I want to preface this by saying that this is not going to be a happy post. I wrote this short story during a time where my depression was hitting me at its absolute hardest last year and I needed an outlet to just let all this garbage out.
“healing.” is a written memory of sorts where I begin to break down and target what was causing my depression and what it entailed. This, like any other personal piece I’ve published, was one of the hardest things I have ever had to write. How does one just easily explain the overwhelming doubt and fear that is depression?
This was supposed to be published in an online magazine about mental health and well-being, but the piece got rejected by editors because it “didn’t uphold to standards”; which basically means I wasn’t uplifting enough. I want to show the raw, confusing, jaggedness that is my depression, not some sugar-coated bullshit now that I’m in a better state.
By the time you read this, just know that I am doing SO much better and that I’m so thankful that you’re even reading this because that means you support me and my journey, something that I thought no one cared about.
Looking forward to seeing your continued love and support,
For the longest time, I thought that there was no way that I could be depressed.
I have so much going for me: I’m a sophomore in college, I have an amazing part-time job, I have a wonderful, open-minded boyfriend, not really any bills to pay (yet). Not to mention, my blog and my social media platforms have seen an increase in engagement this year, despite the fact that I have only been officially doing this for a year!
How could someone like me be depressed!?
I’ve never visited a therapist, been diagnosed by a doctor, nor have been prescribed any antidepressants in my entire life thus far, so according to the public eye, I am supposedly the furthest thing from being depressed.
At least that’s what I had forced myself to believe.
I had no idea that this deep, dark monster could evolve itself into various forms. There was no way little old me would’ve been able to notice my warning signs.
The major loss of appetite, not caring about my appearance for days on end (seriously, there were periods of time where I abandoned basic bodily hygiene because of how empty I had felt) and isolating myself from others seemed like something totally normal and Aliece-like to me. I kept denying that there was something off about my mental health.
I kept myself distracted, to my dismay, with activities that would only worsen my mental health. I started to work more often, neglect my blog (writing is the best form of therapy for moi) and pressure myself with anything school-related. The more I did, the less I would think about those terrible thoughts that would keep me up at night.
It finally all had started to catch up to me these last few months, as the amount of mental and emotional breakdowns started to increase to a point where I cried myself to sleep nearly every night for about a week or two. That was when I realized something was off with me.
I remember the breakdown I had where I realized this. I can immediately draw up the harsh resentment I had towards myself. The way I couldn’t keep anybody around in my life no matter how hard I had tried. So many friendships and romantic relationships that failed because I wasn’t good enough in some capacity for these people, so they could stick around.
The rocky emotional ties I have with my parents didn’t help my situation either. My dad and I didn’t start trying to improve our bond until I had moved away from home for college. And while I’m thankful that we are at least working on things between us, I have to admit that its still hard trying to cope with the fact that our relationship was not present whatsoever during some of the most crucial points of my childhood. My mom, on the other hand… I haven’t quite fully verbalized it with her, but on my end at least, our relationship is extremely rocky. Growing up, I spent a lot of my childhood being angry at her for prioritizing my grades over things that made me happy. I love her, but she is a skeptical woman that likes to have things go her way or not at all.
In addition to all that mess, there’s even more garbage to add on top of the pile. My self-image isn’t something I usually like to boast about because frankly I barely have one. Sure, it’s nice to have both strangers and familiar followers comment on your Instagram telling you how beautiful you are, but I just could never believe them. Yes, there are certain features that I like about myself, but I am still at war with my body. There are days I look at myself in the mirror in just underwear where I lovingly trace over my stretchmarks with my fingers and admire the mass that is my lower half in comparison to the petite temple that is the upper half of my body. These are days that I long for, but have not seen many of these past few months.
I personally believe that loving my body will always be a struggle for me, since women are expected to abide by these ridiculous, contradicting societal standards of beauty. But it’s the thoughts about my personality that scare me the most.
You do everything in your power to make others happy, but they still abandon you…
Why even bother committing to a relationship and/or friendship when you know that the downfall will be 100% your fault…
The endless cycle of draining trains of thought, painful memories of the past and my current state of what I sometimes perceive as loneliness has become overwhelming and tiring.
While I have begun to take steps towards overcoming this, I do want to admit that I’m trying my best even though it is hard. I didn’t want to believe that I was depressed until I had started talking to those closest to me about it. I seek so much validation from others that I can’t even trust my own judgement as strongly as I once had. But I am continuously working on it. I stopped going to work as often, eased up on how much I beat myself up over my grades and started to branch out and meet new people.
There are still days that I revert back to that negative mindset that got me here in the first place, but with each oncoming day, I try to focus on at least one positive thing that has happened to me, which has really helped me get through the chaos that is life. I’m allowing myself to heal. Though it’s a lengthy process, it is nice to see my mental state improve as each day passes by.