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Freeing Yourself from the Prison of Depression

Man jumping

“I’m stronger because of the hard times, wiser because of my mistakes, and happier because I have known sadness.” ~Unknown

I was diagnosed with clinical depression and prescribed anti-depressants when I was twenty-one years old. I refer to this point in my life as the “Dark Ages.”

Leading up to grad school, I’d suddenly become afflicted with incomprehensible despair.

At seventeen, for the first time (at least for the first time I could remember), I considered suicide. I felt as if life should’ve been more than what it was. I had a deep sense that I was supposed to be contributing something spectacular to the world, to the tune of curing cancer or working with AIDS patients in Africa.

As such, I fell short of my ideal self, and this illusion ravaged my soul. So I emptied a parents’ prescription medication into my palm, retreated into my room, and prepared for my tragic exit.

As I was bringing the pills to my mouth, I heard the ring of an incoming instant message. I’d forgotten to sign offline. This friend of mine spent the next hour or so hearing me out. I was literally saved by the bell.

But my despair kept visiting me like a persistent acquaintance that wanted to be more than friends. By the time I was in grad school, he’d showed himself in and made himself comfortable, asking me how long he could stay this time.

I didn’t have an answer for him because I was getting comfortable playing house with the ole chap, until one day I realized I’d locked myself in with him, condemning myself to be a prisoner in what soon evolved into his house. We were cellmates, he and I.

At times, I felt empty. Only a shell of a person. At other times, I felt overwhelming hopelessness and sobbed without end, uncontrollably and inconsolably.

Still, other times I felt rage over my past, which was stained with childhood sexual abuse. And then there were the times I simply felt like being silent and alone.

I was at the bottom of a shadowy well, and the sunlight above seemed impossibly out of reach. Could I ever climb out of this? I wondered. Or was I doomed to forever suffer this terrible fate, plagued with suicidal ideation, loneliness, and raw debilitating emotions for the rest of my life?

As it were, I found a way out.

It wasn’t easy. I wouldn’t lie to you.

And yes, there are still times when I lose my way and unintentionally trip back into that old, dark well.

But I’m stronger these days, and I’m able to catch a protruding ledge on my way down and hold my weight.

I’m strong enough to climb back out. In fact, I’ve never fallen all the way to the bottom again, but even if I did, I’ve developed an interminable tenacity that will always see me climbing toward the sunlight one more time.

So how did I do it?

First, I freed myself from prison.

That is to say, I owned my story. As I hailed from an evangelical Christian background at the time, it was a struggle to come out with regards to depression (as it is with any giant we face). The doctrine of many such religious institutions asserts that if you only believe enough, pray enough, fast enough, give enough…then your trial will pass.

Miracles certainly can and still do occur, but the problem with such doctrines is the failure to realize that some afflictions are meant to remain with us—whether to assist us with our own personal development or to raise the collective consciousness of those around us.

Further, people often find that they have no reason to own a “sob story.” This is perhaps one of the biggest locks on silence’s prison. We believe only people with certain circumstances deserve to be depressed. If, however, you are successful, loved, and seem to have it all, then what reason have you to feel sad?

Unfortunately, people don’t realize that this is precisely what some forms of the attack take—feeling despair even when there are no external reasons why you should feel that way.

Whatever your cause, the first step in taking the reins back where it concerns your life is to simply own your story and admit to yourself what you feel.

Next, share your story.

I never really saw myself as a potential poster child for sexual abuse survivorship or for mental health. All I knew was that every time I shared my story with someone, I felt my heart cast off a dead weight and become lighter.

Know this: Repression only causes further depression. The more you resist your story, the more you push it deeper into the recesses of your soul, the more likely it is that your depression and silence will take physical manifestation (for me: panic attacks, among other things).

The cure? Share your story. Yes, it will be scary at first, but you’ll soon be amazed by the sense of liberation and freedom that you feel shortly afterward. Share it with a friend. A family member. A support group. Share it on an online forum. Share it below in the comments if you’d like. Just share it!

When we do away with silence, we not only free ourselves from its prison but we build community with each other and force loneliness to dissolve.

Lastly, declare war.

I had to make a decision. Was I going to let depression collar me up and take me out for walks whenever it so chose, or was I going to reverse roles and become the master of my own life?

Was I going to fight this?

Was I going to throw ropes down that old familiar well so that on days when I did trip and fall in, I’d have something to hold on to?

Yes, I decided. I was. I owed it to myself. Because I was worthy. Because I deserved love. Because I deserved peace. And so do you.

Our wars, like any war out there, are fraught with countless battles. It’s also entirely a trial-and-error type of warfare you’ll be enacting. Sometimes you’ll be on the offense; sometimes on the defense. Sometimes you’ll feel winded with defeat; other times you’ll feel high with triumph.

What’s important to remember is that everyone is different. What works for one person may not work for you. What works for you for one season may not work in the next.

You have to commit to continually finding new weapons and keeping the ones that are most effective. My own arsenal has consisted of things like: yoga, meditation, breath work, community, hobbies, exercise, professional help, medication, music, and more.

And my encouragement to you would be to try all of these things and then some, and constantly evaluate and assess their impact on you.

But what I most what you to remember, my sweet kindred soul, is that you are so much more than a diagnosis; and more importantly, you are not alone.

I stand with you—as do millions of others around the world. And I believe hope can be yours. I believe, in fact, that hope already lives inside of you.

It’s the voice deep in your heart that keeps you going, day after day. It’s what compelled you to even read this post. It’s the stirring up inside of you that wonders at a brighter tomorrow.

Together, I believe we can combine the energy of our individual hopes until they come an unstoppable cosmic force that not even the most relentless of giants can contend with until we’ve reached every last one of us with the message our souls yearn to hear: you are not alone, you are loved, and we will stand with you through every storm that comes your way.

Woman in chains image via Shutterstock

About Lily Velez

Lily Velez is a Certified Life Strategies Coach, award-winning speaker, spiritual mentor, and the author of an upcoming novel about forgiveness. To find out what dead weights may be holding you back from the fulfilling life you want, Lily invites you to access the free quiz at her website (www.lilyvelez.com).

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  • Rina

    Thank you so much for this post!! It really helped to read through it, plus, I wanted to express gratitude for the person who messaged you that day, too. I sometimes randomly message or write to friends of mine, just to tell them how important they are to me and how much I love them. And I mean it. I have lost one friend to suicide actually, and also have had not really what you call a “good childhood” and such (mainly through physical and emotional abuse + bullying), tried to commit suicide at some points, too, and then was diagnosed with schizophrenia. I don’t take anti-depressants, but let’s just say, I can understand how people with depression feel. Explaining this would reach down too much into my soul, and I feel kind of scared to share it all, but let’s just leave it to, ever since I was 10 I continually tried to kill myself, and it wasn’t until recently that I had the feeling I must wake up from this nightmare.

    Recently, I learned that making and composing music helps me a great deal. I don’t mean to advertise what I do, but it means so much to me … It has been my dream to make music for so long in my life, after all. I think that working towards a goal and standing up even when you fell and dusting yourself off is very effective (for me). 🙂

  • Hi Lily
    Thank you so much for sharing your story. Discussing out dark times is certainly not easy ,but the more people that find the courage to do it, the more others will feel comfortable doing the same and know they aren’t alone. As someone who has battled depression in the past, I resonated with so many things you said.

    One of the things that particularly struck me was your point about people thinking they have no reason to be depressed given the good things they may have in their life, and this only serves to worsen it as there is also some sense of guilt and anger with ourselves for feeling this way. Sometimes depression is situational and is triggered by challenging circumstances and sometimes it just shows up, and that is true for people who seem to have ‘no reason’ to be experiencing it.

    Interestingly, one of the things that helped me most with overcoming my feelings of depression was the study of the law of attraction. It gave me a strengthened sense of control over my life, and in my efforts to raise my vibration and feel better so I could attract the things I wanted, a lot of my darker thoughts went away. One of the things I realized is our thoughts are manifestations and when I was able to feel better more consistently, those lower energy thoughts were no longer a match for my predominant vibration.

    Great post..I know this will help a lot of people

  • Jeff

    That was a message I needed to hear today. Thank you.

  • lilyvelez

    You are very welcome, Jeff! :0)

  • lilyvelez

    Hi Rina, wow – you are very brave for sharing your story and I honor you for that, because I know it’s not easy. What a remarkable person you are! Thank you for showing us how you’ve personally overcome through music. I also enjoy music and I can certainly attest to its power! Keep composing! Your soul’s clearly found something that makes it feel alive and that’s certainly worth living for. Thank you for your wonderful post. :0)

  • lilyvelez

    Hi Kelli! Yes, absolutely! I also subscribe to the thoughts=vibration ideas and I’ve found that doing things that raise my vibration (whether it’s music, being grateful, or focusing on higher-level thoughts) has made a profound difference for me! I’m so glad to hear this has proven beneficial to you as well. Keep those good thoughts coming! :0) Thanks for commenting

  • Peace Within

    Hi Rina, glad you are doing better. That’s good that you are making music. That is your art. Take care <3

  • Peace Within

    Hi Lily! Thank you for sharing. I am glad you are doing better and have overcome your hardships. I would call the friend that messaged you that day your guardian angel. It’s so true that when we open up and talk about our pain, it heals us. I know from my own experience. It’s good that you are opening up about your past, you may be able to help younger people dealing with the same circumstances. You have wisdom and understanding. From things I went through… when I talked to people about it, unless they could relate they didn’t know what to say. Or they said the wrong things. The ones that did relate helped me heal so much. Keep your head up. Take care <3

  • Andi Poland

    Needed to hear this too. Yet another reason to be grateful you are here is that your words are now helping others. Be well.

  • Frances

    “It’s the voice deep in your heart that keeps you going, day after day. It’s what compelled you to even read this post. It’s the stirring up inside of you that wonders at a brighter tomorrow.”

    THIS. SO MUCH THIS. THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH!

  • Sean

    Great article. Inspiring. I was hoping I would find something like this. It’s hard to ask for help or share my feeling. I think what will help me is to just believe that there are people who will care about me and will listen. Tough right now.

  • Bee

    This is beautiful and inspiring.

  • Matsu

    Thank you Lily <3

  • Clare

    Wow!! Brilliant article, inspiring :)) Clare x

  • Carla Green

    I struggle every day with feeling unworthy,some days are better than others. I almost feel like I have to apologise for being alive….if that makes sense ? It’s comforting to know I’m not alone in how I feel. I will keep on trying to beat my demons and reading these posts give me hope

  • lococd

    I would like to share this with my spanish speaking friends, do you have a translation? can I translated it and quote you?

  • Flower

    That was fantastic. On such a rollercoaster of emotions at the moment and this sad right to keep some of my positive motives afloat

  • suzanne

    Thank you Lily, Very well written. I have decided recently to make my story known and in the beginning stages of writing my book. Presently it’s music and my freinds and children that keep me going. Although my children have grown and thriving I speak to them everyday and this gives me something to look forward to.
    I am also signing up on taking a creative writing course through University of Toronto.
    Reading, meditation, music and keeping busy is the key for me.
    Thank you for your words of wisdom.
    Blessings in Love &Light
    Suzanne

  • lilyvelez

    Hi Suzanne! How wonderful! I’m a writer too so I can definitely attest to the power of writing – it’s so therapeutic. I’m so happy that you’ve found happiness in other things as well. You’ll enjoy your creative writing course, I’m sure. All the best! :0)

  • lilyvelez

    I’m so glad, my friend. :0) Be well

  • lilyvelez

    Hi Carla. I understand. Thank you for sharing that. It’s helpful to know that you are loved and that your existence is a beautiful and miraculous thing–without you needing to do anything to deserve that. We don’t have to work toward being accepted or worthy, in other words. We already are. It’s a lesson that has taken me years to learn myself but once you integrate it into your life little by little, it changes things. Wishing you all the best.

  • lilyvelez

    Thank you, Clare! :0)

  • lilyvelez

    You are most welcome, Matsu.

  • lilyvelez

    I’m so glad you thought so. Thank you for reading. :0)

  • lilyvelez

    Hi Sean – yes, there are certainly people who care and who will listen. Know that in addition to online forums for people struggling with depression or other things, there may also be free counseling and support groups within your city/community. Being a part of a community of people helps to know you’re not alone and also lets you talk about your feelings and express yourself. When we keep it pent up, it’s to our disadvantage. Thank you for reading and commenting!

  • lilyvelez

    You are so very welcome, Frances. :0) Be blessed

  • lilyvelez

    Thank you, Andi. I’m certainly grateful for the opportunity to share my story and touch the lives of others. And it means a lot to me that you needed to hear this story. Blessings to you~

  • lilyvelez

    Hello, my friend. Thank you so much. And yes – they certainly are a guardian angel in a way, aren’t they? :0) I’m so glad to be able to share my story and help others. The more we share, the more hope and love we spread! What could be better? :0)

  • “bob”

    My name is “BoB” and i have been depressed for over a decade when i really look back on it. Over the past few years it has increasingly gotten worse due to myself and just lifes obstacles that have been placed on my path. I seperated from my wife and have been going through a custody battle for our daughter whom i have not seen in over a year. Along with that i was put on probation due to a violation of a dvpo for sending her flowers for her birthday. I lost my job…my residence…everything i had worked for. So i started anew… a new location. A new job. Some what of a new chapter in life while still burdended by my haunting past. I met a new person who brought light back into my life. Well as people say history repeats its self. Again i lost the new light in my life. I lost my job. I have no family or friends here. No money to pay next months rent let alone any other needs i have. I am lost and alone in the dark unable to leave and facing the metaphorical long jump off of the cliff that stands before me. No longer does anything make me happy. I pray to God a miracle happens. Cause i can longer endure what is set before me. Any help or comments would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time and understanding.

    A man in dire need.

  • KMR

    Beautiful post, Lily. Thank you so much for sharing. I was diagnosed with major depressive and severe anxiety disorders, and the second half of my 20’s was a dark and ugly time. When I finally started to heal, I found that a new depression/anxiety surfaced – the feeling that I am weak or unworthy because part of my healing has involved medication, and I fear I’m doomed to be this weak and dependent person forever. It’s a struggle, and with yoga and meditation and self-love, I am trying to reach a better place. Today’s my 30th birthday, so I’m hoping to make it a whole new chapter. 🙂

  • lilyvelez

    Happy birthday! :0) I know what you mean about feeling weak and dependent because of medication. I felt like that for a long time too. There’s this idea that because you have to take medication, you’re not strong enough to overcome on your own like other people do. But it’s important to remember that everyone’s on their own journey. We all heal in our own ways because our bodies are unique. So I applaud you for your journey no matter what form it’s taken. Your triumph is beautiful regardless and I wish you the best as you continue reaching for your better place :0)

  • lilyvelez

    Hi Bob. I’m sorry to hear about the trials that you’ve had to endure. You’re still standing and you’re reaching out for help, which tells me that you’re a strong soul. It sounds like right now, you’re really being tested so I would ask God to show you what lessons it is you’re supposed to be learning in this season of your life. We’re always learning lessons, you see, and the experiences that come and go are there to teach us these lessons. Once you know what it is God might want you to learn, you can start to understand your situation better and rise from it. I know what it’s like to be in a place where nothing makes you happy anymore. It’s dark and discouraging. But I do want you to know that when you’ve reached rock bottom, the only way to go is up. Just like you picked yourself up in the past, you can do it again. I know you can. And this time, I want you to surround yourself with a community of people -whether it’s at a church, a support group at a community center, or a counselor. There’s a website in fact called meetup (dot) com where you can find free support groups. Surrounding yourself with people who are committed to doing life together can put some wind in your sails and help you to overcome your current obstacles. Lastly, keep praying. You are loved, you are worthy, and you deserve the peace of mind that you want. Trust and expect that it will come.

  • lilyvelez

    Hi! I don’t have a translation unfortunately but I believe there are some browser plug-in’s that would translate it for your friends at the click of a button. Type ‘translator browser buttons’ into Google.

  • M

    Hi Lily. Can you point me in the direction of the resources you used to learn about the law of attraction?

    Thank you.

  • M

    Woops. Question for Kelli.

  • Belinda

    The Law of Attraction-how do I find out more about this? Your story impressed me.

  • Belinda

    I listened to a message by Duane Sheriff regarding God’s Grace. Humility is a friend of grace but there is Negative Humility which is negative self-talk. As a teenager, I was my own worst enemy. I always talked bad about myself and felt unworthy to be alive. God’s Grace cannot work with us when we are like that. Grace breaks the power of sin in our lives. Grace is God’s power over human power. When that negative self-talk starts picture a huge stop sign and say NO! You are worthy to be alive and your creator loves you very much! Let God love you and you will feel joy once again!

  • Belinda

    I really like your message! I have struggled with depression too. I have survived an emotional abuser and he is now my ex and I moved far away from him. I have flashbacks in my dreams and wake up to remind myself I am in a better place. God’s grace has blessed me so much! Thanks for sharing!

  • Hey M..the best source in my opinion is the blog Deliberate Receiving by Melody Fletcher…

    and not to toot my own horn, but I’ve written a lot about it as well on my own blog if you are interested..I have gotten lots of good feedback from people who are new to the concept.you can see my site if you click on my disqus username.

  • Hi Belinda
    I would recommend reading Melody Fletcher’s blog Deliberate Receiving–the best source in my opinion.

    I have also written a lot about my own experience using LOA on my blog so if you wanted to learn more about my experience, you can find lots of posts there..my link is in my disqus profile.

    Studying it changed my life!

  • Lola

    Thank YOU!! my heart resonates…..be the beauty you are and be blessed!

  • holly chumbley

    I’ve faught suicide since 13… Many attempts.. At 19.. I had my first of three sons… They turned everything around.. Then abusive relationship began.. And boyfriend took my two youngest.. At 41 I haven’t seen my baby since November 2011.. He also took my dog.. I feel like magnet for bad.. As I sit as an adult still fighting depression.. I live in faith daily.. My abuse started at birth.. I proceed with caution.. I’m learning to love me..everyday.. Love yourself.. I’m not of importance to anyone but myself.. With so much bad.. Its Scarry to share traumatic events with innocent bystanders.. I feel like they would be damaged.. I keep ton’s to myself.. Hmmmm ..but I might try cuz I try all things to help myself.. I enjoyed this article.. Thanks

  • M

    Many thanks! I will check both out.

  • Lily – Thank you for this post.

  • caitlin

    I feel like stumbling across this post today was a sign. Truly inspirational, exactly what i needed to hear when i needed to hear it, I can’t thank you enough

  • Mike

    Thank you from Cleveland, Ohio. “In the depths of winter, I finally realized there lay within me an invincible summer.” -Camus

  • kim

    Thank you for sharing. To those going thru the darkness, trust me. It DOES get better. I was diagnosed 6 months ago after struggling for years with it silently.
    Long story short, with help you learn to FIGHT. You are not depression. It is in you. When u let something like that dwell in u for so long you mistake your true self for it. Please don’t be fooled. It’s depression’s biggest trick.
    You are not your enemy. Depression is. Don’t make it personal. You did nothing to deserve it. Its not your fault. It’s a stranger in your body and once u see it as such, the battle gets a little easier.
    I went from writing weekly suicide notes , falling asleep with bags over my head, constantly scouting out bridges to drive off of to peace. And once you learn to guard that inner peace with your life, depression will still try, but it wouldn’t stand a chance.
    It does get better. In the midst of it nothing, not even this post, can convince you that that’s true. But it does. I promise.

  • lilyvelez

    Beautiful quote, Mike! I love it :0)

  • lilyvelez

    You are most welcome, Caitlin. I’m so glad.

  • lilyvelez

    You’re welcome, Jane.

  • lilyvelez

    Thank you, Lola!

  • lilyvelez

    Hi Holly, thanks for reading and sharing. Self-love is definitely an essential ingredient in overcoming depression so I honor you for taking that step. And you’re not alone in keeping things inside because you want to help yourself by yourself. But remember that sometimes repression can cause further depression so releasing your story little by little will feel like pulling its chains from around you. It’s truly freeing!

  • lilyvelez

    Thanks for reading and sharing, Belinda! :0)

  • lilyvelez

    Thanks for reading and commenting, Kim. I think that even in the darkest of times, there are things that have the potential to inspire hope in people. Everyone’s different, though. We all have our own walks and journeys, so what might encourage someone to believe it will get better may not do the same for someone else. Love your thoughts on depression being inside you and not you as an identity. Great insights. Be well!

  • Ange

    I’ve shared my story before, and I’ve been called ungrateful and that I have no reason to be depressed. I just feel so alone, and it’s like no one wants to help. I’m treated as if I am a burden to others yet people come to my for advice or to vent about their problems. It’s just annoying and I feel so alone.

  • Fred J

    “It’s the voice deep in your heart that keeps you going, day after day. It’s what compelled you to even read this post. It’s the stirring up inside of you that wonders at a brighter tomorrow.”

    Great line, I WAS led here and compelled to read. Thank you for the inspiring words!

  • holly chumbley

    You have blessed my day… Thank you immensely.. I will try to brake these chains.. One at a time.. I don’t receive understanding much.. But you empowered me

  • Martin

    I can connect on this with you

    Thank you

  • I am another who struggled with depression from a very young age–and another who finds some things inarguably helpful: spiritual practice, exercise (in my case, yoga or swimming), a protein-rich diet, a strong personal support system, _and_ medication. Coming to terms with the place of medication in my life has been and remains a journey. I’m interested in hearing more about that aspect of your path. How has it been for you? Was it difficult? Do you still wonder about it? Or have you transitioned more smoothly? Many blessings.

  • Karla

    Thank you, you don’t know how hopeless i feel right now and reading this has made me think that somehow i might not be alone. Yesterday and today the first thing that popped into my head when I woke up was that i should’nt be alive. I am so desperate to end my pain.

  • Niklas

    Hey Rina, from what you have wrote here, you seem like a person that really deserves all the best in the world! 🙂 Small step by step you will get there, and know that if we somehow should randomly bump into each other one day i would be the last guy to judge, since life is too short for making each others lives miserable anyways haha 😛 Besides, everyone has their own issues and admitting them, OWNING them instead of letting them own you takes SERIOUS balls 😛

  • Evie

    Hi Lilly,

    i don’t usually comment but i found your article beautiful and sincere, i could tell that it had truly come from the heart, the words of which you wrote, you had experienced and lived out.

    “But what I most what you to remember, my sweet kindred soul, is that you are so much more than a diagnosis or a trial or a mess; and more importantly, you are not alone.”

    i love how you wrote this, because a lot of the time i think we all start to let our diagnosis/illness/whatever define us and its very self defeating or so i found that myself.

    But i thought i might just share my story.

    My father has somewhat of a mental disorder, possibly a personality disorder that hasn’t been diagnosed yet. He lives in a world that is ruled by his own beliefs and strict values. He’s done a lot amount of damage to my family, including my mother, my sisters and my brother. Personally i was young when we still lived with him so i cannot remember the extreme of everything. All i remember is my sisters poor broken heart who was struggling with anorexia as a form of trying to control something in her own life that her destructive father couldn’t, of which she would cut her arms into a bloody mess that have left perfectly defined scars 10 years later, i really can’t even put into words how he really effected her life then but it was very horrible. Next my mother who he obviously ruled over and didn’t allow her to be her own person, again i can’t write how greatly he damaged her, the biggest part i have memory of was once she had left him and met my present step father was when everything started to fall apart for her. She suffered from extreme depression and it was sometimes terrifying, She would cut herself, run down the hallway/road naked screaming/crying and it broke my heart not knowing what i could to make it better, instead i guess i blamed myself for certain things i did or didn’t do, as simple as not doing the dishes and that lasted for maybe 6 years from when i was about 11 – 17. Then once i had gotten a job, i moved to a different city and started to flat (seen as how i had always been independent it wasn’t a big change) i stayed in that city for about a year, of which was a pretty hard time in my life. I went up there a virgin and was rapped while i was heavily intoxicated which led me to find find extremely difficult to say no when men wanted to have sex with me, i just didn’t know how and i guess didn’t want to upset them. I jumped from one jerk to the next who seemed to know exactly how leave me emptier than the last, my trust for males shrivelling up more and more each time. i won’t write every single little detail as in the above but my most recent ‘fling’ (if you want to call it that) left my sitting in the bathrooms at a bus station crying my eyes out late to work and drinking vodka. For months on end i didn’t want to give up, i wanted to kick depression by going to the gym, eating healthy etc but it still wasn’t enough to fight my anxiety, pain and fear away. At that point i rang up my mum and told her i couldn’t do it anymore so she drove up and came and got me. I moved home, but you could say things didn’t exactly get better. I was crushed and i didn’t even know how to love myself anymore, through those awful relationships i went through i was taught that no matter how hard i tried i just wasn’t good enough to be taken seriously or cared for. So over those next few months i let go of everything and my thoughts would circulate in this formation “You disgust me, your worthless, fat, ugly and no one is ever going to want or love you. I don’t blame them, you don’t deserve to be treated like a human being only as an object for whoever to do with as they please with.” I felt pretty dark and after one morning of taking to my most recent ‘ex’ or person i was seeing, i was so deeply hurt by how much he didn’t seem to give a crap about me at all when i had given so much of myself to him, i couldnt take it anymore and swollowed about 80 aspirin (not fun) that was the last time i tried to kill myself but even after that i still went on to sleep with disgusting unworthy men, this time as a way of self harm. For some reason after two bad experiences of this i sort of woke up and realised “i don’t have to live like this” (it was only a very small tiny voice in the back of my head, but it was loud enough to as you were saying throw me a small piece rope to start climbing out of me own filthy dark well) and from then on to this day I’ve been making changes and fighting most days against those old thought patterns and beliefs so i can be free and stop defining myself by my past, my relationships and the men who were not even close to being worthy of my attention, my father and like you said my diagnosis of depression because frankly all these things are no where close to being able to describe or define who i am as a person.

    p.s thanks for writing this article, it was lovely.

  • Amir

    That is a really good post. I had my dark days as well and i’m learning to accept it, there are still doubts and still up and downs but i’m so much better now, takes lil time to feel complete fine, but brace yourself cuz that day will defo come! yes it’s hard coming out of it but when you do it you realise that it wasn’t that hard 🙂

  • Me

    Dear Lily,
    Thanks for sharing your wisdom. You have come a long way. What a brave soul you are. Recovery is possible. I know it is. Yet, at this particular moment, it feels far away. (And I wish it didn’t feel like that.)

    I have struggled with an eating disorder, self harm and episodes of depression, caused by a challenging childhood. After years of struggle I thought I finally fought my way out of it. Only a couple of months ago things got better day by day, and I felt more alive than ever before. It felt like the struggle to survive had come to an end: finally I could start to LIVE.

    All of a sudden everything collapsed. I still do my best to do what I did before. (e.g. meditation, praying, keep looking for the positives in every day) yet my energy feels heavy. It’s – again – a struggle to go through the day, and my disordered thoughts gain strength. A couple of months ago I continuously told myself that I – too – am worthy of life, and I even started to believe it. Now my mind tells me I am worthy, yet my feelings tell me the exact opposite. It makes me feel sad and depressed that I am – again – not able to stand up straight. I don’t understand why I let it slip away, let alone how I can get it back.

    I know I belong here, that I have a task to fulfill. Yet I have no idea how I will ever manage to make it through. How I ever will be able to live a meaningful life.

    Going back to destruction shouldn’t be an option. I knów I want to live! I just don’t know how I will ever be able to. I’m tired of loneliness. I’m tired of fighting. I long for peace, I long for nothingness. How.. just.. how…

    Love,
    Me.

  • namdiengdoh

    Hey Lily the message here is really helpful. I suffered from depression too and still have bouts of it sometimes nowadays. I am sure many of us do and we all need help. Especially children as well. They are unable to express themselves and we often mistake their silence for stubbornness. Like us they need help too. Your article is help to the many who will be reading it. Thank you.

  • Thanks for a useful post. I find mindfulness therapy to be one of the most effective approaches currently available for healing the underlying process that creates depression. We have to learn how to embrace our emotions and thoughts with consciousness and lots of love. This is what helps my clients more than anything during online mindfulness therapy sessions. We have to overcome our habit of avoidance and aversion and fully awaken to our depression directly (not ruminating about it and nor becoming lost in the stories we tell ourselves). I have not yet found a client who does not respond well to the mindfulness approach.

  • Ashleigh Moodley

    Thank you for writing this article, your light found its way to me last night when I was in a very dark place and helped me to feel not so alone. Thank you so much

  • Sharon Smith

    Hi Lily,
    Thank you for taking time to write. This piece of work is simple but great because it rings a bell. I keep reading a lot of blogs but this is the first time that I am writing. Your words ” …. It’s what compelled you to even read this post.” It touched me to know through this column that I am loved and that I am not alone.
    I am born from a very staunch christian family where anything and everything is of, from, about, around God and Bible is The Rulebook. I too practised this life till last year without questioning the practices, beliefs etc.
    There has been a big shift in my perspective as I started to ask questions and attempted to see reason or sense in a lot of things. My problem is the result of a cumulative effect of social, religious, family apathy. I am not looking for some pity. What i want is a way out or a neutral mind to guide me through this mess.
    I had a very insecure childhood with only seriousness around me which strangulated the child in my formative years. Although my family has a very good educational background and profession yet as a person i feel that my family did not respect me or even bothered about my feelings. I was not allowed to have any friends in my life. I was only expected to excel in studies and be the best at everything although opportunities were not given to me. They did not even bothered when i told them about me getting bullied in school and was subjected to physical sexual abuse in my formative years. My parents always said that i am just bad and that is why i am solely responsible for my miseries. They called me characterless when i told them about getting molested and groped by the close relatives. I dont even dress provocatively…i am a very sober kind of a woman. They always said that i am worthless although i was a dutiful and disciplined child. All my life i all i wanted was to be loved, feel cared for but this never came my way. When upon growing up i confront my parent they just brush me off by saying that you got good food, clothes, shelter, education and vacations!! I dont even have a single memory of any of my parent ever hugging me or anything like that. They were never happy with my achievments. They constantly compared me to their colleagues kids.. they always belittle me in front of others both in private and public … !!! I am not trying to rant but i just dont know what to do. They did not even approv of my first relationship at the age of 22yrs… when i told them that i want to get married they shut me down by saying that decent girls dont have a right to think of getting married…!!! I wonder which century I am living in…. they did not even bothered to find a husband for me…!! Some relative arranged for a match for me at the age of 28 years and my family without making any verification about that guy got me married to him with a lot of pomp and fanfare…just to behave social and well spoken of. After marriage the guy told me that he is not interested in marriage but demanded his share of respect and love from me. I started to save my marriage from the day of wedding…all that he ever wanted frim me was money, social climbing and of course sex… by next week, i found out that he was not even educated and did not even have a decent job to support moreover he and his family were criminals…he got me pregnant and then pushed me down the stairway which resulyed in the miscarriage…he tried electrocute me twice and once he tried to slit my throat…this was the day i returned to my parents house to save my life…all this just within four months of getting married. I asked my parents to help me obtain divorce. Now my parents say that Bible does not allow re-marriage after divorce. So they are not helping me. They further told me that i am responsible for my sufferings in life because i asked for it…i’m clueless… my life is stuck. They spend a fortune on their hobbies and passtimes and charity but i just wonder why they are being callous and indifferent…each discussion was always emotionally charged set up and that makes me feel sad and resentful. The only answer they give is that i have to accept this and continue living like this…i am going to turn 34 yrs in a couple of months but i feel old. I am in severe depression and have lost myself over these years. They do not even talk to me properly. Last month my brother, without any instigation from me said that he will do away with me…when i told this to my parents they just simply brushed it off…when i said that i will complain about my brother in police they told me not to do so… i contemplate suicide atleast thrice a day…. no respect, no care, no love, no support, no smile, no job…. please help me…i want to live…

  • Sharon Smith

    Hi
    Thank you for taking time to write. This piece of work is simple but great because it rings a bell. I keep reading a lot of blogs but this is the first time that I am writing. Your words ” …. It’s what compelled you to even read this post.” It touched me to know through this column that I am loved and that I am not alone.
    I am born in a very staunch christian family where anything and everything is of, from, about, around God and Bible is The Rulebook and always an atmosphere of prayers.. I too practised this life till last year without questioning the practices, religious beliefs etc.
    There has been a remarkable shift in my perspective as I started to ask questions and attempted to see reason or sense in a lot of things. My problem is the result of a cumulative effect of social, religious, family apathy. I am not looking for some pity. What i want is a way out or a balanced neutral mind to guide me through this mess.
    I had a very insecure childhood with only seriousness around me which strangulated the child in my formative years. Although my family has a very good educational background and profession yet as a person i feel that my family did not respect me or even bothered about my feelings. I was not allowed to have any friends in my life. I was only expected to excel in studies and be the best at everything although opportunities were not given to me. They did not even bothered when i told them about me getting bullied in school and was subjected to physical sexual abuse in my formative years. My parents always said that i am just bad and that is why i am solely responsible for all my miseries. They even called me ‘characterless’ when i told them about getting molested and groped by the close relatives. They scolded me for being wrong and that i am lying. They are still on very good terms with those molesters. I dont even dress provocatively…i am a very sober kind of a woman. They always said that i am worthless although i was a dutiful and disciplined child. All my life, all i ever wanted was to be loved, feel cared for and respected as an individual but this never came my way. When upon growing up i confront my parents they just brush me aside by saying that you got good food, clothes, shelter, education and vacations!! I don’t even have a single memory of either of my parent ever hugging me or anything like that. They were never happy with my achievements. They constantly compared me to their colleagues’ kids who were born with silver spoons in their mouths.. they always belittle me in front of others both in private and public … !!! I am not trying to rant but i just dont know what to do. They did not even approv of my first relationship at the age of 22yrs… when i told them that i want to get married, they shut me down by saying that decent girls dont have a right to think of getting married…!!! I wonder which century I am living in…. they did not even bothered to find a husband for me…!! An uncle arranged for a match for me at the age of 28 years and my family without making any verification about that guy got me married to him with a lot of pomp and fanfare…just to act social and well spoken of. After four hours of marriage, the guy told me that he is not interested in keeping the marriage but will not even divorce me. Moreover, he demanded his share of respect and love from me. I started to save my marriage from the very day of the wedding…all that he ever wanted from me was money, social climbing and of course sex only when he wanted.. by next week, i found out that he was not even educated and did not even have a decent job to support. Moreover, he and his family were criminals…he got me pregnant and then pushed me down the stairway which resulted in the miscarriage…he tried electrocute me twice and once he tried to slit my throat…this was the day i told myself not to get victimised any further and returned to my parents house to save my life…all this happened just within four months of getting married. He is such a sadist. He had the audacity to come to my church and publicly humiliate my family for not giving him money. That was the last time i saw or heard from him… I asked my parents to help me obtain divorce. Now my parents say that Bible does not allow re-marriage after divorce. So they are not helping me. They are just busy in their social life, indulge in their leisure activities, charity and church activities 24*7. They further told me that i am responsible for my sufferings in life because i asked for it…i’m clueless… my life is stuck. They spend a fortune on their hobbies and pasttimes and charity but i just wonder why they are being callous and indifferent…each discussion is always emotionally charged and non-conclusive and that makes me feel hurt, sad and resentful. The only answer they give is that i have to accept this and continue living like this…i am going to turn 34 yrs in a couple of months but i feel old. I am in severe depression and have lost myself over these years. They do not even talk to me properly. Last month, my brother, without any instigation from me said that he will do away with me…when i told this to my parents they just simply brushed it off…when i said that i will complain about my brother in police they told me not to do so… my life is screwed up badly so much so that i contemplate suicide atleast thrice a day…. no respect, no care, no love, no support, no smile, no job…. please help me…i want to live…

  • Xaas

    Was I going to throw ropes down that old familiar well so that on days when I did trip and fall in, I’d have something to hold on to? -end quote.

    That’s when I reread that sentence and realized its meaning, you got my full attention, and for a guy diagnosed with bipolar disorder not many writers can do!

    Can this be even true, it makes sense, I had once came up with a similar logic, and I even attempted to confess it while being anonymous to an online advisor and dared not to!
    It makes sense, a lot of sence, that a word that would just trigger your mania or depression could be avoided when others understand what it reminds you of.

    You made me curious regarding reading about childhood sexual abuse, and I searched the term on google for the first time in my life, I suffered from childhood sexual abuse, I can not say it out loud, the tears are watering my beard like rain gushing from the mountain tops. It feels good to write it though!

    Thank you,

  • Jeremy

    Thanks you for your words of encouragement and your inspiring story. The biggest thing to remember is that we are not our depression. It is a state of mind that is temporarily here- like a hat we’re wearing. We are wearing the hat trying to hide it and wrestle with it. – what we must do Is simply accept it’s there and learn about it and decide to live separately from it.

    My depression hat has appeared again since I recently moved overseas – it tells me I can’t handle this life change, it tells me I’ve failed in the past and I’m not good enough. It tries to drain 80% of my energy- but I won’t let it. Yes it’s there, but I accept it now and know it will pass and am living healthily and doing things that give ME energy and joy. I must also stress the importance of talking to friends and family daily. Even if it’s a small message. Ask how they are, and be brave enough to tell them you’re having a hard time. You’d be suprised how many people love and care about you 🙂
    Goodluck, you’ll get through this. Jeremy