Mental illness sucks. That’s the simplest way to put it. No matter what aspect you deal with, I can pretty much guarantee that you wouldn’t wish it upon your worst enemy. There is such a stigma around mental illness, even now, and one of the worst things is that depression can be hard to explain.
Some symptoms can be so similar to everyday life that to people who aren’t aware of what you’re going through, it could just be passed off as a “bad day.” Which isn’t wrong; I mean, I do have “bad days,” but they’re completely different to that too. When I’m personally not having a good day, it’s like there’s this weight pressing down on me. The weight presses down on my mood and myself so far that no matter how hard I try to lift it, nothing works. All I do is wait for it to hopefully lift because it takes so much strength to do it myself, but it’s so heavy. I want to move it, and I try, but sometimes it won’t, no matter how hard I try.
If you know someone with depression and you’re trying to help them but they don’t seem to be cheering up or don’t seem any better, please don’t give up on them. I promise you it is working in some way; it just might not be entirely obvious. My friends and family give me so much support, and it does work, although it might take a while. I might not be “cured” or jumping around with happiness, but that doesn’t mean your support has gone unnoticed. If you’re there for the person, that’s all they’ll really need — just to know that even in their most insecure moments when they’re worried that their mind will push everyone they love away, that no matter what, you’ll stay.
I find it hard to talk about. Even at the doctor’s, it was much harder than I thought. I know this can be quite common too, and it’s something I’m working on. Talking can help. You don’t need to hide it away. It’s happening, and hiding it away won’t mean you’re not still going through it. You are, but it’s also a lot harder. I get scared and worried when talking about it, but I’m trying my best to change that, and I hope that you do too. Find strength within yourself because you’re probably stronger than you think.
It was scary to confirm that I had depression. I don’t know why, but it did shake me up a bit. However, living in fear of it is no good either. My other half told me when I was worrying that it was better to name it and then try my best to deal with it than to always live in fear of what it could be. He was entirely right. It’s scary to have things such as mental health issues confirmed, but if you know what it is, then you have the beginning of the means to fight it. Living in fear is never good, and living in fear of your own mind is terrifying. It doesn’t have to be that way always. The light at the end of the tunnel is there; just picture naming it as the first step on the train toward the light.
I can’t say I’m doing good at the moment, but I’m trying. I’m trying everyday, and I’m not giving up, no matter how much I want to. When I want to stay in bed all day because I don’t want to face the world, I try my best to get out and do something — even if that doing something is just getting dressed. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have bad days. In all truth, most of my days recently have been bad days, or are at least tinged with some bad. But I’m trying. That dark cloud is definitely still above me, and I am living in its darkness a lot. I will never stop trying to get into the light again.
Mental illness doesn’t define me or anyone else suffering from one. It’s awful, it’s tough, and it’s definitely not a walk in the park or something to be ignored. But it also isn’t the end of your life. It isn’t who you are, and it isn’t who you’re going to be for the rest of your life. I’m still learning to deal with it, and yes I can’t say I’m good at the moment, but I know I’m going to fight till the very moment where I might beat it — or at least learnt to cope with it.
For all the people who have depression: Your mind can make you feel so lonely, like no one understands or you don’t want to talk to people out of fear of burdening them or worrying them. But you’re never alone. They might not be with you, but there are so many people going through their own battles that, yes, are different to yours, but they’re also similar in ways that prove that you’re not alone in your battle.
Stay strong and never give up fighting.
Meggan Turner is a writer and a book lover at heart. She finds escape through writing down anything and everything she can think of, from reviews to advice pieces, and from reading to escape into someone else’s world. You can always find her with her nose in her book or a pen in her hand; it’s probably a good reason that she studies Journalism at University. Follow her at betweenthepages13.wordpress.