Depression is a term we all know. It’s defined as a medical illness. We all experience bad days and moods sometimes. It’s normal, as we’re full of emotions, and there are days when we have to let them out by crying, shouting, or physical exercise. But depression is much more than that. Even though some people don’t believe it exists.
I mean, how is it possible that a person who’s always had everything they wanted say that they’ve got depression? Yeah, they’re probably spoiled brats.
That girl who always looks happy and has got so many friends. She has no idea how hard her life could be, right? She should stop complaining.
Do you remember the man in the suit from the bar? He obviously has got loads of money, there was a wedding ring on his finger and the picture of his wife and a daughter on a screen phone. So his life must be excellent. What could possibly be wrong?
Unfortunately, depressive disorder is just like any other illness. We don’t decide if we want it or not. So, yes, we choose to fight with it, but we still struggle, and it hurts when we don’t feel understood and don’t get any support from people we expect it from.
I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety in November last year. I know it’s been with me much longer, but I was able to hold it in myself. However, the events of that month shocked me so much, I lost all of my strength. One thing made me feel so weak and put me into bed for the next few months. I wasn’t able to eat or sleep. My mum had to force me to eat at least one sandwich per day and come back home from work to check on me. Life around me just stopped, and thinking about that makes me cry even now. It was undoubtedly the worst time in my life.
Thankfully, I had support. A kind of support I’d never expect to get. And this was the time when crying and choking on tears, I let everything out. It was such a good feeling to know I’m no longer alone. Surprisingly, everyone around was so keen to help me. Nobody questioned my feelings, and oh god, I’m so lucky to have those people around me.
Although, I still felt like there aren’t enough words that could describe all of those emotions. When I finally managed to start living again, I ordered few books and started reading. It was a fantastic feeling to enjoy something again.
When I was in a bookstore in a poetry section, one title caught my attention. ‘Depression and Other Magic Tricks’ by Sabrina Benaim. I didn’t even open the book to check at least one of the poems. I just bought it.
Later, at home, by the candlelight, I leafed through the book, reading one poem after another, until I came across the one that made me fall apart again for a moment. I realized I’ve heard it before, but only this time did it hit me so much.
Sabrina Benaim, a performance artist, and poet, has said everything that was in my mind for so long. I found her performance on youtube, and during ‘Explaining My Depression To My Mother,’ she shouted out all of my fears and feelings.
It’s unrealistic how all of it was on my mind before I came across the poem. Honestly, I would never be able to say all of the things, Sabrina said. Because how can you tell your parents that every night you’re scared of their death? How are you going to explain to your friends why you stood them up AGAIN? Yes, I am guilty of that. I’m not proud of it, but there are days when I’ve got no strength to leave my bed. And there is also no way I’d admit that when I say I’m busy, I’m actually lying in my bed, doing nothing.
Sabrina Benaim is a person I’ve never met. Hopefully, one day I will. Yet, somehow I found so much support in her. I finally managed to communicate, what’s going on, and my parents understood. They looked at me and realized how much I’ve been going through. I’ll always be thankful to this woman for achieving the impossible.
Don’t get me wrong. There is still a long way to go for me. But, I’ve gotten help, and I feel understood. I don’t know, how the situation would look like if it wasn’t for this one poem. Maybe I’d be alone, as people around wouldn’t understand.
Thanks to the help of my loved ones, I know one day I will be perfectly healthy. During the last months, I learnt, I need time and people. I realized that I should never apologize for being this way because it’s not my fault, and if someone decides to leave me because of it… that’s okay. I can’t be selfish and make them stay. Sometimes we need difficult situations to find out who’s worth our time.
If you struggle, remember, you don’t have to be alone. Ask for help. Look for it in everything around you. Don’t be ashamed. You deserve the best. Take your time, but don’t give up. If there is no one you can talk to, there are still mental health charities like, e.g., Mind. Remember, you’re not alone.