I’ve been struggling with depression since 2008 when I first got diagnosed as clinically depressed. Since 2008, I have had to fight mental battles and mentally trek through war zones within my own mind. I’ve mastered “depression boot camps” full of counseling, group therapy, and self-love activities. I’ve survived mental war zones that left me be bruised, broken, blistered, and bloody. I’ve been both defeated and victorious in fighting my depression over the years. Some days I feel as though I’m on cloud nine playing a victory song as I see depression raise it’s surrender flag. However, on other days I feel as though I’ve been wounded, abandoned, and left to bleed out.
Over the years I’ve seen depression become the latest trend.
*Now, this is not to discredit anyone with depression.. nor is this meant to be taken as a competition of “whose depression is the worst?” *
Once it became mainstream and “okay” to openly discuss mental health the floodgates of hell opened up and people decided somewhere along the line that depression is “cute”. I am so tired of seeing all of these wanna be tumblr girls throw the word depression around as though it’s one of their most admirable, cute, little quirks. I’m sick and tired of people having a bad day and then turning around and labeling their bad day as depression.
NOT having a bad day. Depression is NOT a cute instagram picture with a sad song lyric attached to it. Depression is NOT a trend.
Depression looks different for everyone who lives with it.
For me, depression is feeling my throat get tight, eyes burning, and feeling as though the world was ripped from underneath my feet as I fall into a thick, suffocating, quicksand that swallows me whole. Sometimes the harder I fight the more I feel held down by the weight of this imaginary quicksand until I just give up and let it suffocate me. It’s waking up after nightmares in the middle of the night about past events that shaped who I mentally am today. It’s knowing people are on your side, but distancing yourself from them anyways. Depression is sitting in silence because even your favorite song is too loud. Depression is feeling your skin wrap itself around yourself so tightly that you just want to shed it and rip at it until you feel calm again. Depression is not getting excited about your most favorite things, the things that used to fill your cup now runs it dry. Depression for me is not a battle against the world but a battle against myself. It’s losing weight because you’re hungry, but can’t make yourself eat. It’s stripping myself of confidence. It’s perfecting the phrase “I’m just really tired.” It’s wanting to sleep for days at a time, but my mind not allowing myself to close my eyes at three a.m. when I feel alone. It’s wanting people to help me, but not being able to accept the love they show. Depression is people telling you to pray about it, eat better, take a nap, drink more water, or take these vitamins, or go do a hobby you love and expect you to magically feel better.
And while we are on the topic… Can we all just take a moment to cut the crap with the whole “If you really love yourself you cannot be depressed” bullsh*t? Because to me that is one of the biggest dang lies I’ve ever heard. I’ll be the first to admit that, at the moment, I’m not at my full potential when it comes to self love. However, last summer I was at my peak of self love and let me tell you I still battled depression. Depression is not about loving yourself. You have absolutely got to love yourself through depression because often times YOU are gonna have to be the one to pull yourself together.
I’m tired of having to feel the need to validate how “real” my depression is or seeing other people I know struggling with depression themselves suffering in silence because other people seem to think that depression is “cute.” So think about that the next time you wanna act like depression is
cute or a joke or act like it’s a trendy personality trait every time a new breakup song comes out. I need you to check yourself before ya wreck yourself. I’ve lost a lot of peers to suicide in recent years and I need more people to feel comfortable and confident in talking about their mental health.
Much love, Good vibes, & Don’t be strangers.
I’m always open to thoughts and opinions. Contact me via the “Who is Ashlyn?” tab above 👆🏻
*and PS yes, I am okay. Just finishing a draft I’ve had saved more awhile.💜*