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Mar6
2017

We Need to Talk About Depression (So Why Not Start With Mine)

By Debora Miranda

We need to talk about depression. Why not start with mine?

For two years I couldn’t find the pleasure in doing one of the things that I enjoyed the most. I lost count of the times I put a pillow behind my back and made myself comfortable with a laptop on my lap, only to shut it down soon thereafter because I could barely write a sentence. I tried to write with new and old notebooks, with fancy pens. I tried in the evenings and in the mornings. I used candles and music. I tried at home and in cafés, while travelling or in random places. I even went on a winter retreat on an island to spend four days totally dedicated to writing.

Yet nothing would come out.

Nothing.

Every time I closed my notebook or shut down my laptop, I would curl up in the fetal position and close my eyes, tears coming out with no mercy. No matter how hard I tried to wipe out my emotions, they would always find a way to escape.

Today I know I spent two years facing blank pages because I was trying to let out a soul that my depression had emptied.

My depression was like getting stuck in traffic. I was there against my will. I was running out of fresh air. Everything was blurry. My thoughts and feelings were crossing and running around, and I didn’t even know if they were mine or someone else’s.

I would face my wardrobe, unable to decide what to wear. I would spend hours searching for entertaining things to do, only to become exhausted and eventually give up. I cried for no apparent reason.

There were intense psychosomatic episodes that brought me to the doctor – even to emergency services – with palpitations and numbness that I could locate in my body but not in my mind. There were so many weekends at home because it was so much easier to stay in than to go out and pretend.

And yet I gained some clarity from those situations. I saw my sadness, my emptiness, and my apathy. I felt the distress of not being able to articulate what was going on inside me, of not being understood, of feeling ungrateful and useless. I realized how all of that was wrapped up in a shiny paper called guilt, which only made everything worse.

I saw it all: tiredness, apathy, sadness, and emptiness.

I felt it all too, especially the guilt.

Thankfully, in the absence of my writings, I spent endless hours reading. In the midst of my struggle, I was pleased to find a “me too” world.

It was a global, virtual community.

Scientific articles explained to me that all of this was depression.

Strangers convinced me that I could get through this.

And guess what? They were right. I did.

I’m writing this because I can write again, and now I want to help others. To those who are reading this from the other side, please know that you can get through this. You can get past the exhaustion and the apathy and the sadness and the emptiness. You won’t have to live with the guilt forever.

You can get through this. You will get through this.

I know because I could and I did.

I am writing again. This is my proof. This is my evidence that this isn’t the end for you.

So if you are stuck in your own soul like I once was: You can do this.

You can get to a place where everything is OK.

Debora writes on mental illness and other stigmatized health conditions in English and Portuguese on mindthehealth.org.

Leave a Reply

Comments (34)

  1. A

    Thank you for this.

    Reply  |  
  2. R

    I’m not quite sure you are right, if I will eventually get through.
    But thanks for sharing a hope.

    Reply  |  
    1. TWLOHA

      Thank you for commenting and reaching out. We understand your hesitation, but we do believe there is hope out there and that you can find it. We encourage you to seek out help and contact us at anytime. Our inbox at info@twloha.com is always open. We are happy to listen and respond. Also, you can find help in your area by visiting our help page: https://twloha.com/find-help/local-resources/ and you have the option of being connected to a trained counselor through the Crisis Text Line at anytime when you text “TWLOHA” to 741-741. Please know that there is help out there and hope exists. You are brave for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us.

      Reply  |  
  3. Lauren Carter

    Beautiful story told in beautiful words. Thank you.

    Reply  |  
  4. Erik

    Just found out I had depression great article all you have said is very true.

    Reply  |  
  5. Terry

    God I hope so.

    Reply  |  
  6. Anonymous Duckling

    I’m glad that you were able to write again!! God Bless You ♡

    Reply  |  
  7. Melissa

    I feel like I’m waiting for that point where ‘things get better’ or that time where ‘I can get through it’ but I feel like I’ve been stuck specifically the last two years. I can’t seem to get through it, I have little glimpses of moments where it seems things may get better, but they don’t. Help me?

    Reply  |  
    1. TWLOHA

      Melissa,

      We are grateful that you shared how you are feeling with us. It takes immense courage. We hope that you will continue seeking and asking for help. While you are always welcome to contact us anytime at info@twloha.com. We also encourage you to utilize our help page: https://twloha.com/find-help/local-resources/ and the Crisis Text Line. By texting TWLOHA to 741-741, you will be connected with trained counselor. Please continue with the bravery you have displayed by asking for help. You are strong. You can do this.

      Reply  |  
  8. Heidi

    I am so happy for you! But for me I truly believe there will never be an end. I will live in pain for the rest of my life, however long that may be. Which is why it is so tempting to leave life.

    Reply  |  
    1. TWLOHA

      Heidi,

      Thank you for commenting and reaching out. We understand the struggles you are going through. We can relate to the feelings of hopelessness and helplessness you are experiencing. But we do believe that there is hope and help out there for you. We believe that you can find peace in this world. If you ever just need someone to listen, you can contact us at info@twloha.com. We do recommended that people seek professional aid. There is a list of local resources on our help page: https://twloha.com/find-help/local-resources/ OR you can be directly connected with a trained counselor via the Crisis Text Line by texting TWLOHA to 741-741. Please do not give up on yourself or finding help. You are strong. You can do this.

      Reply  |  
  9. punctum35

    i agree and understand with what you’re saying. thank you.
    however, the only thing i dreaded hearing was that if so-and-so could overcome depression why was i still depressed.
    i feel fine now but i’d appreciate to learn what my response should’ve been back then when i heard those words.

    Reply  |  
  10. Dorothy

    Not true! I can survive with this illness but I will never get through it. Every time I think I have got through it something happens to bring it around again, in a month, a year or a couple of years… I’m right back here. It’s those times between lapses that give me strength to keep going and the people I have met online who say “me too.”.

    Reply  |  
  11. Rachael

    Thank you! I just simply want to THANK you!

    Reply  |  
  12. Alyssa

    Thank you for writing about this. It has really touched a part of me that I thought was gone, my feelings. This made me feel for the first time in a while and not feel like normal but as in a deep feeling that you can’t explain. I’m struggling with something similar and your words gave me strength to move a little further in my day. Thank you

    Reply  |  
  13. Rose

    Thank you. I needed this

    Reply  |  
  14. M

    It’s great to read about an end to the blurred vision and the feeling of lost control whole traffic goes by, but at the same time the feeling of coming up for air feels unattainable and far from grasp. I wish there were a step by step process of finding a way out or some words that could be said that would spark an “ah-ha” moment of clarity.
    For now I will find hope in others stories of reaching better days and grasp that I will find it too.
    Thank you for sharing, this was beautifully written.

    Reply  |  
  15. Nelia Reid

    Thanks you, for working through your struggle, to become a beacon of hope for others. Be encourage that through the sharing of your pain you have uplifted many.

    Reply  |  
  16. Melissa A.

    Thank you for sharing what you went through. It means a lot to not feel alone. I had depression different times in my life and it was so hard to get out of it. With the help of a psychologist, psychiatrist, family, and one of my best friends, I got better. Your message and hope you’re giving means a lot

    Reply  |  
  17. HC

    I’ve been stuck for 15 years. For me atleast I see no way out of being stuck. Wasted years long gone now. Sleeping and shutting it all off is the only pleasure i get.

    Reply  |  
    1. TWLOHA

      Hi there. Thank you for reading, commenting, and reaching out. We are grateful for your courage. We are glad you are here. Please do not hesitate to contact us at info@twloha.com. We would be honored to read and listen to what you’ve been going through. You are not alone. It doesn’t have to be this way. And since we are not professionals, we do encourage you to seek aid via our help page: https://twloha.com/find-help/local-resources/ or you can text TWLOHA to 741-741 via the Crisis Text Line to be connected to a trained counselor. You deserve hope. We are here for you.

      Reply  |  
  18. Jeffrey

    I can relate to what you’re saying. Thank you for your positive words. You’re helping me through this.

    Reply  |  
  19. Rebecca

    thank you for sharing I have been depressed and feel like no one understands I hide it also been cutting which i have to hide makes me feel like crape

    Reply  |  
    1. TWLOHA

      Rebecca, please know that you don’t have to hide how you’re feeling. We are here to listen and understand what it is you’re going through. You can always reach us via email at info@twloha.com. But please do not hesitate to seek out professional help. Whether it’s through our help page here: https://twloha.com/find-help/local-resources/ or by texting TWLOHA to 741-741, the Crisis Text Line will put you in contact with a trained counselor. Your bravery is admirable. You deserve hope and help. Always.

      Reply  |  
  20. Jeanne

    <3

    Reply  |  
  21. Keith

    Your essay here happened to be posted on my b-day. I’m a guy so with “her arms” in the title of the organization I’m especially hesitant to read the essay. I might try again if I hear of a guy sharing his story.

    Reply  |  
    1. Becky Ebert

      Hi Keith. Thanks for reaching out!

      Not sure if you are familiar with the origin story of TWLOHA, but the “her” part of our name stems from the person who inspired the organization: Renee Yohe. You can read more about her here: https://twloha.com/learn/story/

      Also, our words and our mission do not target a specific gender or age or race or creed, so we hope you can find comfort nevertheless. As for this specific blog post, it is not gender specific either. Yes, it was penned by a girl, but just as depression does not discriminate, nor do these words.

      We hope you will give it a chance! Sending hope and love.

      Reply  |  
  22. Constanza

    Hi this is my story, I’m from Chile, my English is very basic so that I help with the translator I have depression several years ago, I tried to kill myself many times, do me harm and I have so many scars on my body that I can no longer count them is very difficult to live alone so I have 16 years and no longer has to do, I have no desire to go on living because I don’t want to go to school or eat, I hate myself I discovered this site thanks to the film “to write love on her arms” and I felt so identified that I wanted to do this, write about my story I hope to read it, thank you

    Reply  |  
    1. Becky Ebert

      Constanza, thank you for reaching out to us. It is an honor to have you on our team. Please don’t hesitate to email us at info@twloha.com if you would like to share more of your story and have someone to listen.

      You are deserving of respect and love and hope and light. Also, please do not deny yourself the help you need and deserve as well. By texting TWLOHA to 741741 via the Crisis Text Line, you will be connected with a trained counselor who can help you through this difficult time. They also have a Facebook page where you can speak with them via the messenger app option: https://www.facebook.com/crisistextline

      Again, you are not alone in your journey. Please continue. Please stay. You are incredibly brave. And, you are loved.

      Reply  |  
  23. Deirdre

    I’ve struggled with depression for years. Reading this brought me to tears. Not necessarily in a bad way though. My passion is drawing and because of depression I have a really hard time doing that. I haven’t drawn much of anything in the passed 2 years because every time i try, nothing comes out. I’ve never found anyone else that has had that sort of problem, or at least no one that’s wanted to talk about it. Reading about your struggle with feeling empty and not being able to write made me feel like I’m not alone. Thank you.

    Reply  |  
  24. Deni

    hi
    Well 6 months ago one of my best friends pass away, in this moment i pass very bad, but i think that them will pass, so now ido not what to do for feel better o not think tha my best friend is dead.
    In the last two monthi i just wanna drink or have “fun” because i think if i do that i won’t remember that.

    Reply  |  
    1. Becky Ebert

      Hi Deni. We are incredibly sorry for your loss. Losing someone close to you is one of most difficult parts of life. But please know that you are not alone. And you do not have to forget your pain or the uncomfortable emotions you’re experiencing. There is help out there that will hopefully aid you as you process the grief you are feeling. And while having a drink or multiple drinks may make you forget or numb the pain, you need to look out for your wellbeing and see that getting help versus using alcohol as a temporary crutch is the best option for yourself. And you deserve it. You deserve help. You deserve to love yourself and treat yourself with respect. We have a list of local resources, including a 24-hour help line: https://twloha.com/find-help/local-resources/ Also, if you ever need to be connected immediately to a professional, you can text TWLOHA to 741741 via the Crisis Text Line. You will be put in contact with a trained counselor over text message. Deni, you are so much stronger than you think. You are brave and courageous for continuing this fight! Sending you enormous amounts of hope and love. Also, if you ever need someone to just listen, and feel the want to share your story, you can email us at info@twloha.com.

      Reply  |  
  25. SSK

    hi there,
    I know depression can be dealt with…but those are very few people who get lucky to get over it. And for sure I m not one of those..as I am still dealing with the darkness and learning to live with it…but for sure I can say one thing that I am not the girl I used to be….still hoping to see the clear sky but day by day dying inside.

    Reply  |  
    1. Becky Ebert

      Hi,

      Thank you for commenting. We hope that you can find light and love today and in the future. We know that depression isn’t something that can easily be conquered, let alone dealt with on a daily basis. You are not wrong in acknowledging this, and realizing that everyone’s journey differs. If you would like to share more of your story, we encourage you to email us at info@twloha.com.

      With Hope,
      TWLOHA

      Reply  |