I am assuming you are young
But you are not the only one to go through this. Abraham Lincoln would fall into depressions so deep he would close every curtain in the White House and lie in his bed in the darkness until he could function again.
Many brilliant people have suffered through this disease that eats away at you from the inside, like a worm rotting a peach.
Please remember you are not alone. That these depressions may be a part of you that as you age will become as familiar as your childhood pillow.
But it helps to have someone who listens. So yes, please confide. In your journal, in your friends, in your parents. You may need help, as depression is a dark ocean with a strong undertow. Tell someone to help pull you out.
But remember, always remember, that you are not the only one to have swum through this darkness. And you will make it through.
There Is No Book
Life for just about every human being would have been much easier if we were born with a book about what to expect out of life with rules to guide us. However, that never happens to any of us.
We get faced with so many events in life that it is difficult to determine what is and what isn’t in our best interest. We get pulled from so many different directions. Parents say one thing, teachers another, and then there are the friends we make we grow up with. They all have conflicting ideas of what you should say or do, and this leaves your head spinning, not knowing if you really made the right choices for you, not for them, and oft times, that’s where we mess up in our youth.
Trying to please others, and forgetting about our self. Our own individuality.
Growing up, every child says they want to be this or that (fireman, policeman, doctor, nurse, etc), and with each passing year, it changes. Why? Because other influences cause you to doubt your own abilities.
It is one thing to listen to advice, it is an altogether different mode if you take that advice just because they are a parent, teacher, or friend, without thinking it through first.
I guess what I am saying is that when you were born, you were im printed in life to be your own person. No one has the same fingerprints as you, the same identical brain, the same beating heart. Hence, you are a unique human being.
What I am about to tell you, I haven’t relayed here on Prose, and less than four people know what happened, I think, in the year 1971.
I was 24 then. Young, fairly good-looking, didn’t have a worry in the world, or so I thought. But I was also one of those people that felt he had to “hang” with certain people. Mind you, not bad people, but more the in-crowd so I could feel like I belonged.
It was a Friday night, drinking, laughing, carrying on, and had been dating an attractive woman at the time. Can’t tell you when, but sometime during that get together, my mind went somewhere else. It was as if a realness settled over me.
I looked around the room and saw people, a place, where I realized I didn’t belong. And if I didn’t belong there, where did I belong? I had no answer.
The party was at my girlfriend’s house. I knew her place well. So well in fact, I went to her bedroom, opened a dresser drawer and pulled out a snub-nose .32 and sat on her bed. I cocked the hammer back and raised it to my head. I had every intention to end my life right then and there.
The girl I had been seeing stepped in just as I raised the gun and screamed. I saw the look of both panic and fear etched over her face. And here’s the thing. Seeing her like that, made me realize, death wasn’t the answer. The answer for me was on her face.
Inwardly, I had been afraid of going my own way. I talked a good talk but never followed through because I believed I would fail. And I also knew that if I was put in a drastic situation, I wouldn’t know how to react and that is panic.
But seeing the look on her face made me understand I could. I could be the person I wanted to be, not what she wanted, not what my friends wanted or my parents for that matter. Life changed for me in that split-second.
And that is the bottom line. It only takes a second to decide when and where you want to go in life, and I mean really go. To become. To be.
As to telling your parents ... just tell them. If they are good people who love you and support you, just talk to them on a level they can understand. Remember, even your parents went through some hell growing up. All parents do. It’s part of life’s process.
The good cannot succeed without the bad and the sad can’t survive without the glad, and love cannot live without the hate. There will always be a wall put before us. Once it is torn down, you can move on to another part of your life that will work for just you and you alone.
I can’t say your life will be fine as you get older, or that all your dreams will come true. But I can say that life is worth living just so you can create your own adventure throughout life, knowing you are your own person. Good, bad, or indifferent.
Do the best you can. It’s all any of us can do. Just never forget who YOU are and who YOU want to be.
Lastly, if you believe in God, and His power, what better friend could you ask for.
(The above quote in the picture is from Psalm 62:7.)
Do you have a good relationship with your parents? I gather by your profile that you are around 17? If so, and I know I am thinking like a mother because I am one, go to your parents immediately and tell them how you feel. They are your first line of defense and if they are supportive parents, they will get you the help you need. As far as how you should go about telling them, just be honest. If it is too difficult to verbalize, write a note.
If you do not have supportive parents, seek help from another responsible adult, perhaps a grandparent or a teacher, or a hotline if you prefer to remain anonymous.
Not to over simplify, but have you ever felt this way before? If you have, remind yourself that you got past these dismal feelings once before and you can and will do it again.
If you have not, remind yourself that there are so many others that have experienced the same dreadful mental state and have overcome their desperation with help, so you can too.
You are not alone in this battle we call life. I could get specific about my own journey, but I’d rather just implore you to seek immediate help from a trusted person.
Help is out there, but you need to ask for it!
Here is a link to a bit of psychology that may or may not help you with your thoughts:
God wrote of eternity
and placed it in our hearts
perfect love that drives out fear
a light within the dark
So enemies of his and ours
distort the truth and fire
shadows formed in silence
twisting heavenly desires
The longing for security
beyond the other side
where all the evil, pain, and tears
are washed in crimson tides
Will always be a part of us
as long as time remains
but, sanctified, each thought we have
yields grace in Jesus’ name
The power over each deceit
a plumbline to his throne
where every lie meets its defeat
until he calls us home
From Someone Who Has Been There
Hey there, friendo-
I’ve dealt with depression for most of my life. I grew up with a physically absent father, a mentally absent mother, and have experienced sexual abuse, mental abuse, and one of my relationships began to teeter into physical abuse before I finally ended things. I used to cut myself, and attempted suicide at 13, which resulted in a 4 day mental hospital stay. My senior year of high school, I became obsessed with thoughts of the world ending, of the fact that I or anyone I love could die at any point, and what my purpose was in the world, if I had any purpose at all. That loop got me stuck in an existential crisis that lasted for almost two years. After I went through a traumatic premature labor and delivery in April of this year (followed by my daughter being in the NICU for two months), I experienced postpartum depression, which was some of the most intense hopelessness I’ve ever experienced, and sent me back to a state of mind I hadn’t been in for a very long time. Having said all of that, here’s my advice for you. This is going to be a lengthy post, but on this matter, I refuse to leave any stone unturned.
-Be honest, not just with yourself, but with the people around you.
*Chances are, the people who love you will want to know that you’re hurting, even if it is an uncomfortable subject. And truth be told, there’s no easy or “right” way to bring it up. You just kind of have to do it, which can be easier said than done when you’re feeling so vulnerable.
-Don’t fret about being a burden or people pitying you.
*Loving relationships are built upon support for one another, and if someone claims to love you but cannot be there for you during your dark times, then they’re not someone who should be an active force in your life. Tumultous times reveal the true nature of people. Though that may seem disheartening, the removal of toxic or unsupportive people in your life makes way for better things and better people. I think of it like this: you can’t swim to the surface with dead weight tied to your ankles.
-It’s okay to not be okay.
*This is such a tired platitude, I know, but I believe some things are cliche for a reason. Mental health does have a stigma surrounding it, but I think that comes from people who are afraid of finding a crack in their rose colored glasses. Toxic positivity is pervasive, with mantras of “good vibes only” slapped across a million vapid social media posts, but it’s okay to not always be positive. There is a duality to all things, and there is a great power in not just acknowledging your shadow side, but also learning how to work with it. In order to defeat your demons, you must face them first.
-People will not always know what to say.
*Depression is a tricky subject, and people who have never truly experienced it often don’t know how to react. Don’t hold it against them. Sometimes, their reaction may come from a lack of understanding as to how they should deal with their own pain. Also, the reality is that on occasion people will say “call me if you need anything”, “I’m always here for you”, etc. but won’t be able to handle a major depressive episode or a frantic call at 4 AM. Do NOT let that discourage you from reaching out to people. It is painful to reach out emotionally to someone and feel like you’ve met a brick wall, but there really are people who will want to support you and will try to do so in any way that they can.
-Do NOT let anyone tell YOU how YOU feel.
*When I was in the mental hospital, they decided after 3 days that I was ready to go home, but I insisted I was not. They essentially bullied me into going home, and once I returned, the depression returned. When my dad came back into my life, I was understandably happy, and the mental health counselor I’d been seeing then labeled my depression as situational and decided that I no longer needed care, despite the fact that I’d attempted suicide just months prior. Once the high of my father coming back wore off, I was left with a lot of questions and unresolved pain and fell back into a deep depression. I don’t tell you these stories to discourage you from seeking help; I mention these because of how much I wished that I had been more assertive in telling them what I needed. I knew that I was not okay, despite how things may have looked on the outside and sometimes I wonder how things would have turned out had I been more demanding of my needs.
-Don’t be afraid to seek help, in whatever form it may take.
*I have remained unmedicated my entire life and haven’t seen a therapist since I was about 14. I’ve managed to make it through on my own devices, and with the support of loved ones, but that is not something that I would necessarily recommend to people. I did not grow up with a lot of money and didn’t have health insurance, and so I pretty much had to work through it all by the grit of my teeth. My mother, however, has been on medication for a long time, and I have many friends who have made the extra effort to get therapy, and this has worked out very well for them. So by all means, have no fear or shame in asking for help, whether that is from your loved ones or from a professional.
-Find an outlet.
*There are many ways to channel your pain. For some, it is physical- going on walks, working out, etc. For others, it’s more mental-writing, talking, creative expression. I honestly believe that writing saved my life. Were I not able to express myself in such a raw and fluid way, my depression probably would have eaten me alive. Looking through my old notebooks can be really hard because of how dark some of the writing is, but I am grateful to have them to reflect on. I’ve also made a promise to myself to do a daily yoga routine, even if it’s only for 10 minutes. And sometimes, through these outlets, we are able to find a release or reach an epiphany, something that may not have happened if we allow ourselves to do nothing but sit in silence and stay steeped in our despair.
-Be wary of relying on crutches.
*When you're in a deep depression and something feels so good that it distracts you from your thoughts, it is ridiculously easy to begin to rely on that thing to make you feel better. Sometimes we project our feelings onto others and expect them to be some sort of savior for us, and other times, we try to search for meaning in one night stands or at the bottom of bottles and powdery baggies. At the end of all things, your vices may numb the pain for a bit, but it will return, and if you don't break the cycle, you end up chasing the high until you burn out and hit rock bottom.
-Take a look at your environment and your routine.
*Your surroundings make a huge difference. Growing up, my mom was a super depressed hoarder and so was I, and our apartment was constantly in chaos. As an adult, I learned just how great of an impact that keeping a maintained space can have. It also helps lend a sense of control to your life. If you have a wildly unscheduled life, try devoting a portion of your time to a personal ritual, whatever that may be, at the same time every day/week/month, whatever works for you. If your life is unyeildingly rigid, find a way to break up the monotony, even if you can only dedicate a small amount of time to whatever that may be.
-Life has the purpose that you choose to give it.
*After that two year long existential crisis, this is the conclusion I came to. I view existence as a very neutral thing, something that just is with no real rhyme or reason to it. Though that sounds depressing on the outside looking in, I believe that it offers a canvas in which you are free to paint whatever you’d like. You cannot change the entirety of the world, you cannot change things that are ultimately out of your control, but there ARE things that you do have control over and it is your duty to yourself to create beauty in your life, especially if you feel there is no beauty to be found around you. The only way to turn a dying patch of grass into a beautiful garden is to plant seeds and then water them. It is not an overnight process, but most things worth having are not. You might not be able to renovate the whole neighborhood, but taking care of your own lawn is certainly a start.
-Don’t run from your trauma.
*As I mentioned earlier, the only way to defeat your demons is to face them. I would argue that constantly living in your trauma is just as damaging as ignoring it, and that it’s perfectly fine to take a step back and distract yourself here and there, but don’t repress these things. They will always find a way to rear their heads, and if it’s not in a controlled situation, it can be really volatile and ultimately detrimental. It’s like when you get food poisioning and have to throw up- vomiting is an incredibly unpleasant experience but it is what needs to be done in order for your body to purge and begin the healing process.
-You are not your mental illness.
*Your mental illness is a part of you, but at the end of it all, you are a whole person who is deserving of peace, happiness, and love. You are not defined solely by your trauma or your pain, it is just a part of the bigger picture that is your human experience.
-There is no such thing as an overnight fix.
*Healing is a journey, not an event. You have to work at it, and I’m not going to tell you that it’s easy, but that it does get easier. I would say that as of right now, I’m the most emotionally balanced that I’ve ever been, but setbacks are not unusual nor are they something to be ashamed of. Acknowledge what’s happening, try to find the indicators of when you’re starting to spiral and create a sort of checklist to help yourself and your loved ones know that something’s up. For me, the biggest indicators that I’m falling into a depressive episode are a lack of interest in writing/research, being irritable/on edge, and appearing mentally vacant in my interactions with other people. During my postpartum depression, my husband mentioned these things to me and it was the wake-up call I needed to try to pull myself out for the sake of my daughter, my marriage, and my mental health.
This is all the advice that I can think of to give. I may come back to this post later and add something, but that is no guarantee. Either way, I hope this helps and wish you the best.
Creation is your Gift.
No matter how many years you add
To the circles of bark,
Or how many seasons you spend,
Working for another human being
Who doesn’t see you for your passions,
Something that will always wait within you,
Until the day you ask for its hand again,
Will be your power to create.
This gift will never,
As you wade through the greys and blues of the days,
You must nurture this flame,
And let the colours explode
Into one massive splash of imagination
That is what will get you through the routine, It is your mind
And your power,
- Lady Bell
In these times, it is quite understandable that you feel this way. But these times were actually predicted. We were told that this would happen. It was prophesized that there will be absolute desperation for peace, multitudes will scream for freedom! But...the thing is, freedom, peace, hope and all of it, will never, ever, be found through these objects and ways of lifestyle that we count on. Whether, subconciously or conciously, every single person at one point, counts on materialistic things for a glimpse of peace and hope and so forth. Every. Single. Person.
If you place that trust and faith, in something that can vanish and be destroyed, your hope will falter to destruction, you will be chained by your loss of direction and the lack of peace. Be careful with what you count on, even the people.
This world is horrible. It always has been. But it doesn't mean there isn't good left. See, you possess the ability to turn to a writing site and have several strangers, offer up advice out of care, despite not knowing you at all. There's an example of the good left..
Life is never easy, and if it was, we'd live forever. But life is never completely made up of the bad. I mean, at one point, you didn't feel this way, you didn't feel this pain and sense of hopelessness. So I say to you, there will be another point in your life, where you don't feel this way and I'm certain and faithful, that it will last much longer than any pain you face. And it will, but it takes a fight from you, it takes courage and faith, from you.
God is always there, even if you have disbelief.
[Not forcing my beliefs, you have the right to believe whatever you wish, and besides, my advice still stands as worthy, I'm sure, even to non-believers]
First I want to tell you that you are valid, and you deserve love, and you are so brave and strong to have made it this far. You are not messed-up; no one is. You are only you, and you are trying your best, and that is beautiful.
I know that the world can be a horrible place. The same thoughts you expressed in your post have plagued my own mind as well, and I know it’s so hard to ignore them. I know that sometimes each moment is a fight.
I’ve found it helpful to write down a list- reasons to be happy. Sometimes, I know, we make lists in our heads of just the opposite. Try thinking instead about how the rain feels on your skin, how light appears red and warm against your closed eyelids, the way it looks when someone you love smiles at you. The reasons don’t have to be big. They don’t have to feel important to anyone but you. If they make you feel happy, even for just a second, then they’re valid. There is no reason too small or insignificant if it makes you want to stay alive. If you’re still alive because there are cookies in the oven and you want to taste one, great! If you’re still alive because you’re petting a cat who won’t stop purring and who would be sad if you stopped petting him, great! If you’re still alive because you’re reading this letter and you want to get to the end, great! Seriously, no reason is stupid if it’s keeping you alive.
Please tell your parents or someone else you can trust (a doctor, a teacher, an adult relative, somebody) that you are going through this. Please. You deserve to get help, and you deserve to survive in this world. No, not survive. You deserve to thrive. You deserve happiness just as much as anyone else does. No one is going to think you’re a burden for trusting them with this. They’re only going to be thankful that you did, that you knew that you could ask for help. Counselors and people who love you can really help.
I don’t know you, but I just think you’re so brave for even posting this, and I want you to know that the world is getting better. There is so much hope. Some people do bad things, but most people know that the world can be better and are helping to make it that way.
I’m sending virtual hugs your way, and I hope everything gets better for you, because it can. Really.
Love and hugs <3
Someone loves you than you could ever love yourself❤
I am fourteen,I may be too young to truly understand you but I can come from my angle.
I am an introvert,I never ever open up not even to my parents.I rarely have a conversation with anybody not because I was proud but because I believed that I really didn't matter.You could strangle me and I won't say anything because I believed my life wasn't worth anything. I used to envy others and say 'Why am I so different?'
Anytime I have a good day I would cry throughout the night because I didn't want to go back to being terrible and hopeless.I continued that way,every night I cried myself to sleep because I felt so useless and lonely. When I got to grade 7,I started talking to people not because I changed my orientation but because 1 didn't want to look so different.I never really said what was going through my mind I only said what they wanted me to say.I never let anyone too close for comfort. I thought about suicide but I couldn't afford to suffer in hell for taking human life even if it was mine. Anytime I hold a knife I feel afraid of myself cause I knew what I really wanted.When I got to grade 11,I started walking with a girl. I had lost who I really was but I started to like her like really like her. If she is sick I would feel like my heart was tearing,I couldnt bear to see her in tears. I started feeling human with true emotions.I had started to value my life because I had someone who loved me. Everyone in the school knew us together but one day it started heading south. She started to think she was better than me. One time she called me a thief. I became more foolish than I was before. I closed up but I still deeply cared for her. The moment she abused my family I knew she had crossed the line.I never deeply cared for my family but I couldn't stand someone thinking less of them. I had become too used to silence that my silence was eating me up. I wanted to say so much to her but I couldn't because I felt I wasn't worth it. My silence started to get the best of me and I fell into depression.I felt the urge stronger than ever to take my life.
One day I read Genesis 1. I loved nature so I was just curious to how it came to exist,then I came across Genesis 1:26. The creator of the mesmerizing sky,trees,waters, animals saw me worthy than all he had created to be created in his image. I felt so loved and I said to myself 'If he who made me loves me why should I the creation hate myself. Why should I care about the opinion of others who are less than my Maker'
I then never thought of killing myself because I didn't want to disappoint God who loves me so much but I still felt inferior. Then one day I thought of a life of only people like me in the world.It was so pathetic and pitiful. Then I said to myself ' God didn't create me alone in this world so I could see my worth becausebecause my difference is what makes me unique and special.
Your life is worth more than you could ever know. You don't need to feel insecure or worthless because your potter made you the perfect way.
Have you ever thought why we didn't come with a manual?
Because life with a manual is boring.
Just keep in mind that your life matters to someone up above and he loves you more than you could ever imagine.
I am not an open person so I can't say to tell people in your life or not.
But I really hope I helped you even just a teeny tiny little bit.
Isn't it amazing how many people care about you. Every person who takes time to respond to this challenge wants you to thrive. Right now a lot of folks are praying for you and wishing with all their hearts that they might find the right words to make a difference in your life.
For me, God is the answer, and I've asked Him to be with you.