This post is inspired by P!nk’s song “Conversations with my 13 year old self” (or 15 year old self in my case).
I think back to when this all began. The scared 15 year old girl who felt so much despair and hopelessness she would hide in her room in the dark, curled in a ball and sob until she made herself sick. Who started to hurt herself in an effort to get some control over these feelings and clear her mind, by focusing on physical pain. Who was scared of telling her mother about all of this because she felt ashamed and didn’t want to disappoint her. Who couldn’t talk to her friends because they didn’t understand and would think it was silly. Who was adamant about not going to the doctors or even discussing medication, as then it would be on her record and this could affect her future prospects.
I look happy in both these photos ⬆ right? Not a care in the world. However this, for me, is what depression looks like!
Depression hit me hard when I was 15, I didn’t know what was going on, why I felt this way. Even now, over 10 years on, I still struggle with it, feeling so low I just start crying at the slightest thing or so numb I feel nothing. I have however learnt ways to handle it better. There have also been a number of positives I have gained. As crazy as this sounds, it’s true:
- Self awareness
- Inquisitiveness: desire to learn more about psychology and emotions
- Compassion for others and self (although still working on the latter)
- Strength to keep fighting and get back up, no matter how hard or how small the step
- Passion to change the stigma associated with Mental Health and empower others
Don’t get me wrong, the positives don’t necessarily outweigh the negatives but they can make it easier. Would I go back and get rid of these feelings if I could? I don’t know, I’d be a different person. However if I could go back and tell the 15 year old me that it’s ok and help her feel less ashamed, I would. Anything to help her get to this point of acceptance earlier than 10 years later and still battling moments self doubt.
That being said, yes I have gained and grown as a person because of my experiences and it has made me who I am today but if I can stop one other person from going through what I did, I would. I hope that my sharing my experiences, that’s something I can do.
Until next time, remember, it’s okay!