Today as it is mental health awareness day, I choose to call to all the people who fight this silent battle daily; but do not get enough recognition for it. I applaud your courage to keep living despite sometimes having to endure the pain of being misunderstood and marginalised by society. This is a silent battle I know too well, since it was not long ago that I suffered from heaps of depression and could not see a way out from it. Even worse was the fact that I felt alone when I struggled. Nothing can be further from the truth. Therefore I am going to talk about depression, what it feels like, and hopefully inspire those that have depression to regard themselves in a more positive light.
Depression is an actual mental illness. It does not only mean that you are sad but that your overall energy, life force, spirit and motivation at it’s very core; is drained. When depression goes into chronic depression, it slows your ability to think and your ability to function. Everyday tasks seem harder and you enjoy everything less than you used to. It is well known that depression can cause brain damage and vice versa. Generally speaking, it stems from a tragic event, trauma or series of abusive mistreatments from people during childhood or even adulthood.
I could go into more depth about it’s definition clinically, however I think it would be better to use a metaphor. Imagine what it would feel like for you to be stuck in a dark cave. Whilst hearing people from the outside sounding cheerful and happy. Occassionally, some people see you stuck in the cave and tell you to come outside. You are reluctant to move because you are already comfortable in the darkness, and the light seems too blinding.
In this very moment, the person may choose to force himself out of his comfort and into the light; or endure more time in the cave feeling alone and isolated. I make it sound like a simple choice, it isn’t. Even if the rational mind is made aware of the opportunity for a better life; this does not take into consideration the effort and will power needed to change a person’s life or outlook. The sheer negative energy weighs a person down in their tracks like quicksand. The longer a person is stuck the longer it will take to recover and eventually emerge out of the pits of despair.
This is why those people that carve their way out of depression and endure are the strongest. These people have mastered the art of embracing the darkness in order to appreciate light. Similar to how Batman eventually escaped the prison pit in order to fight Bane; this is how I perceive people with depression, as Dark Knights! They have created the willpower and resolve to stand and fight for life. These people I have my greatest respect for.
If you are out there and you are suffering with depression. Please know that you are sincerely loved and you are never alone. Keep the belief and never give up on life. No matter how hard, you have value on this planet and your presence is a gift. Do not be afraid to share your darkness with those you love; after all, those that matter don’t mind, and those that mind don’t matter. Your struggle and your efforts are not in vain.