Depression is not a nice thing. Nobody likes to talk about depression. It’s not well seeing, it’s not desirable, it’s not fashionable either. Most importantly: depression it’s not a temporary thing like a headache you feel one day, go to sleep a bit earlier and wake up better in the next morning. Depression is a disease, it has several complications and treatments, and it needs to be taken as seriously as it is. Suffering from depression for years, I know exactly what I’m talking about.
My depression is like an evil side. It’s there, controlled and quiet for a long time, and suddenly hits me harder than ever before. It makes me doubt my strength to keep going. My capabilities to do things. My values and the reasons why I deserve to be in this world. But, for a lot of time, my depression was there, every day, when I looked myself in the mirror or when something cool happened: “You are ugly”. “You are disgusting”. “You are weird”. “You are confused”. “You don’t deserve that”. “That was just lucky”. “Even bad people get lucky sometimes, that’s why good things happen to you – because you got lucky”. “Nobody really cares about you, people only pretend they like you”. “You’re so forgettable”. I’ve sabotaged myself so hard and for so long that its confusing to realise that, this time, I’m not doing it. At least not that I have noticed.
The first time I got a depression diagnosis was a bit more than nine years ago. I was shocked. To me, that was unreal. I was a happy person surrounded by groups of perfect friends. I had an excellent job, I was in a beautiful relationship, my family was doing okay. It was less than two years since I had lost my mother. That was the only downside of me I could see back then. I haven’t given myself enough time to heal, that was all. Years and years of therapy and different treatments, with different professionals had shown that that was far from being the only issue. But this is another history.
Today, I can say that I’m grateful. During this pandemic, I had the perfect scenario to let all my internal monsters to defeat me. It would’ve been an easy task if I haven’t spent the last years trying to leave in peace with them. I dared to try different treatments and to submit myself to these experiences even when I thought it wouldn’t be the case. I kept myself focused on areas of my life where I was doing good while trying to fix the grey areas. More recently, I’ve established a routine of healthy habits, and I’m following them. Exercises and meditation are part of the package. And it feels nice.
Not of the above would be enough if I haven’t started practising a bit of self-love every day. I got used to blaming myself to all wrong in the world and blame the occasion to all the nice things that had happened. This has been the most challenging transformation of all: I’m saying good things to myself every day. So, instead of saying “You’re stupid”, I’m practising to say “Next time, you should have a different attitude in this situation”. “You said what you were feeling, and that’s good, you were honest to yourself and to the world”. “No, that wasn’t lucky, that was a result of a lot of hard work, congratulations, you deserve that”. “Yes, you worked hard for it, enjoy”. “There are better ways to express your feelings, but it’s okay, that gives you experience”. And that way, little by little, I’m learning self-love. And it’s never too late to learn it.
For the courage of sharing these thoughts, for the journey of the past nine-ten years, for each small success or big achievement, for the times you felt fear, and you dealt with it anyway, for not allowing your monsters to win it and much, much more: thank you, Rakky.