Years ago, I shared my story - albeit it was a very brief overview of what I went through. It was not meant to trivialize my experiences, but rather to show glimpses. Now, a few years down the road, I think it's time to continue where I left off. Because life is not a fairy tale. It doesn't end with a "And she lived happily ever after."
I want this to be a real story. With all the depressing bites left intact. That being said, I also want to include all the good things that happen. Because those are the moments that really count. Those are the moments I want to remember, especially on the low days.
I have struggled with depression for many years now. The last time I left you when I was almost twenty, now I am almost twenty-three.
Since then, I have still struggled with depression. With suicidal ideation. Yeah, sometimes I think it's a good answer to my problems - but it's not a great answer. Or even the right answer. Or the only answer, and that is what really counts. Once you begin to recognize that suicide is NOT the only answer, it helps. Because then you can start to think about your other answers. Yes, a lot of the time they will suck. In fact, a lot of the time my alternative answers suck - but they're better than dying. I have people whom I love, who I never want to cause hurt too, and they are the reason why I am still kicking. Literally or figuratively.
The point is, you don't win every battle. But you do win the war. So long as you are breathing, you're winning the war. I can say this because I have lost battles recently. Depression has reared it's ugly head, more times than I want to admit (especially when life gets stressful or there are a lot of negative things happening around me and/or to those I love) and I have lost a share of battles. While I have not attempted suicide, I have returned to cutting on occasion. Nothing that has required stitches again, but they have left new scars.
I always promise myself that I will never cut again, but when the need arises... Yes, I call it a need because in those situations it does come down to cutting my leg and bleeding a little or ending my life. The temptation is there, when I am at a pretty low point. I don't think that is ever going to go away completely. Harsh, but most likely true.
Anyways, I share this because I want people to know they are not alone. That losing a battle - or several battles - is not the end of the war. So long as you live, you are winning the war. The moment depression tries to win, and you think about killing yourself, I want people to remember that they are badass warriors (pick your weapon of choice; I have a preference for blades myself) and that they can kick depression's ass. Depression will not win the war.
I also want people to know that, even if I have never met you, spoken to you, or even know that you exist, I love you. I want you to continue being able to wake up every morning. I want you to breath in the world around you. I want you, to stay you. Don't let depression win. Do whatever you have to, to win the war. It's okay to lose a battle. It's okay to lose several battles. We all get tired, and depression can be relentless. Just remember, that when you are ready to pick up you weapon again, that there are others who are battling against depression with you. Whether you know them or not. I call it a war because you are one of many who are fighting the same enemy: it's all of us versus depression.
Please remember that.