Walking past me in the high school hallways was like driving down a one-way road. There was no turning back. You were sucked in without hesitation and surrounded by a cloud of my insane thoughts.
But the last thing I wanted was to be treated like something was wrong with me, and many people failed at doing so. “Don’t try to fix me, I’m not broken.” These lyrics repeated in my head everytime someone approached me. There was no need to tip-toe around me. I was and still am JUST like everyone else. In a bouquet of flowers, I would be the one blooming the most. But not because I was bat crazy. I stood out for being unique. And that was something I always patted myself on the back for.
If you know someone suffering from depression, there are a few things to keep in mind. I can only imagine that after reading my story (so far) the first thing on your mind is giving me a big hug. Let me stop you right there. Don’t do that. No one wants to be singled out, especially in front of people. Something as sensitive as this topic should be spoken about in a private manner. Not at the dinner table in front of brothers and sisters. While I do believe you should encourage this person to talk about their feelings, you should not force them to open up. When they’re ready, they’ll come to you.
Let them know that you will listen without judgement. This is so important. The last thing they want to hear is how crazy they are for feeling this way. There’s no need to hover over them. This will only cause them to isolate themselves from the outside world.
Always stay positive. Dealing with anxiety ontop of depression is exhausting. If you’re focusing on the negatives, they’ll start feeling like a burden to the world and sink into their dark shell.
It took me years to spread my wings and share my story. For some, it may not take as long. They might not even open up like I have with all of you. But that’s okay. Don’t pressure them. When the time is right, you’ll know. The only thing you can do is be there when they need you to be. Nothing more, nothing less.
I wanted to thank those of you who have reached out to me expressing how strong I am for sharing my deepest secrets. While the fun has just begun, I wanted to make it clear that I’m not doing this to have all of you feel bad for what I’ve been through. The past is way behind me. I’m standing tall, higher than ever. And I’ve gained such strength and respect for myself for being able to do this. Having all of you follow along has made this process so much easier.
So again, I thank you. Don’t stop reading now!