The truth is I’m not okay. I’m not fine, I’m not coping, I’m not happy, but most importantly i’n not dead.
That’s important, I’m still here, I’m not planning to go away permanently anytime soon.
Part of having depression and anxiety is accepting that there will be good days and bad days.
Today is a bad day, so was yesterday, and the day before, but because I’ve had the privilege of having good days too, I know the bad days will not be forever, I know things will be better soon, and even though the days are hazy, long and difficult, I know that there will be good days to outweigh it too.
I’ve been a ticking time bomb for a while, people watch me like I’m going to explode and treat me like I’m fragile ready to break at even the slightest touch or tremor.
Sometimes I feel fragile but the thing that makes me feel more breakable is when someone treats me like I’m any different than they are. I don’t need special treatment, I just need love like everyone else does.
Ever since my suicide attempt almost 10 years ago, I’ve felt extra pairs of eyes on me watching every move and action as if I need to be watched. I’m sure if she could my mother would wrap me up in bubble wrap.
I’ve struggled with many battles and my choices in life haven’t always been for my own best interest and has instead been to please everyone other than me.
This inner battle is between who I am and who I want to be.
Today who I am is loosing and I guess that’s why I feel so much lower than usual.
I just can’t just click my fingers and be happy like people seem to expect.
Despite all of this, I am still standing.
I’m still here.
During those really bad days I repeat those three words to myself: “I’m still here”.
I am defiant, determined and strong.
I will not allow the views people have over depression make me feel less than who I am.
I will not let my illness trap me into a vicious cycle of ups and downs.
I will recover. One day. In my own time and for myself not for anyone else.
Being strong isn’t always easy though.
It’s not just the matter of deciding one day you’re going to be strong, or smiling past the pain.
To me being strong is deciding to move forwards and keep fighting even when the weight of the world feels like it’s on top of you.
Sometimes it’s frustrating because people don’t really understand how hard it is to be in a constant battle with yourself, when you’re in this internal fight, even if on the outside it looks like you’re miserable, you’re actually trying your hardest to be okay.
I bet when I first attempted suicide people didn’t think I would come out okay, by okay I mean… Semi normal, a functioning working, contributing human being.
But I did, and everyday was a struggle but my determination to not become a statistic overweighed my depression. I didn’t want to cry anymore, I didn’t want to wallow in self pity and be angry at the world.
The truth about being strong when everyone thinks you’re at your weakest is that it is exhausting and no one can really notice the difference except you, but then, aren’t you the most important witness to your progress? Who cares if Sally at school didn’t notice that today your smile lingered for a second longer, or that Mum didn’t hear you singing in the shower because today you woke up feeling great? You sang didn’t you? You smiled didn’t you?
The truth about being strong when everyone thinks you’re at your weakest is that often the person suffering thinks that they are only truly getting better when they receive validation from others, this isn’t true, the only validation you need is from you to you.
Being strong for yourself is more important than being strong for everyone else because if you think about self love, eventually that smile will become genuine and when that genuine smile learns to appear on its own you are then able to share it with others.
One of the hardest things I’ve found in my recovery is remembering that my own progress should be for me.
There’s too much pressure nowadays to be happy, when the truth is it’s okay to be sad.
I am at my strongest because I have accepted the fact that I will have bad days, and even when I had accepted this it took a while for me to stop waiting for those days.
Instead of being afraid to be happy because you know anxiety and depression will return, be happy, do as much as you want and can, don’t wait for them to come back, take advantage of the sunny days.
The truth about being strong when everyone thinks you’re at your weakest is that you’re doing okay, you’ll be happy, once you accept that some recoveries take longer than others you’ll understand that those bad days are just part of the process and one day you’ll get to prove people wrong when you rise from the ashes of your old self and come back stronger and better than ever.
Do something to make your parents proud today, your kids proud someday, and you proud everyday!
Peace and Love,