Your neighbor, your loved one, or even you could be silently suffering. When you try to explain the situation to others, they may “understand”, but do they truly? And do you truly want them to understand and know exactly what it feels like firsthand? Depression is an everyday struggle, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t hope for overcoming its binds. A friend of mine is battling this monster and I believe their words of wisdom should be spoken for those also enduring these traumatic thoughts and for those of us who simply want to help:
I write this letter looking back on the start. for nearly a decade, thoughts of death and hopelessness have relentlessly held onto who I am as a person. An outside person might think I have it made. And to the outside world, I do. But the thoughts that harass me are legitimate. People think that they have to have hardships to have encounters with you, and I would say I have had my fair share of hardships, but the fact is you strike when it’s least expected. When I’m happy with my friends. When I’m at a party. When I’m taking a test. When I want nothing more than to be happy. And that’s okay. I’ve come to realize that there’s no telling when, who, how, what or why you strike. Be friendly. Care about people. Love people. Depression is hard, incredibly hard, and there’s no set way to beat it. It’s not as simple as being “Brave” as Sara Bareilles suggests, or “Roar”ing like Katy Perry tells us, but there is a way to keep going and live life how you want to live it. One fact about life is that it’s full of choices. Even when it comes to you. I can’t choose to get rid of you and just wake up happy unfortunately. But I can choose to not let you get the best of me. I can choose to take the beatdowns I endure daily from you and stand back up and wait for your next blow. I can choose to battle all 12 rounds and give myself a fighting chance. You are strong, but I can be stronger. You are persistent, but I can be more persistent. You are a lot of things. But you are not me. I will not sit by idly while you take over every aspect of my life. I will get out there, I will drink coffee, read a book, make some friends, make someone’s day, let myself live. That’s one thing I have that you can not take away under my watch. I live, I breathe, I can keep going. You are in my head. I can beat you. I can live my life without you. Though it may take a while to get you out of my mind, each time I tell someone about you, a little piece of you goes away. Each time I open up and let people know I know what it’s like, your grasp on me weakens. Each time I wake up, choosing to smile, you are oh so close to forgotten. So cling to me all you want, through any hardship or pleasantry that you’d like, but I can promise you one thing. You won’t be able to hold on forever. I won’t let you.