I have suffered with depression for about five years. In no way am I trying to belittle the struggle people face daily. However, I believe it’s important to acknowledge the few silver linings that do come from depression.
1. You know your emotions.
Though depression often comes in waves, sometimes you can feel it creeping up on you. You know precisely what you can and cannot handle, whether it’s a party or study session with your friend at the library. You know damn well when that anxiety is going to hit you and the sadness won’t be far behind it. Therefore, you can try to avoid most things that will set you off. The more you know about your emotions, the more you grow as a person. It takes some people most of their lives to fully figure out their emotions and feelings, and you’ve already got that down.
2. You find out who your real friends are.
When you’re feeling down and know that you can’t handle a huge rave right now, who is going to stay in bed with you and watch Netflix while you simultaneously eat a pint of ice cream and a large pizza? Those are the people you’re going to want to keep around. People who don’t want to stick around when you’re going through a rough patch because they “don’t want to see you like that” are not people that you need in your life. Though it might be hard to let those people go; it’s really important that you do. Life’s too short for friends who ditch you when you’re not too fun to be around.
3. It strengthens the real friendships.
Now that you know who your true friends are, you can only get closer. You’ll appreciate them all the more for sticking by you. When they’re going through their own hard times, you’ll be able to empathize and help them through it. Depression is a hard fight for people to understand if they haven’t been in the ring with it. If you have friends who are making an effort to understand you and what you’re going through, those are lifers. Remember that it’s okay to open up to them. If they’ve stuck by you this far, there’s nothing too deep or too dark that you can tell them that will scare them away. You can be there to remind them that you’ve gone through it, you’re going through it and you’re there, no matter what. Sometimes all we need to hear is that it’s going to be okay.
4. Your strength is overwhelming.
You’ve experienced more pain than most people will their entire life. You’ve been through the worst of the worst and made it through to the other side. Take a minute and remind yourself how strong and courageous you are. With that fortitude, you can overcome anything. There will be really bad days, that’s a guarantee. Just remember all those things you’ve survived that you never thought you could. You’re a warrior. Just remember, it’s going to be okay.