I have struggled with depression and anxiety for years, I've always felt as though the little light inside of me shined dimmer than everyone else's. No matter what I did I thought that I was never good enough, pretty enough, skinny enough, or smart enough. In high school I hadn't noticed how bad my depression really was because I assumed that it was all just teenage angst...Now, as I move into adulthood my tiny insecurities have become a venomous part in my life. I went from being an active member of my college's student body to taking a semester off and alienating myself from people who really cared about me. I didn't want to eat, I couldn't go to class, let alone get out of bed. My GPA was now almost as low as my self confidence. I didn't eat, sleep, shower, or go to class. I could barely even get out of bed.
I didn't want to kill myself, but I also didn't want to really exist. I let myself drown begging for someone else to notice. I didn't want people to feel sorry for me, but I did want someone to notice or care.
This isn't meant to be a sob story...it's about a recovery. A month ago I was drowning in self doubt and bad habits, but everyday I'm closer and closer to finding my happiness.
How I made my depression my bitch:
Accept that YOU are the problem.
A lot of the time I tried to find ways into blaming other people or outside forces for how I felt about myself or my situation. Very woe is me, the world is against me, God must hate me mentality. When in all actuality the common factor in my troubles was me. I didn't save money, so I struggled each month with rent. I didn't want to ask for help when I needed it...All the things I dealt with alone could have been made easier if I had used any of my resources. Once I realized I was the problem I realized that I could change my bad habits for the better.
Easier said than done, I know. All of my life I've hated myself. I surrounded myself with people who I really didn't enjoy just to avoid being alone with my thoughts or myself. Over the course of the summer I began going on me-dates. I would go out on my own and do something that I truly enjoyed, whether that be getting books from the local library, seeing a movie, going to a record shop, skate boarding or going for a walk. I found myself out of my room and into the world. I was able to figure out more about myself as a person by doing this. I found things that truly make me happy. Fall in love with yourself before you try to fall in love with someone else. A relationship won't cure your depression, it will simply cause your to define your self worth through how someone else sees you.
Find a positive way to express your feelings.
If you're having a horrible day, write a list of things that went right that day, or a list of things that make you happy. Make a playlist of motivating songs to help you get through it. I used to listen to sad music and choke on tears, writing about everything wrong in my life while ignoring all the good.
Get out of the house.
Stop ignoring text from your friends and family. If someone invites you out...you don't have to say yes but you shouldn't always say no. Your depression is going to tell you to stay in bed and to call into work and ignore every notification on your phone, but take a chance and do the opposite.
Talk to someone.
At the end of the day, I'm not a doctor and reading articles aren't always enough. Nobody's depression is the same and some cases are different than others. Sometimes crying it out while holding a therapy dog is just what the doctor ordered. Chat rooms and hotline resources are available online. Be the best you that you can be.
Disclaimer: This is more of a letter and a personal reminder to myself that I am enough, and if someone reads this and identifies with it then that's amazing.