed-out feeling.” - J.K. Rowling
Depression is the absence of hope. Depression is being unable to envision a future. Depression is knowing you’re being irrational but feeling like you’ve finally come to your senses. Depression is pressure on your chest & pain in your head. Depression is feeling empty of emotion. Depression is using all of your strength just to make it through another day. Depression is feeling like you’re screaming & no one can hear you. Depression is continuous, overwhelming, exhaustion. Depression is having trouble going to sleep but struggling even harder to wake up. Depression is not something you carry, it’s something that crushes you.
Depression has you looking in the mirror, wondering who it is that’s staring back at you. Depression has you hysterically crying at 3 in the morning, just hoping to end it all. Depression has you comparing yourself to everyone else. Depression has you questioning every decision you’ve ever made. Depression has you lashing out at your family & distancing yourself from your friends. Depression has you waking up disappointed that you’ve made it to another day.
Depression is all-consuming, it happens when you least expect it & the worst thing about depression is knowing you’re not alone because as comforting as it may be, I wouldn’t wish depression on anyone.
Yes, it’s okay not to be okay; but please, please, please don’t suffer alone.
You are worth recovery. You are worth loving. You are worth more than what you tell yourself. You are worth today & tomorrow & the next day & the next… You are worthy of a future & you are worthy of happiness, whatever that may look like.
Remember, you’ve survived 100% of your worst days & I have faith your best days are yet to come.
Stay safe, stay sane.
You are not alone.