I’ve had depression since I was 12 years old. Probably even longer. Some people may not think so, but to me it was crippling. I was 12 years old and I barely could look past the next day. What’s even worse was that sometimes I didn’t want to. I wanted to die and be gone from this earth, my own head not able to push through.
I was 12. A child, who should have been experimenting with lip gloss or having fun sleepovers, looking forward to school dances but I didn’t. I was more caught up in my own head thinking about what a burden I was to my friends, and slowly I didn’t have any. I was alone and depressed and the world wasn’t in color. I was losing motivation to leave my room or the living room couch, not wanting to do anything I loved. My depression and at this point in my life, the bullying I was going through at that point had only made it worse.
Every day wasn’t a terrible one where I cried in my room for hours. There were days where I laughed at funny pictures. I would smile at interactions I would see and be excited about little things. But at the end of the day my sadness overshadowed it all, I would feel worthless more often than not and I couldn’t get out of the deep hole I had been submerged in. Depression had overtaken my life and made it seem like the only reality.
And then I had made a tumblr account, and I found people who felt the same as me. People who related with the sad and often cryptic quotes on pictures, people who would write about how awful they felt to be living and I agreed. I was 12, going on 13, and I agreed.
I agreed that it felt awful to be alive.
Being online in that environment made it worse. Tons of people felt that way and weren’t trying to get better, didn’t care. So it turned into my own attitude. I became comfortable with being sad and miserable because it was a constant. It was something that didn’t go away like the happiness I would see in little bursts that pushed through that ugly cloud. People would make it seem romantic to be depressed and fall in love, made it seem cool to have these awful visions of yourself, some even encouraging those feelings, encouraging isolation and wallowing. They romanticized toxic thoughts about suicide and somehow tried to make it beautiful.
But it isn’t.
It isn’t beautiful when your chest hurts and your eyes are swollen, your head is pounding from sobbing for hours. It isn’t beautiful to feel so awful about yourself that you want to die, that you crave hurting yourself or sleeping for an entire day. It isn’t beautiful when you don’t want to wake up. It isn’t beautiful to constantly feel as if everyone is hating you and that you’re a burden on everyone you meet. It isn’t beautiful to lose motivation for things you once loved, letting them collect dust while you feel yourself slowly crack into pieces. It sure as hell is not beautiful when you try to end your life and your whole family is hurting because they almost couldn’t do a thing to help, to have you little brother sleep next to you because he’s scared that when he wakes up you’re going to be gone. Depression isn’t fair, it isn’t fair to have a 12 year old want to take their own life before it had even begun.
Depression is not beautiful.
But getting through it. Recovery and healing are absolutely stunning. The realization that you laughed more than you cried that day, the slightest bit of happiness that you can feel fighting its way out of that disgusting cloud. Picking up your old hobbies you spent hours doing, feeling motivated to go outside and even get out of bed are relieving. Feeling yourself slowly climb up the dark hole you were stuck in for so long and actually take the time to realize that you are worthy of that little bit of happiness and those smiles you felt like you’d never have again- that’s one of the most beautiful things in the world.
I am 18, and I still have depression. There are days and weeks where I feel little to no motivation but the difference is, I am fighting it. I am healing still, and maybe this battle isn’t one with a near end in sight but I am not going to stop fighting it. Depression is ugly, but finding your strength, learning, healing, trying to overcome is incredible.