This is the story of my battle with depression.
Elizabeth Gilbert once said: “When you’re lost in those woods, it sometimes takes you a while to realize that you are lost. For the longest time, you can convince yourself that you’ve just wandered off the path, that you’ll find your way back to the trailhead any moment now. Then night falls again and again, and you still have no idea where you are, and it’s time to admit that you have bewildered yourself so far off the path that you don’t even know from which direction the sun rises anymore.”
It initially started as a sadness. This sadness was not caused by a traumatic event. It started as a small, natural feeling of being overwhelmed.
I was overwhelmed because I hated school, I missed my family, and other attributing factors that planted the tumor of depression inside of my brain.
By justifying and forcing my feeling of sadness away, instead of addressing the emotions that were welling up inside of me, I allowed the tumor of depression to grow.
I disrespected the feeling of depression.
I convinced myself that my sadness was similar to a common cold. That time with no other action will cure me. I did not realize that depression is similar to a cancer.
It buries itself deep inside your mental, small and undetected. As time passes, it begins to grow. It feasts on the energy of your soul. You begin to lose the passion for work, study, communication, and for the severest of cases, life.
I could no longer bear the burden of my depression. The only activity I could participate in that would give me peace was sleep.
I didn’t want to wake up. The sad part is, I was much happier asleep. It was comparable to a reverse nightmare. When a person is asleep, they awake from a nightmare with relief. I woke up into a nightmare.
Eventually, I began to drag through the day which is impractical at a service academy. I began to make consistently poor decisions. I believe it was my subconscious crying out for help. All I wanted was a hand to reach down with a soft, gentle voice that let me know everything would be okay.
Instead, I received isolation. My peers blessed me with isolation rather than support.
Instead of feeling loved, I felt alone.
Yes, I had the love and support of my family, close friends, and girlfriend, but it was unfortunately not enough.
My overwhelming feeling of sadness, the conversion of perceived friends to acquaintances, and my constant flow of fuck-ups have outweighed their love.
I felt utterly alone. All I could see was darkness. Everything I would try to do, to lift me from the void of depression, would kick me right back into the void. I just could not seem to get out.
Light At The End Of The Tunnel
I would be constantly reminded and also remind myself that I am a failure, I am a disappointment, I am alone, I am a fuck up, I suck, and so on and so on until I broke myself into tears.
Right now, at this very moment, I am sincerely depressed, but in my trial through
If you are having a dark day, it’s okay. It’s okay to feel that darkness. It’s okay to think people don’t understand you because they don’t.
However, you do. You know darkness. You know evil. More important than that, you know good. You know light.
This darkness, this pain, was gifted to us by life. Life has put this immovable obstacle in front of us to make us stronger, to make us wiser, and to help us tap into one of the greatest virtues in humanity. Love.
We have to embrace and own our depression. There is no benefit in burying it deep inside of us. If anything, by burying it, we are giving our depression the perfect conditions to grow. We are giving depression the reins on our lives.
Right now, I am going to give you a phrase to read aloud. As you are reading this phrase aloud, know that I am reading it aloud with you. This battle, this fight is ours together.
Now repeat after me:
“In the end, everything will be okay. If it’s not okay, then it is not the end.”
That felt good right? Let’s say it again, but louder. I don’t care where you are and who is around you right now. Remember this is our battle. This is our fight to win together. Now let’s say it one more time:
“IN THE END, EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY. IF IT’S NOT OKAY, THEN IT IS NOT THE END.”
In school, we are taught a lesson and then we are given a test, but in life, we are given a test that teaches us a lesson. Our depression is our test. We must embrace it and learn from our situation no matter the severity.
Spring Will Come
Our depression is just a season and it will pass. It is a simple law of nature. Right now, we are stuck in winter. It is cold and it fucking sucks. We lose all hope because we feed ourselves the cyclical thought that we are stuck in our current situation, and we will never get out. Unfortunately, we have accepted that this winter will last forever. We will remain cold forever, but I am here to tell you that spring will come. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but one day, spring will come.
One day, we will feel the sun kiss our cheek with its golden rays. One day, we will feel more alive than we have ever felt in our entire lives because our darkness has helped us appreciate the true value of light.
Together, yes together, we will win this battle. I believe in us. We will conquer our depression.