When I talk about my depression, I always describe it as drowning – being pulled down into those endless dark depths. I want to scream but I know nobody would hear me. I want to reach out and grab something to pull myself to the surface but there is nothing and no one there except the darkness that surrounds me. Everything feels cold and alone. It’s like I’m anchored to the bottom and no matter how much I struggle to swim, the shore is always out of reach.
I’ve spent so much of my life alternating between treading water, fighting to stay afloat and being yanked underwater, drowning in depression. I never manage to make it ashore, never get a moment to rest. There’s days I barely catch my breath before being dragged under again. Even when I’m treading water, the demons of my depression tear at me, like sharks in a feeding frenzy, forever starving and wanting to devour me whole. I’ve spent my life lost at sea.
I am so tired of crying, of feeling unwanted and unloved. I am so tired of hurting, of having the demons of my past tormenting me daily. I am so tired of being afraid of the future, terrified that I might not be strong enough to keep going. I am so tired of feeling alone, unheard, forgotten and discarded. Every day, every moment is a struggle. I am so very tired.
However, I refuse to give up hope. I refuse to believe that this is all there is to life. I refuse to let my depression beat me. I refuse to let those people who used, abused and callously hurt me win. I have fought my whole life to keep going. I am a survivor. I cannot surrender. I have come too far to give up now. I don’t want to drown.
More than anything, I just want to be okay. I want to learn to smile, not the fake ones I paint on for the peace of mind of others but a GENUINE smile. I want to be happy. To learn to like myself – I’m not entirely sure that loving myself is possible but I’d be satisfied just waking up not hating myself and the mess that I am everyday. I want to laugh and enjoy life. I want to actually live. I want to flourish. I want to leave my mark and make a difference in this world.
I know it sounds asinine to be so hopeful when I’ve had no reason to ever believe in happily ever afters. I hold tightly to my hopes and dreams, though, because I need to believe there’s something more, something better, something worth fighting for in life. The moment I stop believing, stop hoping, is the moment I surrender and sink under and lose my battle. I have to be hopeful in order to survive.