Looking back 2 years to see what has changed in a mental illness recovery journey.
It’s been little over two years since I walked into an emergency room. Desperate, in tears, suicidal, alone. I had decided to live, but the task of managing by myself had become far too dangerous. The previous night I was close to going through with a suicide attempt. The inner darkness and pain I experienced is the worst I’ve ever encountered. I tried calling a suicide hotline, but couldn’t get through. Fortunately a friend answered the phone at 2am, and talked me through the emotions and turmoils the following hours. She was a major part of why I didn’t die that night. The next day I went to the emergency.
Since then I’ve been through about 1,5 years of weekly counsellings, been on antidepressants for 2 years(still on it), meditated for a total of 47 hours. I’ve been through a 6 month long severe relapse. I’ve released a 3 song EP. I’ve read numerous books. Gotten to know a lot of kind people in online communities. I have been running 2000km and photographed 10k photos. The tears, however, can not be counted. But, I’m happy to say I’m not crying much nowadays, and I’m smiling a lot more.
It’s been 730 days and I’m finally experiencing a real and lasting relief from depression.
So how is my life different now compared to two years ago?
Back then I had anxiety meltdowns in tears almost every day, I felt depressed all the time. I viewed life as totally meaningless and I was trapped in apathy concerning it all. I felt hated by life and was convinced I was only but a burden to everyone around me. I spent most time isolated alone, and sadly lost a lot of friendships. My thoughts about myself was very destructive, I had lost all sense of my worth. I slept poorly. My appetite was very low and I was exhausted and tired in every cell of my body. Depression had me captive and I almost completely surrendered to it.
Today my life is very different. Most days I feel positive and content about how things are. Anxiety occurs very rarely and it in no way lasts as long a period as it used to. Depression is something I experience once each two months or so, but it passes within a day or two. I feel energised from exercise and can pursue interests and hobbies I thought I had lost forever. I’m in control of my mental illness, it’s no longer in control of me. I’m experiencing enjoyment of life I didn’t feel for over 10 years. I’m making new friends and I’m able to socialize again.
If you’re reading this and suffer from depression or anxiety I want to encourage you to seek help. Don’t give up until you find the help that works for you. I’ve experienced a 10 year depression, but also made it through it. You too can do that.
And to you who have a friend or a close one with depression, please don’t give up on them. If you stay you might be the lifeline they need in their most critical moment.