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Seeing The Light A Personal Narrative on How I Survived Depression

It's like being in an endless tunnel that just gets smaller and smaller. My brain was trying to kill me, my heart felt no point in beating, and my lungs thought it was useless to keep breathing. I was going through a war all on my own.

It’s human instinct to fight for survival, but what do you do when your body is trying its hardest to die?

From a young age, I have struggled with depression and anxiety. Last year it got so bad I missed three months of school, failed my math class, and barely passed the others.

Everyday I just layed in bed, trying to go back to sleep because when I was asleep I could at least dream of a life worth living. But when I’d wake and reality would set in, all I wanted to do was grab my razor blade and continue trying to feel.

On February 25, 2018, I tried to kill myself. Luckily, I had two amazing friends who were suspicious of what I was doing. One contacted my sister, who then called my mom, while the other told his mom he was worried about me and his mom called mine.

My mom ran up the stairs to the bathroom, unlocked the bathroom door, and found me: naked and bleeding in ice cold water.

I wasn’t trying to get help anymore. My medications were not working; I felt like a burden, a useless weight on everyone. I didn’t want to die for me, I wanted to die for those that I loved.

From there it was an uphill battle, everything inside me was fighting. I had to live but I couldn’t. People needed me, but it felt like no one loved me. Every time I looked at my wrist, stomach, or thighs I realized what a let-down I was. A weak, disgusting, idiotic thing, not worthy of being called an actual human.

For months, I had doctors appointments, therapy sessions, talks with family and friends all telling me I had to fight this, to not give up, to get over it. But how do I get over not being me anymore?

I made it through the school year, barely. I came home from school on the last day, my mom and I hugged, both thinking the same thing: I made it to summer. Something I thought was impossible.

Summer was better: no school, no stress, not having to rely on my medicine to be happy, hanging out with friends, and truly having fun.

I started to see a light at the end of my claustrophobic tunnel. Everyday I moved closer and closer towards it. I’ve thrown myself into friendships, art, things that make me feel whole, living. I’m still not out yet. I take my medicine every night like clockwork; I know if I miss a day of taking it the next will be horrible.

Every once in awhile, I’ll come across a knife, a razor, anything sharp that I used to use on myself, and all I want to do is chuck it at a wall, destroy it.

I look at my wrist and I see constant reminders of weakness. My family says I should love my scars, they are a sign of what I survived. I’d like that--to look at what I did to myself and instead of being ashamed, I’d be proud--but I’m not there, not even close.

I wish I could say the scars fade quickly, that this is easy to move on from, that it’s easy to hide scars, but if I said all this I would be lying. It does get easier, that’s something I can say with complete honesty. I don’t know if I will ever be depression-free. I don’t know when I can go off my meds, but I know who I am now. I’m more me than I’ve ever been.

I thought I had to fight this alone, but I didn’t. Many people have been with me through all of this. My sisters held me at my worst and still check on me frequently, seeing how I’m doing and making sure I’m not slipping into old habits. My mom took care of me for months, staying home with me, driving me places, cooking for me. It felt like she was taking care of a little kid again who was known to run with scissors. I’m extremely thankful of those friends that stopped me in February. Even if we may not be close anymore, you two are one of the reasons I’m alive, so thank you.

Even though I had help, those people didn’t save me. I saved me. I was the one fighting my battle, the one that controlled how the ending turned out, and right now, I’m finally winning.

Many have faced, will face, or are facing the cold grasps of depression, whether it be through their own struggles or someone else’s.

Mental illnesses are nothing to be afraid of or hide from. You should never be ashamed of how you are feeling, as you cannot simply stop being sad or compel yourself to be happy. Depression is, ultimately, a chemical imbalance that requires many things to fix, but most of all it requires time. For many, depression is a large part of themselves; something they are constantly fighting, whether you are aware of it or not.

No one is ever truly alone, you have to know yourself well enough to know that the reason you are still alive is all because of you. You, and only you, have the power to decide what you want to do with your life.

"I know of people who have thought about committing suicide, and then people who have self-harmed." - senior Mack Dixon
"I went through the pain of watching someone want to kill themselves, and seeing no point to their life." -Senior Arianna Emrick
"thought that there was no hope, and that nothing was going to change, that there was no point for me to be here." -Senior Cindy Sauls-Terry

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