There’s a lot that can happen in a year. We all know this. Every year starts on January 1st and ends on December 31st (for some of us it ends on December 25th because who cares after that, right?), but we all have our days that we remember for whatever reason that represents a whole year passed since something big happened. Birthdays represent a year older. Anniversaries represent a year longer in some situation whether, with ot without someone in your life. Well today is a big landmark for me. February 12th is such an arbitrary day to everyone else but this date represents the one year mark of realizing I needed help…
One year ago, today, I was at my all time low. I was so numb that if you told me a person I loved had die, I don’t think I could have shown any emotion about it. I tried my best to hide this. Mental illnesses have a lot of stigma around them and I didn’t want to be just another sad person. I thought this feeling would go away, ya know because teenage depression is really common and obviously that’s all it was… But I was wrong.
For about two years before this day, I had been stuggling with depression severely. For about two months before this day, I was pushing everyone I loved away because I didn’t want to hurt them. For about two days before this day, I was contemplating dropping off the face of the earth. I don’t really know if anyone else around me noticed but something changed in me this day. I remember sitting down and writing in my journal that I didn’t want to be here anymore and that everyone would just be better if I wasn’t; and for the first time in a long time I cried… Like truly cried. Seeing those words written down broke me more than anything else ever could. I didn’t realize just how bad it had gotten until then.
After I finally stopped crying and could actually understand the weight that had just been taken off my shoulders, I realized I needed to change. I started letting people in more, I talked to my parents about getting on medication, and I really just started realizing that all of my past thoughts of self-hate were not just normal teenage depression and that I needed help that I couldn’t give myself.
Now, I cannot tell you the day I started medication for my depression, I can’t tell you the first day I told my parents I needed help, and I can’t tell you the first day I started feeling a little less helpless but I can tell you this day because it’s one of the most emotional days I’ve ever had in my life.
Ever since that day I have worked so hard towards self-love. I’ve been on a couple different medications and I’m still looking for the right one. I’m taking multiple vitamins to try to help with the side affects of not only my meds but also my depression itself. I’ve recently started working out and really trying to better my entire self, all around. Just like any other illness, relapses occur. I’ve been in a mental rut recently. Not everyday is perfect. But everyday is getting me closer and closer to my goal of true happiness and self-love and I could not be more excited to reach that goal.
So, with part of my story of my mental struggles finally put out there, I have a few things I want to say to everyone:
- If you feel the way I did; hopeless, unworthy, unloveable, unsaveable, etc… Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Talk to your parents, friends, doctors, etc. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to any of them and you think talking to a stranger would be easier, go see a therapist or even contact me through any of my socials, by leaving a comment, or emailing me through the contact page. Call 1-800-273-8255 if you need help!
- To everyone that believes mental illnesses can be turned on and off like a light switch, you need to educate yourselves because you’re part of the reason why people, like me, don’t want to seek help. They feel like they’re being overdrammatic or annoying when in reality they have a real issue that needs to be helped. Stop looking down on people for sharing their stories, seeking help, or acting strange. It’s not a choice, its an illness.
- To everyone that has someone in their lives struggling with mental illnesses, love them for who they are and don’t be afraid to be upfront with them. If you see someone you love drifting apart for what seems like no reason, talk to them because they might need help. Don’t give up on them and don’t take suicide jokes lightly. But also do not treat them like they’re fragile. We don’t want to be seen as lesser-than because of our illness, we want to try to work through it and be seen as normal even though we’ll never quite be normal. Try to include them in social outings but don’t push them if they don’t want to. Just be there for them because they’re probably just as clueless as you when it comes to what they’re going through.
- DONATE DONATE DONATE! If you have the ability to donate to foundations and organizations that support people with mental illnesses and help spread awareness, please do! We really need to make the stigma around these disorders disappear.
I have depression but I’m not gonna let that stop me and neither should you! Spread love <3 ~ Nicole W.