I was doing so well.
But now I find myself back at this point again.
It kind of feels like I'm going in and out of consciousness. And I am somehow detached from everyone.
All of this pain feels so familiair and it terrifies me.
I start to shut down from the world and become numb to everything.
I could walk into freezing weather and not feel the cold. A car could almost hit me, but there's not even a response.
When I finally realize what's going on, it's too late.
Once I'm fully submerged, it seems like I am stuck in a glass cage. And nothing anyone says, can reach me.
There are two people in that cage. One desperately trying to survive, holding on to a glimmer of hope, while looking for a way out of this cage.
And the other one wants me dead. Walking around with confidence while whispering horrible things to her image. Just waiting for her to give up.
I've fought this battle so many times and won. Well, I nearly lost once.
Everytime I have to face off against her, I'm not sure I'm getting out alive.
The problem is that both of them, are part of me.
And how do you beat yourself? How many times can you keep going?
She's always been there. And as long as there's some doubt in my mind, she will try to force her way back into my life.
I'm able to control her, the negative side of me, as long as I control the way I think. And that's exactly where I messed up this time. I started to believe every negative thing I was telling myself.
That's why it's so important to realize what you say to yourself on a daily basis.
Lately I've been obsessing about just one aspect in my life. Completely blocking out everything else. I want this fixed first, and I refuse to let go and see where life takes me.
My trigger this time was being unable to see or imagine a future for myself. I don't know where my life is going. Somehow in my head that translates to "I have no future". And that's when everything goes downhill.
It doesn't always have to be something extreme, for you to become depressed.
A lot of the time it's your own thought process along with some setbacks, that will get you there.
But since I've fought her so many times before, I know what I need to do. I have to express my feelings, so I'm not consumed by them.
My mother is the only one who can take me out of that cage in a matter of minutes. But getting to her is my biggest obstacle, because I tend to isolate myself.
That's why it's absolutely crucial for me to control how I think and talk to myself.
And honestly, after almost 18 years of battling this mental disease, I'm really tired. And everytime it hits me again, I just want to give up.
But I have my younger sisters, and that's the reason I choose to keep going.
It's not about me, it's for them. I would rather suffer than to transfer my pain onto them.
So just like always, I'll find my way out of that cage. I'm sure of it.
Others often tell us that we do not have to pretend to be different around them. They tell us to be ourselves. But are they really willing to listen with the intention to understand? Can you
confide in someone that you're unhappy, when they feel like you don't have a valid reason to be?
The best way I could describe what depression feels like to me, is loss.
I compare it to the pain of having lost someone dear to me. It's a feeling of constant heartbreak which you can physically feel as well. You have this empty feeling inside of you, that nothing or no one is able to fill. And after a while the constant negative thinking makes you believe that you're a burden to others.
Social interactions and any form of activity will take so much of your energy. And after a long day of pretending to be fine, you are absolutely exhausted.
Everyday turns into an inner battle that you're trying to survive. Trying to convince your own mind that life is still worth living even though it seems impossible. And many times just getting through a day feels like an accomplishment. Which it is.
Not treating depression could have major consequenses within relationships and other aspects of your life. And continuously suffering could trigger suicidal thoughts.
People resort to suicide when they can no longer see a way out. The depression clouds your judgment and you're unable to see the options that you do have.
Suicide isn't about wanting to die, it's about wanting the pain to stop, but not knowing how to. Instead we're overwhelmed by it all. We often self medicate, trying to ignore our problems and suppress our feelings. Because actually being sober means you have to feel everything, and that's what many aren't ready for.
It's crucial to find out why you are depressed. Feeling empty and worthless can seemingly come out of nowhere.
But it might very well be that your brain has blocked certain events in your life as a way to protect yourself. So you might not even know why you are depressed.
Depression could be an effect of certain life trauma's that have occured, but it's also important to mention that some people are actually born with it.
Depression is usually caused by a chemical imbalance inside your brain, which makes it a mental disease.
Depression can be passed on for generations within families. That's why it's necessary to find out why you are depressed, and get the proper treatment.
It's good to know your options as for different kinds of treatment and discuss them with a professional. But also do your own research and don't just assume that others know what is best for you.
Sometimes doctors mean well, but since everyone is different, treatment should be just as diverse.
Make sure that while you are able to make your own choices, you do. Because the moment something detrimental happens, like a suicide attempt, your options will become very limited and you might be forced to follow certain guidelines for your own safety.
To the ones without depression, I ask you to look for signs you cannot see clearly, while interacting with people. Listen to your intuition. We often choose to close our eyes and heart so we do not have to witness the pain of others. Meanwhile someone is in urgent need of help, but is too afraid to ask you.
Please pay attention to the following;
- So called jokes about ways to self-harm
- Constant negative self talk
- Not being mentally present
- Out of touch with reality
- Signs of exhaustion
- Not taking proper care of themselves
- Self isolation
A small sidenote. Some people are naturally introverted, and might be perceived as distant. This is a personality trait, not a sign of depression.
Try not to assume, but to listen and observe. Having a positive attitude towards them might help in that moment, but will not fix the depression. So support them in finding the help they need.
There is this misconception that depressed people are somehow weak, but their character actually shows the opposite. Many times depression emerges because you went on for too long. Trying to cope with everything by yourself.
So know that you are stronger than you realize and that there are many people like you.
We are all fighting some type of battle within ourselves behind closed doors. And we should make an effort to take care of eachother.
You've come this far and made it through, even though at times you didn't believe you could.
And if you're able to conquer yourself, you can definitely achieve everything else in life.
I refuse to think thirty years from now, "How the hell did I end up here?"
Most of the time I feel detached from this world. I feel like I'm constantly trying to catch up with the rest, but I'm unable to.
It all went so fast. Childhood felt long in the moment, but flew by. And right now I am closer to thirty then I am to twenty.
The age isn't really bothering me as much as the feeling that I have failed. Failed at achieving goals that I believe should have been accomplished by now.
Your twenties are for discovering yourself and living your best life without major commitments. But instead I've worked dead end jobs of which I knew would never satisfy me.
I feel like I've wasted my time.
I am an adventurous person with anxiety, which is the worst possible combination.
I'm always too busy over-analyzing anything and everything. Meanwhile, life is passing me by.
As I'm getting older I'm feeling the social pressure more. Right now I'm trying to understand if those dreams I have are really my own, or imprinted in me by society. Do I really want to be married and have a family?
And as a woman, you can hear a certain clock ticking very, very loudly!
I've literally had someone telling me, at the age of twenty-three, that I should probably start thinking about having children.
Mind you, I was single at that time.
So, how would that work? Haha!
But honestly I've been avoiding having any real relationship, because I'm afraid that 'normal' is all that they would want.
Just a regular job, three kids and a house with a mortgage.
To some that sounds amazing, but it scares the living hell out of me.
Is that all there is? Is that all you would want?
A guy that I once liked, told me that he wouldn't mind living in the same place for the rest of his life, and that freaked me out.
I mentally detached myself from him and placed him in the 'temporary boyfriend' category. Ofcourse I didn't tell him that.
To feel more attached to this world, I've made a conscious decision to open up more and have honest conversations with others. And I do feel more connected with people now.
I'm also more proactive in doing what I have to do to achieve the goals I've set for myself.
By setting a few goals every year and aiming to reach them, I get excited.
It's still scary, but way more rewarding.
I really believe we deserve to be excited about our life.
And I refuse to let life just happen to me.
So, I have these spur moments when I get very excited about something that I would love to do. When I'm excited about something, my imagination starts running wild. I feel fantastic when I'm in
that moment, because I finally feel like I found something to achieve.
I quickly write everything down, too afraid to forget anything. And then I check my notes over and over again. After a short while my stomach starts turning and my mind speaks.
"It's amazing, but impossible. Well, it isn't impossible, I mean, other people have done it. But I am not them." I feel myself becoming dissapointed. Because I'm unable to see the end result, I tend to quit. One of my worst fears is having to look at myself or look back on my life, knowing that I could have done it. But I didn't.
I do a lot to keep myself motivated. I watch TED-talks and interviews with people who have actually done it. I turn to my favourite people for support and they always listen to whole story and tell me to go for whatever my idea at that moment is. No one in my circle has ever said that I'm unable to do something. Not even strangers that I've told some of my ideas to.
So, last night I got excited again, I made this page and I posted a piece of my mind. I was so proud! I asked a friend to help me with the spelling and I posted it.
"But, are you sure you can do this?"
From my point of view, I believe that I did a lot to remain in contact with one of the most important people in my life.
I would call, send messages and visit him. And after every visit I would regain hope. Maybe this time would be different.
And as always I would blame myself for the situation. Maybe I wasn't nice enough. Maybe I was too direct with him.
There never was a fight that made it awkward. We always had a great time. But after he told me he would miss me, and I would return home, I wouldn't hear from him unless I approached him first. Years later.
Why was there no interest in me?
I strive to understand as many people as I can. And I try to get where they are coming from. But I just can't seem to wrap my head around it.
So, when do you give up on someone?
This pretty much applies to all kinds of relationships.
Sometimes you try to reconnect with a friend, but they are always too busy.
Or maybe you're the one doing it to them. If this is the case, it's probably time to re-evaluate your relationship with them.
It's the same with goals that you've set for yourself. If you don't really want to put in the effort, you will definitely find an excuse, so you don't have to do it.
Sometimes, having big goals in life can be overwhelming. It can have a paralyzing effect on you. Try setting smaller goals and try to achieve those, whilst working towards the bigger one.
If you want to become a public speaker, try listening to your own voice first. Get used to hearing yourself speak.
You might want to become a professional vlogger. Try taking a course on how to edit video's.
Make small steps towards your ultimate goal and one day you will reach it. And if you're having fun while improving yourself, you're on the right track.
Effort could be confused with discipline. They're not the same, but you need both to get the result that you want.
The difference between the two, is that
effort is the willingness that someone has, to do something.
And discipline is the drive you need to continue or start, to do something.
You are pushing yourself even though it might be difficult.
The bottom line is that if it's truly worth it to you, you will do what it takes.
Putting effort and discipline in any kind of situation or relationship will give you a result.
Putting effort towards an relationship is great and necessary, but make sure it's not just one-sided.
Because someone else will see and appreciate your worth.