I spent most of my days inside my room, with the four walls of it giving me a version of the world where I could unmask the entire pretense and drown in wretchedness without anyone watching and judging me.
These are the lessons I’ve learned from experiencing depression:
1. There is a time for everything.
We do not live in movies where we can skip the bad parts and fast forward to the good ones. We need to spend some time journeying through the darkness to find the way out. There is a time for suffering and there is a time for healing. Be patient, you’ll be okay at the right time.
2. Living life to the fullest requires bad experiences.
We need bad experiences to completely taste life. Life offers many things and if you want to seize that one life you’ve got, you also need to take the negatives. You need to live every aspect of life and see the bigger picture in order to understand life itself and genuinely enjoy it, and that includes submerging yourself to the depths of sadness, brokenness, and misery. A rollercoaster ride would not be fun if it’s only ups and never downs.
3. Writing is a good cure.
We get tired with unceasing sadness and pain. You want a place to breathe but you are afraid to go out from the four walls of your room. Writing is a good alternative. Express the darkness with pen and paper. Write until you are empty of the negative thoughts. Write until you feel free from the chains of misery. Writing has been the best catharsis for me and it might work for you too.
4. Fear and courage can co-exist.
Depression came into our lives along with anxiety. There were always voices inside our heads telling us “You can’t make it. Don’t even try.” or “Something bad will happen.” and we let them have control over us. There was always a constant unreasonable fear inside us and it made us scared of doing anything; it stopped us from living normally. It stopped us from living until the same fear that crippled us forced us to stand and be courageous.
Everyone’s moving forward while you are stuck there with anxiety, pulling you back. And that idea terrified you the most. You begin to be brave again and you accept that fear will always be there, that no matter how hard you try, you will never completely eradicate it. You learn to live with it. You just know now that you are bigger than your thoughts.
5. You are a precious being.
We feel extremely frustrated at times so we look for things to distract ourselves from our suffering. And we find self-harm. And we do it. We see it as a way to cope perhaps because we feel worthless. You may be at your lowest now but you are not worthless.
You have friends and families whose lives will be totally different with your absence. You have people who loves you and would do everything to protect you. You have people who truly value you. And I, a stranger, values you too. Whatever you are going through right now, the fact that you are a precious being will never change. You are important and the world needs you.
6. Sometimes we pick our battles, sometimes battles pick us.
We pick the fight we know we can win. We make the choice but sometimes we simply can not. We are given challenges which we do not want at the first place and we often ask this question: Why me? When God sees that we are strong enough to overcome a crisis, He gives it to us. Keep in mind that the hardest battles are being given to the best warriors.
7. You can stand alone.
There are wars we must face alone to discover the strength and courage which we often don’t know we have. There are wars we must survive alone to know our greatest potentials and uncover the realities of ourselves. We go through the worst things and people do not always understand. Even our love ones do not always understand our struggles. We feel like we need someone to save us from the misery.
We feel like we need a hand to pull us up from drowning. We feel like we need shoulders to guide us while walking along the seemingly unending labyrinth of hopelessness. Sometimes, there isn’t anyone, any hand, or any shoulders available. You seek refuge in the presence of another person but sometimes you, yourself, are the refuge. You can stand alone but
8. You are not alone.
I am here. And there are people out there who also share the same story with you.