When you’re five, there isn’t a single word in your world that can explain why leaving your bed makes you so unhappy. And how was I or my Dad supposed to know that at seven, being told that you’ve done something minutely wrong will live in your head for the next 4 months straight? At the forgotten age of nine, I just assumed that happiness wasn’t a feeling that was meant to be felt often. At twelve, my parents finally started to worry about why I made so many best friends just to end up losing them all. When I finally found the word I was always looking for, I was already sixteen. After months of begging my parents to take me to a doctor, I’ll never forget the odd sense of comfort that washed over me when she finally confirmed what I always knew but could never say out loud. It’s funny how terrifying it seems to live your truth until you’re shoved right into it, only to realize that it was the oxygen you had been gasping for this whole time.
I’ve been meaning to write about my depression for as long as I can remember because I knew it would be just as cathartic as hearing it for the first time. Not only for myself, but also for the countless people I know who are pushing through it themselves. I think that if we begin having these conversations about real people who are facing demons that are familiar to many of us, we can give each other the strength to get out of bed each day to fight them. You can see from the title that I’ve accepted the unfortunate truth that sometimes it just doesn’t go away, no matter how good life gets or how many healthy habits you cultivate. But I’ve also realized that it’s okay, that maybe it’s even a good thing if you let it be. So my goal here is to give you* the tools I’ve found that have kept me alive, and the comfort of simply knowing that I know how you feel.
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