I’m not good at talking so I’ve decided to type it instead. There is so much stigmatism when it comes to mental illness, there are also many passing comments people use to diminish mental illnesses and there are so many people fighting behind smiling faces. And I am one of them. This is the first time I have spoken out.

Nearly a year ago I was diagnosed with mild depression and mild anxiety. Surprised? Bet you cannot believe a girl like me has depression. I go out. I drink. I party. I laugh. I smile. I have friends. I have family. But that girl you know is suffering. I wake up every morning to fight the demons that kept me up the night before. I was having constant conversations with the reflection staring back at me in the mirror. A person I no longer recognised or knew.
There are many reasons why I feel like this. Some are known and some are unknown. What I do know is I’m at war with myself.
Having depression isn’t about having a ‘bad day’ but then it’s not about wanting to die either. There have been times I wanted to kill myself. But I never wanted to die. I knew I’d be okay eventually but eventually wasn’t soon enough. There was no escape, you know? It followed me. I was too ashamed to talk. Too ashamed to get help.
There were good days and you applaud yourself for them. Applaud yourself for not crying that day. Applaud yourself for getting out of bed or any other minor achievements that to anyone else is just habit or routine. What kind of world is that? You don’t wish for good days you just wish for days. To survive that day. Then you’ve done it and onto the next.
I cried nearly every night silently until my chest hurt and I could barely breathe. One night I crawled into a ball on my bedroom floor and was convinced that I didn’t want to carry on. However, I unlocked my phone to a quote saying ‘my current situation is not my final destination’ and to this day I believe that was not a coincidence.
Recovery takes time. I learnt that there is no shame in anything you need to feel better. So I went to the doctors. I took the medication I was given. To LIVE. Just like I wanted too. I learnt I wasn’t less of a person because of my depression. Everything heals. The mind heals. I became to realise I was the person to carry myself through so much heartache. I was the person to pick myself up after crying on the shower floor. Having the strength to do that when the world around you is trying to bleed you dry is a kind of power only certain people can understand.
I’m nowhere near better. It comes and it goes, every day is different. I’m a working progress. It is apart of me. I am fighting. I am learning to cope and understand. I’m surviving. I am living.