Depression taught me to live again

Last summer, my 2-year depression came to a head. I took myself to A&E and refused to leave, knowing that if I did, I would be all out of options with my suicidal depression.

Previously, therapists had sent me away, stating that my problems were above their pay grade. Yoga had been helpful to the extent that it gave me some extra likes on social media. Most of my friends were happy to go out of their way for me, but how could I expect them to help when I didn’t know what help I needed.

Two months of being in the system and seeing complete strangers care for me more than I did, and I finally had my break through. What got me here won’t get me to where I want to go.
My brain and body weren’t broken; they had managed to keep me alive thus far, even with my crippling depression.

Depression has been the most valuable gift I had ever received.

My body was letting me know that something was very wrong here, in the environment I had built for myself.

I didn’t want to die, I just did not want to live this life anymore.

On a July night that should have been like all others, I realised three things:

  1. 1. Being alone might feel good as I felt sheltered from rejection, but I wasn’t giving myself any new mental or spiritual input (yes, even with all the youtube videos I was watching).
    I was not going to grow or change in an echo chamber of my own thoughts.
    I needed other people to help guide me.

2. In order to fully assess whether I wanted to die, I needed to be sober and honest.
I had to be fully present in the moment and stop running from fear, guilt and shame. No more white lies to get out of commitments, no more cheeky drinks when I had a rough day. And to be fully honest, I had to give up all preconceived notions and ideas that I was clinging to. I had to be ready to accept my worst and darkest fears.

Surely, if I was brave enough to contemplate taking my own life, I was brave enough to be honest about my feelings.

3. In a never ending effort to find a distinctive difference between my abusers and I, I came to realise that I needed to be able to ask for help and mean it. It was fear of further damage that kept me isolated. But walls erected to keep me safe will also keep me starving. I had to accept to be uncomfortable and vulnerable in order to get better.

I’m happy to report that my self-harming thoughts seem to belong to a different person now.

While I still catch my internal monologue and depression slipping back into old pattern, I manage to correct myself without judgement. I’ve cut out people I kept in my life out of pity, guilt or convenience, allowing myself to be seen as a villain without despairing over it.

What other people think of me is none of my business. Finally, I have space to care about my own feelings and create art.

‘Once you get to know yourself and fall in love with what you see, you can’t help but laugh when someone tells you about what you ought to do.’

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