“I could never imagine you doing that.”
One of the common responses I receive after I tell people how I was paralyzed. I honestly want to tell them that I could never imagine myself doing it either. And while it seems like forever ago, it amazes me how one day could change my entire life and the lives of the people around me.
March 29, 2010
The day everything changed. Still to this day I’m not sure how it happened. How did I let things get so bad? How did I not realize that feeling like that was unhealthy? How did I not know that ending my life is never the solution to any problem? And how can I stop this from anyone else?
The hardest thing about depression is that you don’t choose if it will affect you and then you’re expected to know exactly how to deal with it. You feel like nothing yet simultaneously feel like a burden to everyone around you. In my case, asking for help never even crossed my mind because I felt that I could handle and solve my own problems. Little did I know that asking for help could have stopped this from ever happening.
Spotting the signs
Depression can be nearly impossible detect in friends and family. Most people suffering want to hide the signs as much as possible because we’ve been stigmatized to feel like being depressed is a made up feeling. And to make it worse, the depression makes you feel like you’re not even worth being helped and that everyone’s lives would be significantly better without you. In reality, the people who love you will be heartbroken that they couldn’t help or that you weren’t comfortable enough to ask them for help. One of the hardest things I’ve done in my life is explaining to my family and best friends that this whole thing wasn’t because of them. It wasn’t because they didn’t love me enough. It was because I was fighting my own demons and finally I let them win.
Six years later…
I’m still amazed that I didn’t die on March 29, 2010. It still amazes me that I actually got a second chance to live these past six years. Things have been far from perfect since then and I can’t say that I cured my depression because honestly, my depression will never be cured. There will be some days when the emotions come flooding back. The difference is that now I know how to stop them. It’s an ongoing battle that you will gradually find tools to fight. I honestly am not a fan of when people tell me I’m “so strong” after what happened to me because I didn’t have a choice. I had to muster all the strength I had because I could never put my loved ones through that again. They’re the strong ones. And so are the people who have and continue to battle depression. Everyone deserves to be happy, sometimes your brain just makes it more difficult to get there. Keep on fighting, the pay off will be worth it. I promise.
Bryn Anne McMahon