One of the things I have come to realize in my struggle with mental health is that, at times, the reality your mind makes you believe you’re in might not really be the one you’re living in. Everything around you is shaped by your perception of it and, boy oh boy does, this make a big difference.
As they say, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.
For me, depression is a constant battle within myself. There are mornings when I wake up on top of the world. On such days I take notice of the little things. Comb my hair, iron my shirt straight, clean my shoes before I polish them, have some proper breakfast, et cetera. Then there are mornings when I wake up and the bulb light hurts my eyes, I feel indifferent to food and things I would normally enjoy doing. Slow mornings, when I really don’t feel like I have the energy to face another day.
On such days you feel out of control. Not just of the moment but control over your thoughts, emotions, your sense of purpose, sense of direction and many more. If you’ve been adulting long enough, these feeling can be really scary and can beget a sense of hopelessness. A heavy cloud hanging above your head blocking any signs of sunshine – hope.
No one passes a harsher assessment of yourself than you. Some days I look back on my life and most of what I see is failure. Growing up I had very big dreams and high regard of myself but a lot changed after my father passed away. I didn’t realize it, at the time, so didn’t put much effort into dealing with the baggage that came along with that time in my life. Long story short, I didn’t get into the school we both hoped I would or pursue the big dreams we shared and for majority of my teenage years and part of my adult life I considered that a failure.
So it became that I focused a lot on my failures in life and the little victories just became footnotes in my story. From there sprung a feeling of lonesomeness that still haunts me to date. I grew up thinking I had to face so much alone. Some times as a false sense of protection for those close to me and other times because I felt like no one really understood what I was/am going through. The shell grew thicker and thicker till I didn’t see the point of my existence. And thus suicide crossed my mind.
Whatever drives you over the edge to the point you consider taking your own life is a riddle that so many have tried to decipher. Thing is, you can’t have a single view of depression and mental health because everyone experiences life differently. “Someone has it worse than you” is what you’re told. And for majority of us this is true. But it should never be used to invalidate what anyone is going through.
My battle with depression is not yet over but I am have reached the point of realizing that it is not a hopeless battle. The first step I am taking is recognizing the little victories and giving myself due credit. It took a lot to get where you are and it’s so easy to lose sight of everything you had to overcome to get there.
My best friend read one of my job application cover letters and said I don’t blow my horn loud enough (paraphrased). There was some truth in that statement.
Mental health is a big component of your overall health. Take care of yourself and know you’re not in this battle alone.