Depression*. Such a heavy topic, but one that needs to be addressed.
*This is a very real topic and there are real situations in this post that may trigger and or bother some. Please read with caution, understanding, and an open heart.
I suffer from major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder. The only way that I can function like a normal person is by taking medication. It doesn’t always work and someday’s are better than others. It is an illness and there is no cure. I am fine with that because I have accepted it in my life and have learned how to live a happy and healthy life despite the struggles that it causes.
Now that I have addressed my own personal mental illness, let me just say that mental illnesses are no joke. They are illnesses that tear apart the lives of people we love and sometimes we don’t even realize it.
This past week, a beloved son and friend killed himself because of depression. He was a man who loved and cared about the world and the people in it. He loved making others laugh. Nobody really knew how bad the world affected him.
This hit close to home because there have been many times where I have sunk deep into this illness and wanted no more. Fortunately, I learned how to love myself, but that is a process I fight to keep each and every day because I am not cured. I still suffer at times, but I can control it better. One of the reasons that I started this journey of radical soul cleansing;this is why I read books that help me learn to deal, why I read books that help me learn to love myself and become stronger. I was and am fortunate, but not everyone is.
Last week, in one of my education classes in college I had an argument (for lack of a better word) with my professor (whom is currently working on a Ph.D). She stated that everyone has depression and that through higher education (a.k.a. going to college) you can overcome it. After having a friend who committed suicide and suffering from mental illness myself, I could not excuse her uneducated analysis of mental illnesses.
My hand shot up into the air violently and my mouth opened with a harsh “excuse me, but no.” I clearly explained to her and everyone in the class, who prior to my interruption seemed to find the topic hilarious, that depression is not something you can cure with higher education. Sure, being educated allows you to learn about the illnesses and learn how one can better deal with it. I have been educated my entire life and am still seeking education (I am working towards becoming an elementary school teacher) and I suffer from depression, along with another mental illness.
It is unfortunate how many people have no knowledge or understanding of these illnesses. How they can laugh about it because they have never had to deal with it. They have no idea how much people suffer and what it can lead to. To them it’s a joke. “Just get over it!” they say. “Stop worrying.” If it were that easy, don’t you think we would stop? Don’t you think we want to stop? Of course we do. It’s not fun. But it’s also not easy.
I have started this journey to help myself and realize how strong, beautiful, and amazing I am. To stop myself from worrying about yesterday and about tomorrow. To one day help those around me. And to have a happy and healthy life that I can be proud of.
I have become very outspoken since I began. I will no longer be a bystander, but I will stand up and fight for what I believe in. I will do the things that make me happy, feel stronger and more confident despite what everyone else may think or be doing. I am going to be the person I should have been from the beginning. I am going to please my soul before anyone else. I think that is the path to becoming truly happy and truly oneself. I hope others can follow this example and be the amazing people that they want to be despite the struggles. It is hard, but it is worth it.