I remember a time where I was in such deep depression that I couldn’t see the light. Everything was dark and black. I couldn’t eat, sleep, or think. I felt like I was a prisoner in my own reality. My mind was foggy and I lost my will power to do many things. My mother would have to remind me to eat, my friends would tell me to take deep breaths, my coworkers would tell me to smile, and I had to fake everything. I was a total mess and in some ways I still am.
I’m in recovery right now. I’m taking care of myself and learning to love myself. I’m learning to eat when I’m supposed to, go to the gym, and study harder. I’m learning how to survive again and that takes a lot of work. I still have those days where I just want to be a hermit and camp in my bed. Some days, I don’t want to deal with people and I just cry instead thinking I’m the worst person on earth. I overthink and that’s my problem.
I think that my closest friends hate me, that my coworkers think I’m annoying, that customers think I’m a mess, and that I’m a disappointment to my family. All my deepest insecurities and fears resurface to consume me in the moment of stress and anxiety. I tense up, swallow back the tears, and disassociate myself from the world. I blank out and pretend I’m not there. I’m like a zombie unable to function but still being able to move to complete my work and get up the next morning. It’s pathetic and miserable.
I was in that zombie state for a long time. For almost a year, I wasn’t myself. I feel guilty in looking back at the person I was during that dark period. I’m sad that I caused my family and friends so much grief. They worried about me too much and it was mostly my fault. In a lot of ways, I just gave up on myself. I still did good enough to pass my classes with okay grades and go to work, but I was a mess. I’m ashamed that I let depression take over the best parts of my life.
After going through the darkness of the illness, I see how I can change to be a better person. Somehow, I found the will to live again. Even though my negative thoughts still try to seep in, I battle those demons. I listen to jazz, go to the gym, and hang out with friends. I’m so grateful I have family and friends who love me. So grateful they were there for me. I couldn’t thank them enough.
I’m still not fully healed yet. However, I know I’m in a much better place now than I was last year. Without support from my friends and family, I wouldn’t be here. They helped to find the light. They taught me to be braver than myself.
Being brave enough to smile, think positively, and smile generously. They are the reason I’m still here. They taught me to be a victor instead of my own victim.
That’s how I know who are my true friends and family.
For those still struggling with depression or anxiety, always know there’s hope. Never isolate yourself or feel guilty for your feelings. You’re beautiful and deserve to be heard. Get help and have plenty of loving people around you.
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own.
And you know what you know.
And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go….
Dr. Seuss, Oh! The Places You’ll Go!
Britany Elayne (and my BUNNY)