I used to have a dream I was drowning.
In my dream, my entire house would be filled with knee-deep water and nothing else. I would try to pull myself above the water, but every time I would, my body would feel paralyzed.
I couldn’t move at all. I tried to scream for help, but not a sound would come out of my mouth. After having this nightmare one night, I realized it was exactly what it felt like living with depression.
Waking up in the morning was the hardest part of my day. I would always have these dreams where I would want to be saved, but there was nobody there to save me. And that’s exactly how I felt in real life.
One of the worst feelings in the world is feeling completely alone, yet being surrounded by so many people close to you.
Every day, it would feel like there were a million bricks on my chest. Throughout the day, I would try to take the bricks off one by one to hopefully lessen the pain.
The bricks had been built up over time, and I had no idea they were locking me into a house I didn’t want to be in. But, I didn’t have the key or know the lock combination to get out.
I remember reading a quote while I was going through all of this that said:
“Never give up. The moment you’re ready to give up is usually the moment right before a miracle happens.”
At the time, it was hard for my brain to see the bigger picture. I felt like my mistakes had led me exactly to where I was, and I deserved how I was feeling every single day.
But how long did I deserve to feel that way?
My mind was filled with these false notions, yet I didn’t know how to change my way of thinking. I knew people were in much worse situations than me, but I couldn’t pull myself above water to see the light or any sign of hope.
Many people very close to me have lived with depression for several years. I’ve always tried to maintain a positive outlook and mentality, and to be positive, no matter what I’m going through.
But, what’s often so hard for people who have never experienced depression to understand is that depression grabs your hand and pulls you under.
You don’t have any control over your emotions or the constant throbbing pain in your chest. As I was trying to grasp for air in my drowning dream, I was trying to grasp for breath in real life.
No matter what somebody said to me, it really didn’t matter. And that’s the scariest thing about depression.
I allowed it to pull me under for too long, but I didn’t let it defeat me. This world is twisted in the way that it allows people to feel like they can’t get help, like something is wrong with getting help.
Depression is real. It’s an illness that can take over your entire body and mind, without you even realizing it.
After feeling that way for days on end, I had a dream I was walking through a valley. I walked up and down hill after hill, shuffling one foot in front of the other.
At the end of my walk, I remember seeing sunshine and feeling it on my skin. For the first time, I felt complete happiness.
After having that dream, I woke up, feeling peaceful for the first time in months.
I didn’t want to feel the way I did anymore. I wanted the happiness I truly desired in my heart, and I didn’t want depression to steal a moment from my life a moment longer.
Depression should never be handled lightly, and often, too many people pass it by or fail to realize how quickly it can pull someone under. As I would try to cry for help in my dreams, and no sound would come out, I realized that’s exactly how it is in life.
People may try to give off signs or try to explain how they’re feeling, but the extent of the pain is so deep, they don’t know how to articulate it themselves.
One of the hardest concepts I came to grips with is that I am here for a reason. I have a divine purpose.
Not letting depression define me was something that I had to learn how to handle and get through, and it was, by far, one of the most difficult periods of my life.
I searched for the little things in life to live for, like the smell of fresh-cut grass or a hot shower. I held the people I loved close to me, and I thanked God for my healthiness and my happiness (although I didn’t feel happy or healthy).
Walking out of depression wasn’t something that happened over night; it happened every single day over several months and years.
I feel stronger, happier and healthier than I have ever felt in my entire life. I know I will never allow it to drag me under to where I can’t breathe ever again.
The one thing that got me through it is truly knowing and believing that there is hope. There is always hope, even when all feels hopeless.
We go through these things in life to strengthen us and make us stronger than ever before. Depression is not a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of strength because you are holding on for your life and pushing through the pain.
There is always a light at the end of the tunnel. You just have to be willing to look for it.