In the darkest depths of a depressive episode, it can feel as though the light will never return. You may question if you will ever be able to feel joy again. The days come and go with an all-too-familiar sorrow. But then, a moment arrives and reminds you that you can feel alive again. If you are anything like me, you cling to these moments and choose to live from one to the next.
For many, this is exactly what survival looks like. It’s amazing how a single moment can remind us that it’s good to be alive and that we want to stay. I know the in-between can feel hopeless and you may wonder if another moment will ever come: I promise you, I’ve been there and they always return.
Here is what you need to know: The time and space between each joyful moment may vary. But when it shows up, it’s the surprise of the feeling and the realization that you’ve made it that make breathing easier.
Think about the last time you paused and thought, ‘Wow, THIS is living.’ Cling to that. Remember that. Focus on that. Crave it. Want it. And know you deserve to fight for that feeling.
Don’t allow yourself to believe that your story is a sad one. Easier said than done—I get it. Feeling like we were put on this earth to be a discouraging example is an unfortunately common feeling for me. Despite what your mind may tell you, we are all capable and worthy of fighting to live, not just survive. One of my closest friends lives by the phrase, “Little victories.” She believes to her core that no accomplishment is too small to celebrate. Every victory counts and when combined, it creates the greatest success story.
Now, it is my turn to live for little victories. I want my story to consist of the countless small moments that remind me to keep fighting. You deserve to feel your heart beat faster when your favorite artist comes out on stage. You deserve to feel your jaw unclench when the ocean waves hit your toes. You deserve to have a stomach ache from laughing with the person you love most. These are the moments that remind you to stick around. You are capable of feeling alive again. Continue to fight, find, and experience these moments. They are not so small after all.
This blog is dedicated to my new friend, Joy Oladokun. Thank you for giving me my “moment” during a very difficult chapter. I am forever grateful for your heart, your laugh, your smile, and your voice. The world and I are so lucky to have you.
People need other people. You are not weak for wanting or needing support. If you’re seeking professional help, we encourage you to use TWLOHA’s FIND HELP Tool. If you reside outside of the US, please browse our growing International Resources database. You can also text TWLOHA to 741741 to be connected for free, 24/7 to a trained Crisis Text Line counselor. If it’s encouragement or a listening ear that you need, email our team at [email protected].