Depression is insidious. It seeps deep into the cracks of the spirit and eats its way out like acid. I remember feeling like I was drowning in darkness, like I was constantly treading water, until I became so tired that the only way to survive was to sink. I hid the body I hated, I tried to control my addiction to food, binging and purging in the dark. I cut my skin to numb the suffocating shame, the horrible restlessness, paralyzing fear, unbearable inner pain. I spent many nights wandering aimlessly in the dark, trying to escape myself. My heart broke every morning, when I awoke to another day of existence. I oozed from the bed to the floor. Little by little, I died inside, until I could feel no joy, see no hope, affection felt shameful, beauty hurt. I was so, so tired of fighting to survive, and I longed to let go.
Love is a powerful motivator. I couldn’t love myself yet, but love for another, even if sometimes it was just my dog, kept me going. I believe that it was only by the grace of God that I survived that time, and that he brought me through for a reason. I was blessed to have many amazing people come alongside me, even though I often pushed them away. People who simply listened and truly cared, who challenged me to change, with their support. I still struggle with depression, but I don’t fear falling into the abyss the way I used to. I know the warning signs that I’m nearing the edge. Now, I back away and allow myself time to rest, to engage in my passions, to take care of my body, to be where I’m at without feeling guilty, to accept help.
You are worth life, even if that doesn’t feel possible now. There is a strength inside you, and it’s growing. There is wisdom, confidence, love, peace, joy. You may feel like you have a journey of a thousand miles ahead of you, but it’s true that it begins with the first step, and the journey can be just as exciting and healing as the destination. There are people that want to be here for you. You are not alone. Everyone needs to be carried sometimes, until we find the strength to walk, and if you give yourself the chance, one day you will find that you can fly.