In our society, it seems that more people live with depression than ever before. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 350 million people globally suffer from this horribly debilitating mental illness.
However, just because you or someone you know suffers from depression, does not mean you have to go through it alone or feel misunderstood. Almost everyone goes through depression in some part of their life, even if they don’t have it chronically. No matter how long you’ve been dealing with the illness or how badly you suffer from it, please keep reading for a little inspiration to get you through the day.
This is for every person who has ever been depressed…
Depression hurts – it can feel like the darkest abyss, like a storm that never ends, or a jail cell inside your own mind. Unfortunately, many people who don’t suffer from it can’t understand the feelings of those who have to live with it every single day. Many only understand the illnesses and suffering they see right before their eyes, but depression doesn’t like to cause a big scene. In fact, it hides behind-the-scenes, only appearing behind closed doors when no one else can see how much damage it has done.
If you suffer from depression, it can seem like the days are long and the nights are even longer. You want to escape your mind, but have no idea how. You want someone to hear you, to understand how you feel, but even you don’t have the words to express it sometimes. You want to run away, but don’t know where to turn. You want many things, but most importantly, for the sinking feeling in your chest to dissipate somehow.
If you currently suffer or have suffered from depression in the past, please don’t give up. Someone out there will hear your pain and understand your sadness, and can help you get back on your feet again. Just don’t turn out the lights, because then, you won’t ever give yourself that chance to recover. You CAN start to feel better again, with time, commitment, and dedication. Nothing in life comes easily, but the first step to feeling better is to admit that you need help. We weren’t meant to walk through this life alone, so don’t feel that you have to.
Depression can make you feel like you never want to climb out of bed again, like you just want to sink into the sheets and pretend like the world outside doesn’t exist. If you feel like some days you don’t want to get up, just remember that you don’t have to. You don’t have to fight your feelings every single day – remember to give yourself a break sometimes. You’re only human, and you deserve to get honest with your feelings and honor your inner voice. This world has unrealistic expectations oftentimes, and no one can live up to perfection. If you want to spend all day in your bed and not pay any attention to the outside world sometimes, then do it. Do whatever you need to recharge, and don’t feel remorse about it.
Forget about the expectations of others for a second, and look at the person in the mirror in front of you. Depression often exists because we have forgotten our connection to our true selves, the selves underneath the masks that we put on each day to live in this world. We have forgotten our inner child, the person in all of us that longs to play, to have fun, to express ourselves authentically. Don’t forget about the voice inside – it’s crying out for you to remember it, to honor it, and to listen to it whenever you feel down in life. We take this life so seriously sometimes, but often forget it’s all just a game anyway. Don’t allow depression to win – though it might be unforgiving, cruel, and a tough monster to beat, you have the ultimate power, not the false voices inside your mind.
Depression can often sneak up on you when you least expect it, so when this happens, go outside your mind for a second. The mind likes to rattle on endlessly, oftentimes about the same things we thought about yesterday. Remember to take time away from the voices inside your head, to breathe, to rejoice in simply being alive, to feel, to experience nature in all its beauty, to laugh with loved ones, to smell the flowers in your garden. This life is a miracle, and though it might be a battlefield all the same, we should learn to love both sides of the story. The hardships, the heartache, the pain, the confusion, the love, the compassion, the hope, all of it.
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Depression can seem all-encompassing, lonely, and fearful at times, but just remember to zoom out sometimes and look at the bigger picture. Depression isn’t your whole story, it’s only a part of it. Depression isn’t your only identity, so don’t look at yourself as if that’s all you see. You’re a work in progress, a walking miracle, so don’t think anything less of yourself.