When I was younger I used to believe that people would only believe that my suffering is real if I had a diagnosis to back up my feelings with. I knew that something wasn’t right since I was 14 years old, but it wasn’t until a psychologist diagnosed me with various mental illnesses that I felt as though I had a right to feel the way I was feeling. Thankfully, I know better now.
When I was assessed for mental illnesses I was told that I had depressive symptoms, but not enough to warrant a diagnosis of clinical depression. At the time I agreed with the assessment; while I had been struggling with anxiety I did not think I was depressed. Recently though I’ve been feeling like things have changed. I’ve started to feel that sense of hopelessness creeping into my mind during every waking moment of my day. I’ve isolated myself from people who care about me and while I have no intention of ever acting on the thoughts, I have been struggling with the idea that maybe things would be easier if I just didn’t exist.
Wow. That was hard to write.
I’ve always told myself that I would never let myself reach the point where I have lost my will to live, but I think I’ve learned that this is not something that I have abundant control over. And the thing is that if you asked me “do you want to live?”, my answer would 100% be YES. I do not want to die. I just want to stop experiencing so much pain. It’s like every single light in my life has dimmed or burned out to dull embers and I’m left wandering around in the dark searching for something, ANYTHING, that I can cling to and pull myself back to the safety of the light. But the problem is that it feels like there is nothing to cling to and even if there was I’m not sure that I would have the strength to hang on.
The only feeling that I have experienced that was more painful than this current feeling of sadness, isolation, and self-hatred is the feeling of grief. But at times this pain is so overwhelming that it reminds me of the pain that I experienced while grieving the loss of a loved one. It feels…indescribable. If you’ve never experienced the pain of depression then I honestly don’t think you could ever understand how crushing this illness is physically and mentally.
While I have never been officially diagnosed with depression I believe that I am living through it right now. I don’t think I need a doctor to tell me what I already know. This feeling is not normal, it is not okay, and I do not need the validation of a doctor to tell me what I am feeling.
What I need to know is how do I escape this bleak, hopeless battle zone in my mind? How do I get better when I essentially have the support of one person aside from my therapist and that person is so far away that she is only really present in one or two text messages a day? How do I stop myself from giving in to the self-harm urges when my roommate/ex-best friend does everything in her power to make me hate myself and my life every single day? How do I think positively when it feels as though everything is falling apart? How do I stop hating who I’ve become? How do I hold onto hope for anything when it feels as though every ounce of hope is being drained out of my mind day by day, second by second?
I don’t know how to beat this.