Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation. – Viktor Frankl
When they diagnosed me with Depression I felt as if I had an “impossible checklist” of things I had to do each day. I wanted to scream at all the easy tasks that now seemed unbearable to me.
People will tell you that exercise helps, and you should continue the effort in your social life. They may suggest therapy or anti-depressants.
You see, I’ve fought through Depression. When I think back to what I did in the past to get me to where I am now, none of those things are the first to enter my mind.
One Helpful Thing For When You Are Dealing With Depression
My response sounds simple, but it is not easy. I discovered that there is just one thing that you MUST do, and the rest will come as they please. To beat Depression, to see the light at the end of the tunnel, you must hang in there.
Now don’t roll your eyes, because I know how annoying it is to hear “it will get better” in your weakest place. I am not telling you what will happen. I am telling you what you should do in the present moment of your struggle, and here’s why:
My anxiety triggered my severe Depression. I felt as though life would be impossible for me if I were struggling to go about my day. I was struggling to get out of bed in the morning, or leave the house for school. I thought my life would always be like this, and it drove me into a deeper Depression.
I was taking out all my hatred with what was happening to me on myself. I blamed myself for things I could not always control. I was self-harming, but I thought I could stop. I thought I had control. I was so wrong. I came to the realization that my problem wasn’t being able to stop it was wanting to stop. I did not want to. I thought it was the only thing keeping me alive.
But after 6 months, I did stop. I celebrated it. “2 weeks with no self-harm”, and then “2 months with no self-harm.” I was proving to myself that I could conquer something if I just hung in there.
I’m stronger because of the hard times, wiser because of my mistakes, and happier because I have known sadness. – Unknown
There were many times, yet, that during my Depression I no longer wanted to hang in there. I didn’t see a future. In my mind, college was off the table… I wouldn’t see another Christmas, and I wouldn’t graduate high school.
I found myself sitting in a hospital room with no connection to the outside world. I was on my knees hyperventilating on the bed. Scared. I wanted to go home, I was ready to change, but it was too late and I couldn’t believe how I had gotten myself to this place.
That fear was so detriment to me that I believed the bottom I had reached, would just remain there.
But I waited, and I fought hard. I participated in group therapy; I tried to find a perspective from that experience. I needed to be there. I let go of the stigma and accepted that unfortunately, I did belong there, at that point in my life.
More time passed, and soon enough I was able to go home. I was overwhelmed and now terrified of the outside world after being in a safety net for so long. I was still struggling to believe I could do it.
It wasn’t until months later I was sitting in an organized row of chairs surrounded by my classmates in their caps and gowns, and I was one of them.
I reflected on the year I had. Tears, panic, harm, heartbreak, loss, hospitalization, and self-doubt. Now, I felt stronger than ever. I was accepting the past and the person it led me to become, and now I was going to graduate high school. I had never thought I would see that day.
Forcing myself to see friends, forcing myself to get out of bed, forcing myself to exercise, forcing myself to do the unpleasant, yet helpful things towards my health, were all part of it. Yet, I would not be here today if I hadn’t fought, bit my lip, inhaled and exhaled, and simply hung in there.
Our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world as being able to remake ourselves. – Ghandi
Depression is a difficult journey. I still struggle, and it is not something that will leave me that easy. Time will heal, pain is temporary, and happiness and pride will find you, even if it takes an uncomfortable amount of time to sit through it. At the end of the day, I am not ashamed of my past and the mistakes I had made. Every mistake still got me here. I am writing, I am sharing my story; I am dedicating my experience to serve a bigger purpose. There is that one thing you must do, and I can promise you it’ll be okay. It’s not easy, believe me, it’s hard, but trust my simple words of “hang in there, do not give up”, and you can see where life will take you. Progress – is a beautiful thing.