Mental Illness is not clean. It is not simple. It’s creative and likes to hold all of the power. It changes the way you think, behave, perceive the outside world and therefore changes one’s self efficacy. The most important thing for those to know who are going through mental illness battles is that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
I was diagnosed with depression two years ago. I went through a spectrum of aids from the health system; from a clinical counsellor, to my GP, psychiatrist and a therapist within mental health I have come out the strong woman I am today (or at least I try to be). Depression creates a dialogue in a person’s life and takes over the narratives. It chooses the way you think, creates insecurities and a sense of forever loneliness that you, in those bad states, feel you will forever be buried in. I remember telling my family for the first time about what I had discovered, and I clearly remember the feelings I had, and the mental state I was in when I said, “There’s no way I will get through this”. I was so far gone that I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I was so stubbornly convinced that depression was now my life, forever. Well, I am here to advocate for all individuals who have ever experienced depression that you WILL GET THROUGH THIS. I strongly believe that we are given the life we are strong enough to live, and I am more than accepting of my illness. Depression took over my life for a long time, but it no longer holds that power. I embrace my illness because it has enabled me to begin creating the life I want, and the person I want to be in this world. I have a new perception of life, and the environment I live in. I view and treat my relationships differently, and have a kind approach in how I view myself. Depression does not go away. You get stronger. You learn new habits. You learn how to accept things for how they are in certain moments, you create a plan, and move on in a way that positively helps you grow. This has been a hard muscle for me to build because I had depression for nearly 6 years before I got help. But I did, and so can all of you out there who are reading this, thinking that you are worthless, and don’t deserve to get better. YES YOU DO.
I was in a new relationship when I decided to fight the sadness, and I waited a while before I had the courage to share this with him. I feared losing him, because I felt like I wasn’t good enough to hold onto. Though at first he was confused as to what exactly depression was, because I had always portrayed a happy outgoing version of myself, he was unsure what it meant. I often found him researching articles online trying to educate himself on depression and how he could help. He turned out to be the biggest support for my mental health. I was pleasantly surprised, and once again the voices that depression had created in my head, were proven wrong. I’m lucky to have had an amazing family and close friends for support throughout the entire process.
Never feel alone in life no matter what you are going through. Life throws us many curve balls, but you have the strength inside of you to push through it, you just have to find it.
Until next time,