I have mentioned my depression on my blog several times before. I kinda just threw it in there, between words, not really telling you much about it. My depression wasn’t the easy kind – it wasn’t about me feeling a bit down. It was me being completely helpless, the depression taking over my whole life. And I almost let it.
I’m not afraid of talking about mental health, depression or anxiety. I’m not even scared of telling you, that I was once so depressed, I ended up in a mental hospital behind closed doors. I can – even though I rather not go too much into detail – tell you, that I have been suicidal.
Those are not the things I’m worried about, when I hit publish. And I’m gonna hit publish, because I feel like I have something to say after all and I feel like it has some meaning. To me, anyway.
What I’m worried for, is that I choose the wrong words, when the right words mean everything. That this post turns to negative, instead of positive – because even though there’s so much pain and sadness in this story, most of all, there’s hope.
I got a new life. You shouldn’t compare things, but I dare say, a better one. One where I’m not constantly tired, angry and grey. My depression taught me so much about life, myself and others, that I think it was supposed to be that way. I didn’t deserve all the pain and sorrow I felt, but I want to believe it was all for the better.
When I was at my extremely lowest, I heard these phrases all the time, like:
“You’ll get better.”
“One day, you’ll look back and understand all of this.”
“Life is worth living. You’ll feel that one day.”
Those things turned out all to be true. So if you’re just hearing them, but don’t believe them, you don’t have to. But you do need to trust them.
Depression is just like any other serious sickness. It takes up all your time and all your energy. You don’t feel anything. You feel everything. You don’t choose depression and depression doesn’t choose you. It can happen to anyone. Like me, a girl next door. Who would have thought I carried such scars? But the one thing that divides depression from other sicknesses, is that medication and therapy doesn’t cut it. It isn’t cured just with science.
You need to want to get better, you need to work hard and you need to fight. Don’t let it take your life.
I have to admit though, I started to get better only when I got worse first. I tried to live with it, I tried to fight it, but at the end I was just so tired I let it take me. It’s just a distant memory now, but once there was a time when I thought I had seen it all and life had nothing for me anymore.
Being so low, so sad and so depressed, that you’re ready to take your own life. That’s a feeling I wish no one had to know, to feel. But when I look back on it now, I see hope.
You know why? Because when you’re at the bottom, there’s only one way to go, and that is up.
And when I realized that, I started walking. And boy, when you start that journey, only sky is the limit. I remember that light feeling I felt, when I got to go home from the hospital. I knew I wasn’t 100 % cured, but I felt like a new chapter just opened up for me.
This is the part, where I feel emotional, where I may shed a few tears. Happy tears, because I got this new amazing life and I got to know to this awesome person, who now looks at me in the mirror every day with pride. I never would have been this strong, if it wasn’t for the heavy stumbling I did.
So you probably haven’t been to a mental hospital. You probably think there’s crazy people in it. I can only talk about my experience and the department, that I was in, but nevertheless: There are no crazy people in it (though, aren’t we all a bit crazy?). There are no psychos running around the halls and being crazy.
There are sad people. Sad in a way, that you can understand. Sad about having nothing in their life – because if you’re not really there, do you actually have anything?
I remember being in the hospital, just thankful, that someone took care of me and made sure that I was living in somewhat normal routine. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and supper. I got to sleep, I got to meet other people, and I got to be in group therapy. And I got the right medication, that helped me to balance my depression and pills to help me sleep.
When I was starting to get better, and I started to feel more energetic, I remember passing the time by doing my makeup or walking the corridors and staring outside, and noticing all the beautiful details, that I had forgotten about. I always talk about ‘the little things’, that make me happy. That’s what I mean. It’s where it all started, noticing the little details, appreciating them. Creating little moments, enjoying the small things.
Whenever I feel sad, or the weather is bad (most of the time in Finland) I automatically start to look for the little good things.
For example, now. I’m writing this at home, on our living room, on our soft beige sofa. We haven’t opened up the blinds yet, even though it’s almost 4pm and I think it was an hour ago, when we were supposed to go for a run. It’s a bit dark, outside it’s grey and cloudy with a heavy chance of rain. I’m feeling this huge happiness, because
- it’s saturday, I got to drink a pink smoothie and drink lots of coffee while watching one of my favorite shows.
- On our window stand, right in front of me, there is a statue of an angel looking up with her hands held high, like a winner. She’s cheering for me, rain or shine.
- I’m exactly where I want to be, in love with life.
Mental health is something, that people talk about a bit more nowadays. But there’s still a lot to talk about. Mental health can suffer just like your physical body can. Depression is a sickness – and you should never blame the person for it.
And you know what? I survived. And since then – I’ve felt this huge gratitude and joy for just being able to be here and breath this air. For being able to look outside and feel the breeze on my skin. For being able to run. For being able to write.
I chose life and that’s my favorite thing in the world – the thing, that makes me blush and giggle and most of all – love.
If there any depressed people reading this: I want to say the words I heard so many times, but didn’t believe at the time. They were true and I want you to hear them, memorize them and let them give you hope: It will all get better. You will survive this.