(might be triggering, contains talk about self-harming and depression)
Some years back I was really depressed. I was suicidal and also self-harming by cutting my wrists to ease the pain I felt in my heart.
It all started when I couldn’t handle the pressure I was getting at school from being bullied. I was insulted, called horrible names to my face, everyone in my grade out-casted me for no particular reason. My heart hurt so much and I didn’t know what to do. That was in Grade 4.
In Grade 7, I made a friend in a higher Grade, she became like my sister and we were so tight that I even told my parents about her. One day I saw her wrist, freshly cut. I was scared and angry and I lashed out at her, mind you she is way older than I am. I begged her to never cut again. She said she wouldn’t and everything was alright.
A day came in my life that I was just tired of it all, the bulling for no reason, being an outcast, everyone picking on me for reasons I still don’t get. I just couldn’t handle it. I found myself a blade and began slitting my writs. I made so many cuts that day, there was blood everywhere, but I felt good. It felt so good, like a loud had been taken away from my back, like my heart was at peace. I felt great. Like all the pain I had just left my body. When my ‘sister’ found out she was pissed, so pissed off at me I was scared. And I told her I would never do it again. Deep down I knew I was lying that I would do it over and over again just to feel the same way I felt when I did it the first time.
Self harming became my consolation and depression became my friend. I didn’t fight it, I fed my mind with negative thoughts. I lived in negative words and phrases like ‘No one will ever love me’, ‘I’m useless’, ‘It would be better to die’, ‘I’m ugly’, ‘I’ll forever be bullied’.I could go on and on…
When I changed countries and went to a new school, I still self-harmed. My classmates saw me and I didn’t care. I became addicted to it because I linked it to the peace I felt deep inside whenever I cut. One of my teachers found out and he tried to talk me out of it and made me throw away my blade. That didn’t solve anything because I couldn’t see any light and whenever I was hurt my blade was my only friend and I didn’t want to lose the only friend that I had there. So I kept cutting.
After that, I changed countries and schools again. And I still had my blade with me and negative depressing heart-aching thoughts, words, phrases that I held unto.
At some point, a part of me wanted to break free from all this hurt and pain and sadness and I wanted to see some light. At the same time, another part of me didn’t want to let go of the hurt and pain I was feeling.
With the help of my best friend and my family (who still didn’t know what I was going through because I’m a very good actor, smiling whenever and being all happy-go-lucky) I summoned the courage to break away from all this sadness and depression.
Mark my word, it wasn’t easy. For weeks I’d be fine, and then suddenly everything would come crashing down and I’d turn to cutting again. I’d tell myself ‘Just one more cut, and I wouldn’t do it again’. For days I wouldn’t cut then again, just one more cut and I will never do it again. Those were some of the lies I’d tell myself.
It got to a stage that my mum kept asking me why I was wearing long sleeves in the hot scorching sun and I’d lie to her that ‘Oh I just feel like it’. My best friend had to step in. He said I should promise him that I would never in my life cut again. And if you know me, I take my promises very seriously and I never make promises that I know I can break. I didn’t want to promise him that because I knew that I would break it. But he persuaded me, and I did. I told him (wrote to him) that ‘I promise to never cut again’.
It was hard. Days I felt like I was going to die. I’d tell him I want to cut and he’d remind me of the promise I made and I would cry myself to sleep. I’m even getting teary as I’m writing this. I tell him again and again asking if I could cut, just once. I knew I was addicted. It was like a drug I couldn’t live without. I’d have terrible mood swings, I was getting hurt, the pain in my heart felt like it would suffocate me. My mind screamed, my heart cried, my wrists begged to be cut. But I wouldn’t dare, because I couldn’t break my promise. I just couldn’t break it. (I even wrote lyrics about that. I’ll be posting it when next I talk about depression again)
Gradually I began to let go. He would listen to me rant, he was there for me. I prayed to God to give me the strength to hold on. Those were tough times. But guess what? I survived. I’m alive. I have things to thank God for. I’m closer to my parents, I trust them, I open up to them. I have a kind amazing best friend who loves me and cares for me like a sister and a real friend. I have my siblings, I have these amazing people God used to help me back on my feet. I feel so good about myself, and I’m constantly working on myself.
When I’m talking to people that have depression, I always let them know that I’ve been where you were. I’ve lived a life full of negativity. I’ve tasted it. I’ve felt it, but guess what? I made it out, alive. And that it wasn’t easy. But that I can guide them out of it, just like I guided myself out, with some help too.
I get really sad and I just want to cry when I’m one on one with someone going through such a rough path. I’m constantly trying to be there for them because I know how lost and how broken I was when I had no one by my side. I know the pain I went through when I just wanted to die. I know how I felt when I was being bullied. I know how much pain these things bring. And it hurts so much. It hurt so bad.
But it’s a real battle. And you gotta stand up, and fight it! Because your mind only believes what you tell it. All those negative thoughts coming through, you have to have something to use as a shield to protect yourself from it. Without it, depression will just keep breaking you down and living life would not even seem worth it. Talk positive to yourself. Look into that mirror that you’re so afraid and tell yourself ‘I love you’. Tell yourself ‘I look beautiful’, ‘You’re an amazing girl/guy’. Tell yourself ‘I am allowed to be happy’. Tell yourself ‘I am wonderful’. Tell yourself positive things. It might seem like a silly thing to do, but it works, honestly, it does.
I’m always drawn to the broken, the damaged, the hurt, because I’ve been there before. And though I might not have gone through it the exact same way they did, it still felt to me like death was my best option. But no. I want to live. Each time I talk about depression, or talk to depressed people or just people going through a rough path, I’m always thankful to God that I didn’t die. That I didn’t give up. I’m not even 20 yet. I might know a lot of things, but I haven’t lived my life to the fullest yet. And I want to do that. I want to have fun, study hard, have a family, have kids, have an amazing career. I want to love and be loved. I have so many goals for this life and I’m so thankful I’m alive.
You can have goals too. You can fight this Depression because you’re stronger than it. You’re stronger than the pain you’re going through. You are a lot stronger than you know. Even if you don’t know it, I do. And I believe in you. I trust you and I’m rooting for you. Don’t let depression get the best of you because you have a bright future ahead of you.
I always liken this whole situation to Gold. You know how Gold must go through the fire before it becomes priceless? That’s how we are. At times people go through tough times to become stronger, to become better, to become a testimony. I’ve gone through these things and I’m able to tell others going through the same thing that take a look at me, I made it through, and yes it wasn’t easy, but I made it out, Alive. You can too. Because I believe in you, and support you with all my heart and will be there for you, through thick and thin.
I’ll be writing up more blog posts on the theme Depression because I feel like we need to talk about these things more. We cannot pretend like it’s not real. Because it is real. And it is happening to the young (who get told ‘you don’t have a reason to be depressed’), and to the teens (who get told ‘gosh, man up’ or ‘get over it’), and also to the old (who get told ‘shrug it off’ or ‘man up!’). We have to talk about these things and figure out a way to over come it, together.