When I was 14, I made the decision to end it all. And failed.
I know, I just punched you in the face with that, but bear with me.
For most of my childhood, I was a prime target for hurtful words from hurtful kids. If there was any flaw that they could find about me, they made fun of it. A lot of the time, I didn’t feel comfortable explaining these things to adults around me. I felt like they wouldn’t understand how I felt and why I was so upset about it. So I just stayed silent, trapping myself in the room in my brain that kept everything bottled up. I did this for eight years of my life.
Back to the beginning of this story, I made that decision and failed (I won’t go into detail for triggering purposes, but you get the idea). I walked around feeling like I couldn’t succeed in anything because I didn’t succeed in that until I went to my high school counselor, and she turned everything around for me. I told her all that I felt from childhood to that point, and she understood all my feelings. She gave me different strategies to cope, which helped me know that what I was feeling was okay and in some way, helped me know I wasn’t alone. I carried these through to my adult years, and have been feeling great since.
Here are a few things I’ve learned over the years that may help you through tough times.
It’s okay to not be okay.
Walking around with your emotions bottled up and putting a smile on doesn’t work all the time for those battling depression. Sometimes, it’s good to understand that you are not okay, and that’s okay. You shouldn’t be afraid to feel because, truthfully, that’s what makes the world go around. All emotions are normal.
Talk to someone.
It helps to find someone you trust and let them know what’s going on. Even if they are not able to help you, they can point you in a direction of someone who can help.
Got a hobby? Do it!
Keep your mind busy! Idle minds fester a lot of thoughts. For depressed people, they are unhealthy thoughts. If you have an activity that you love to do, get in the habit of doing it, whether it be writing, drawing, reading, cooking, etc.
Surround yourself with positive peers.
At any stage in life, we base our personalities on those we interact with. The key is finding those people who do well for themselves. We emulate them by knowing that if they can do something productive or positive, we can do it too. People with negative outlooks will doubt you and complain about their own situations, which in turn puts you in a bad mood and that’s a big no-no!
Practice self-love and not self-hate.
We tend to believe our bullies. When they don’t like something about us, we start to not not like it. Then we find something else we don’t like, and another, and the cycle continues. Take some time to look at your “flaws” and tell yourself you love them. Tell yourself you are beautiful, you are worth living this life that was granted to you. YOU ARE WORTH IT!
These few tips seem small, but they make a whole world of difference in attitude and the way you perceive yourself. Please know, you will have your bad days, but feeling better is all in how you choose to get through the tough days. Go on and conquer your life!