There came a point in my journey where I just didn’t want to do this anymore. I was done. I wasn’t going to try anymore. I wasn’t going to fight anymore. I was just done with life.
There were so many reasons why this made sense to me.
There was the jealousy of neurotypical people. The people who aren’t mentally ill. The people who don’t have this struggle and don’t understand this struggle and probably never will.
There was the exhaustion that comes from knowing today is going to be an uphill battle, just like yesterday and the day before that and the day before that because depression is an ongoing thing. It doesn’t have an off switch to flip or a pause button to push.
There was the rage. Anger that hit me at unexpected times. The irritability came in waves and, just like the ocean, the pain seemed just as vast and deep. One moment I was fine and the next I wanted to scream. I wanted to give up and walk away from everything.
But I had to decide if I was going to try again. I had to choose if I was going to get out of bed this time. I had to pick one: give up or keep going.
I won’t pretend like it was an easy choice. It wasn’t for me. It probably isn’t for you, either.
Maybe you think giving up means no more ignorant comments about mental illness from your family, friends, coworkers, or classmates. No more suffering in silence. No more shame or guilt or confusion.
Maybe you think it’ll be the end of tears on your pillows or failures eating you alive. No more doctors, no more fear. No more panic attacks or orange medication bottles.
But to keep going means you are more determined than whatever it is that’s trying to destroy you. To keep going means you’re giving yourself one more chance because to give up on life is the same thing as giving up on yourself.
But you’re not some broken toy on a shelf. You’re not beyond help.
You can take back control of your life. You can talk back to the voice in your head and tell it to be quiet. You can get dressed and leave your home to go to work because depression isn’t your boss. You can choose to ignore the things that people say. You can choose to keep going.
Don’t just think about the tears on the pillow or the anxiety attacks or the ignorant comments. There is so much more to life than those things, even if you can’t see them right now. It’s true. There is more out there for you. There are better things out there for you.
From one survivor to another, I want you to know that we may be different but different isn’t a death sentence. It’s an opportunity to survive and thrive, to live and let live, to never quit.
You don’t deserve to die. You deserve to be here.
You deserve to stay.