These are a few thoughts that have come to my mind lately after talking with a friend about their struggles with mental illness. Everyone experiences these types of conditions differently.. some suffer quietly, some have experienced depression episodes, while others have chronically suffered for years..in talking about these things and sharing my thoughts, I never want to take away the seriousness of those that chronically suffer. I hope that my words never come across in an offensive way…or that I sound like I know exactly what people go through and how to take care of it. I don’t. I guess I just want to share any type of thought from my own experiences that may bring someone hope and comfort. I mainly want to promote awareness when it comes to mental illnesses like depression and anxiety and find more ways for us to be aware and helpful. Sometimes opening up and being vulnerable can really help someone else, as well as heal yourself.
Depression and anxiety do not define you. This is something I am still learning and trying to grasp everyday. When I have a day where the dark cloud has taken over and those negative thoughts wont stop, it feels like that person is stuck with me..that that is who I am and will be forever. It seems impossible to not let those moments and emotions define me, but I know that deep down they don’t..and I am really trying to work on that. Know that the episodes and moments you go through don’t define who YOU really are. This is just a day. A moment. Not forever.
“We need not feel that we must forever be what we presently are. Our weak things can become strong things, and we need not forever be defined by our past…” This quote reminds me that tomorrow is another day. A fresh start. And I can try again…even if its just the smallest of baby steps.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel. One thing that you must hold on to, no matter what hardship is thrown your way, especially depression and anxiety, is that there is hope. That things will get better and the burdens will get lighter… I think for a long time I wanted my mental issues to completely disappear and for myself to be completely healed. Having that mentality threw me into an even bigger spiral when an episode would hit again. ‘i thought I was done with this! Why do they keep happening?’ …I think with holding on to hope, there needs to be a sense of acceptance as well. Not the type that says “this is just who I am and Im stuck with this forever”, but accepting that these things do hit and will hit…and that is okay. They are only moments… and over time you can gain that sense of control and understanding that that is all they are, and that you will get through them. That you WILL get stronger.
You are getting stronger…even if you can’t always feel it. I know, that when it comes to depression and anxiety, it can constantly feel like you are losing strength. Losing yourself… but looking back, something I have learned from my situation is that, every time I go through an episode, I really do think I come out a little bit stronger. I am not always sure how—but it ends up presenting itself in one-way or another. Whether it preps me for an encounter with someone that follows shortly after, or helps me move through my next episode a little faster…I know that those moments are making me stronger and shaping me into exactly who I need to be. Maybe I’m not so much losing myself, but finding my true self through it all.
Not everyone will be able to understand when it comes to those that struggle with depression and anxiety, but I think it is something we can promote more awareness for. So many struggle with these types of conditions and there are things to look for, and ways to help. Awareness for these is something I would really like to do more of on my website…so I am going to try and do that.