run

I’d never really enjoyed running. That is, I’d never really enjoyed running until I ran my way out of depression.

When I ran alongside the river this morning I felt euphoria. I smiled at fellow runners passing by, I felt my body push itself through the final stretch, I felt cool, crisp air against my face, I listened to the church bells chime, I became taken aback by the incredible beauty of the nature around me, my heart warmed at the sight of young children walking with their parents, I thought to myself how incredibly lucky I am to know the people I do – I felt bliss. I’d never experienced this kind of joy until recently – this pure, absolute happiness. It was this kind of run that stopped me in my tracks, quite literally, to say to myself: thank you, depression.

I lived through my own personal hell. There is nothing that knows you better than your own self, and when you struggle through depression, this disease uses this knowledge to take. you. down. Depression nags at your deepest, darkest, fears and insecurities. It knows how to do this so efficiently that it even tricks you into blaming everything else in your life for making you feel this way. It must be how your parents brought you up, it must be that ex boyfriend that treated you so horribly, it must be because I’m not smart enough, it must be because I’m not skinny enough, it must be because I have no friends, it’s must be something beyond my control.

After 2 dreadful, unspeakable years, I won by battle with depression by blaming the real villain: the disease. I squashed him. He didn’t like when I took medication to alter the chemical imbalances in my brain? Good, I’ll show him. He didn’t like when I learned to stop putting so much pressure on myself to get perfect grades? Perfect, I’ll practice self-care like no one has ever seen it before. He didn’t like when I did things simply out of enjoyment and pleasure? Excellent, I’ll join yoga, I’ll shop because I feel like it, I’ll eat a piece of pie because I deserve a piece of pie, I’ll go out with my friends on the weekend because I’m young, I’ll spend an entire night listening to incredible music in the light of a scented candle with a damn good book. And why? Because it makes me furiously happy. I am furiously happy – I am happy and I want to shove it in depression’s face. “See? See what you did? You tried to tear me down and look where that got you? I’m happier than I ever have been before. Suck on that.”

As I looked out from a walking bridge onto a beautiful city that I now call home, I’ve never felt so incredibly lucky. This is where I am meant to be, and depression helped me get here. Depression made me grow exponentially as a person and as a woman. I know myself, I know my limits, I know my darkness, and I am learning about my light. Without depression, I wouldn’t have been strong or smart enough to learn one of the most important lessons thus far in my life: it takes a strong person to persevere through roadblock after roadblock, but it takes an even stronger person to admit their defeat and accept their limits.

So, you better watch yourself depression, because this girl isn’t backing down now – she’s coming back at you full force, even stronger than before.

This may be gibberish.

Of course when I am the most creative and inspired it is when I should be studying physics instead. It is 12:30pm on a Sunday night and I have decided to write down the insanity that was the past few years of my life. It continues to amaze me every day to look back on these past few years, and I do not want to ever lose these memories. Lets be clear: these memories are the absolute WORST. I suffered immensely and almost lost myself in it all. However, somehow, with the help of many incredible humans I managed to creep my way back to my old self. Even better, I found myself an even better self, with experiences for the books.

This is me,

 

High school student. Grad class president. A hint of social butterfly, straight A student by day, frequent party go-er by night. Dating the biggest catch. Captain of the basketball team, lead role in the musicals. Happy.

This is also me,

 

‘Ivy League’ student…

I had planned to write more than simply me being a student, but folks that’s all I’ve got for you. Want to hear something crazy – this picture was taken a couple of months after the latter. Funny how things can go from story-book ideal to, well, shitty. Seems almost spooky how different a person became in such a short amount of time. There weren’t any traumatic events between these pictures that could have explained such a change. Seems very strange…

Actually, its not strange at all, its a disease called depression.

Depression made me isolate myself from everyone and everything.

Depression made me afraid of people, even my closest friends.

Depression made blame my state on everything else in my life rather than simply blaming the disease.

Depression made me eat the same thing every single day at the same time everyday, a symptom known as obsessive compulsive disorder.

Depression made me stop doing everything in my life that brought me joy, because these things were not ‘rational’.

Depression made me unbelievably antisocial.

Depression made me stress over every single test, no matter how significant, to the point where I had to drink wine to fall asleep at night.

Depression made me hate people that I cared so much about.

Depression made me lose the joy of a beautiful song, a candle, a cup of coffee.

Depression made me dangerously frugal.

Depression made me lay awake for hours at night with an imaginary pain in my legs.

Depression made me blame my state on my parents.

Depression made me forget what it means to be alive.

Depression MADE me.

You fucking suck depression.