I want to start this blog off with saying depression and mental illness is different for each individual and should also be taken extremely seriously. Do not make any assumptions from my experiences and push them on someone else, this is just how it affected me.
I first started experiencing the feelings of depression when I was roughly 13 years old. I remember always feeling sad, empty, alone, insignificant, and unworthy. However, I was thirteen so these feelings were brushed off as my body adjusting to the normal hormonal changes that occur.
My experience with depression never felt like how I heard people describe it. I had very different stages throughout all of it. I had stages I would never want to leave bed, I had stages I would feel like I was never meant to live. But most importantly, I could hide it. I feel like the biggest misconception is that you can tell when someone is depressed, just by looking at them like we actually carry a cloud around with us. That is not how it always is. I carried on my life, I made people laugh, I went to events, I went to all my proms, I became very skilled at making people see what they wanted to see, even those closest to me. I became someone I did not recognize. It didn’t stop at 13, I lived like this for years. Each day felt like I was digging deeper into a person I wasn’t but who was I to upset the perfect worlds of those around me, even if my world seemed to be ending.
This is what led to my attempt at suicide. Without getting into the details, that moment changed my life, it was not like the movies, I did not immediately lose these feelings of depression. I was not all of the sudden better. I went on to start therapy as a freshman in high school. I went to a lot of therapy. I talked so much that I began to realize I knew what he wanted to hear. I was doing it again, becoming the person he wanted. So I left therapy, in better condition but not “cured”.
For me the best way I could describe depression is like listening to your favorite song in the car. You blare it as high as you can at the chorus, and you may turn it down after to say something but that does not change the fact it is still playing. Depression had its time it was so loud I could not see how I would be able to live another day, and it had the moments that made forcing a smile a little easier.
Eventually I left for college, I think all of us (my parents and I) would be lying if we said there was no part of us that was curious what would happen next. Nonetheless I moved across country and began to figure out who I was. I still battled with this feeling of unworthiness but I kept going. Eventually I met an extremely smart and handsome man that showed me what love was like. And one date night he turned to me and said ” We will not work until you learn to love yourself, you cannot love me until you love yourself.” I made a pinky promise, I would do whatever it took to get there.
So self love can be an entire blog in itself. I by no means am an expert. I started by changing the things I did not like. I was insecure with my body so I started working out consistently.
There is no “cure” for depression. The best you can do is listen to people who have it, let them talk, be their Rico. Self love takes time. And I know this blog took a lot of turns but that’s just kinda how my brain works.
So moral of the story, do not assume you know anything about a persons mental health. Because in my header image there is only one picture I am not grinning ear to ear, and that is the one picture I am undeniably the happiest and healthiest I have ever been.