Free ride on an emotional roller coaster. No motivation. Negative thoughts. Unclear (or sometimes none at all) view of the future. Suicidal ideations. Embarrassment. Anger towards self. Isolation.
These are just some of the things Depression gave me, wrapped in a black box so big it swallowed me.
But there are good things, I found in the box, though. Not really the best gifts you could receive, but they’re as good as they can get.
People think that all you get from depression are bad things, such as those mentioned above. This is somewhat true, to some extent. But as I delved deeper into the box of depression, I was able to find somewhat positive things. Things I may not have acquired someplace else.
1. I was able to understand life (a little bit) better. I now know that life isn’t always kind. Yes, I sometimes feel that life gives me nothing but despair, but as I looked back into my life, back when I was still feeling good (the real kind of “good”), I was able to see that, life consists of ups and downs. It’s not always a smooth ride. I may be on the “down” part right now, but I know in my heart that I’ll reach that “up” part again in the future; I just have to hang on tight and live to see what happens next.
2. I was able to understand myself better. I admit I became too introspective for my own good. But what the heck, I think it’s better than not having a clue at all about myself.
3. I was able to understand other people as well. I think the most important thing depression taught me is to become sensitive with other people’s feelings. I learned to be mindful of my words and think about how it would affect other people. I learned that you just don’t joke about certain things (i.e. suicide, rape, etc.). I was able to feel what other people feel because I was able to walk in their shoes, more or less. I learned how to act around other people. I learned not to be an insensitive prick (being sassy and being a jerk are two different things).
4. I have a basis for creating a character with a mental illness accurately. That is, if I ever do create one. I actually like books that portray characters (with mental illness) accurately. I know that it differs with each people, but at least now I have an idea what it’s like. But I still need to do a lot of research, of course.
5. There might be people who wouldn’t understand us at all, but there are others who do. Having people who don’t understand mental illnesses is all the more reason for us to reach out (but they have to do their part as well), by all means. And while there are people having a hard time understanding us, there will always be people who will understand. They can be your therapist, your loved ones, or strangers, even, who are in the same situation as you.
6. With regards to item 5: if you do understand what the other person is going through, don’t hesitate to tell them. Because they sometimes forget. Take for instance this blog. I’m very lucky I was graced with readers who “understand what I’m going through”, or who are “in the same situation as me.” And even when they tell me those things, I always have to remind myself that they’re actually telling the truth and aren’t just being polite (which I blame my paranoid self for).
7. I am not alone. You are not alone. WE are not alone. This is one of those things that I have to remind myself constantly. But, with understanding from other people, they will be able to be by your side, ready to help you battle your demons. You have to give them your trust in return, in order for your relationship with them to work out. These are big words coming from me, who doesn’t actually share anything with people who are close to me. But I’m trying.
8. Sometimes you really just have to turn up. Again a hard thing to do besides giving your trust to anyone.
9. Depression is something that can be treated. Yes. No doubt about it. There are different kinds of therapies. Different kinds of medication. You have to find out what best suits you. Try and try until you succeed. There’s no other way but up.
10. Suicide is not an option. Okay. I’m not going to lie, I still consider this as an option. How could I not? It’s the easy way out. But then again, I think, it is a permanent way out. Once you do it, you’re gone forever. But having a mind in a depressed state, we perceive things in rather a negative light. So this is something I’m still working on.
I think there are other things I’ve learned from having depression. If you have other things to share, please do so. I’d be thrilled to learn about them as well. 🙂