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Desperation from depression is an opportunity for perseverance

Desperation from depression is an opportunity for perseverance

Desperation from depression is an opportunity for perseverance
June 16
14:00 2022

Content warning: The following story contains language related to suicide that may be triggering for some readers. Viewer discretion is advised. 

I remember what was going to be the last night of my life. I was harrowingly desperate to make sure I wouldn’t experience any more pain — I just couldn’t anymore.

Life had gotten to the point where I felt I was no longer living. I felt like a zombie wandering aimlessly and sluggishly as the days went by without me even in tow.

The only thing that seemed to live inside me were the weeds of depression that I would pitifully pluck with no end in sight. For so long I lived this way, and eventually, I decided enough was enough, and so I chose a night.

When I was a mere few hours away from ending it all, I realized I was terrified. I didn’t want to die. I wanted so desperately to live.

I wanted something I could be afraid of losing. I was as desperate to live, really live, as I was to leave all the negative feelings behind. It suddenly dawned on me that, at least logically, I could have both. The only catch was that it would take immense courage and will to do so, especially as a depressed individual.

I gave myself an ultimatum: get some form of help, or never know what it feels like to have something I could lose.

As something that many people live with, especially in our growing population, learning how to manage depression is essential. I have lived with, suffered through and grown alongside my depression for ten years — and I will continue to do so for the rest of my life.

While I too am still learning about how to deal with my mental illness, one thing I have learned is the power of perspective.

That night, I saw no other way out. I was so fixated on what I could possibly do to stop feeling so much pain, and only one “solution” came to mind. Yet when I was desperate enough, everything came into perspective, like a lens zooming out from the bark to find the forest. Depressed people tend to feel emotions, including desperation, with an intense strength and depth. With enough desperation comes will. That is why I am still alive today.

Depression is a challenge every time it comes around, and once it’s faded away — no matter how long or short — it waits until the next time. The end of that depressive wave is where success lies. Every wave is an opportunity. Every time we are able to breathe again after we are taken by a wave is an achievement, and depressed people have so many achievements.

I am not saying mental illness is a blessing, but it doesn’t have to be a burden either. People with mental illness are presented with challenges that others don’t experience. We have the opportunity to learn skills that make us emotionally and mentally stronger throughout the rest of our lives.

Learning how to appreciate more deeply, be more aware of ourselves and discredit negative self-talk all make life richer. It allows us to better understand others since we know how harsh life can be.

All of these skills and achievements are, with no doubt, things to be proud of. We have made it this far. We have won every battle for as long as we have lived. We are still here.

We are still here in spite of every negative, hopeless, despairing thought and feeling we have ever had — in spite of every day filled with numbness and spent with no energy. Every wave we have reeled ourselves through is proof that we will make it through every other one that comes our way again and again. We get the chance to realize that we are stronger than we take ourselves for. The world is different for us, and it’s time to take advantage of that.

Featured Illustration by Erika Sevilla

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Erika Sevilla

Erika Sevilla

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