How My Depression Surprisingly Improved My Perspective On Life

by Yakira Cohen

I’ve always considered myself an independent person.

For the most part, I keep my worries and troubles to myself, and I do whatever it takes to help myself succeed.

I was never supposed to be the person who couldn’t handle a situation. I was never supposed to have to lean on others for support.

I was supposed to be strong.

This was my mentality for a long period of my life. As my second year of college comes to a close, I now realize being independent doesn’t mean suppressing the things that taunt you in order to prove yourself.

The past 6 months or so of my life haven’t been all daisies and sunshine.

I felt alone, I was scared and the only way to overcome any of it was to turn to those I’m closest to for help.

Depression took over my life for a long time, but it did not become my identity.

There were many days when simple things like getting out of bed were the most daunting tasks imaginable.

My eyes turned into leaky faucets, my emotions were so overwhelming they went numb, the motivation to go forward was nonexistent and any strength I had disappeared — or so I thought.

The thing about depression is despite how it feels at the time, it makes you a stronger person.

For months, my mind was focused on all the aspects of my life I felt were weighing me down.

Along with the help of my closest friends, what helped me get through that was realizing those particular aspects of my life I felt so negatively toward were not, in fact, failures; they were, and are, the things that make me me.

Everyone has issues because, well, nobody is perfect. We are raised to confine personality traits within what society deems as "successful."

The truth is, who the hell has the authority to tell you that one aspect of your life is the definition of who you are?

You failed that quiz you studied really hard for? You did your best, and that’s what matters. You’re not a failure.

That person you have such strong feelings for is dating someone else? That sucks, but you’re not unlovable. You’ll find the right one.

You don’t like the way you look? You’re beautiful because you’re unique; don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, not even yourself.

You are not your grades; you are not a failed relationship; you are not a conventional standard of society; and I am not my depression.

We are individuals getting through life the best way we know how, one day at a time.

We all have obstacles to overcome, but the way to get through them is to realize attitude is everything.

There will be numerous times when life gets you down and seems to just kick the sh*t out of you, but that’s okay.

The further you fall, the higher you fly. The key to success is doing what’s best for you and sticking to what will ultimately make you happy and help you grow.

As messed up as it sounds, depression is one of the best things that has ever happened to me.

I never really understood why other people in my life let it consume them for years at a time, but now I can empathize.

When depression hits, it hurts, and it hurts badly — mentally, physically and emotionally.

Overcoming the depression is, by far, my greatest accomplishment.

The fight is not over, but now I know what true strength is. I know despite how independent I may think I am, it does not compromise the fact I am a human being and sometimes, I need help.

Loved ones are in your life to help you become better, not to bring you down.

Life has this really f*cked up way of knocking us down and then bringing us back up, just to repeat the cycle. But, here’s the thing: That’s what makes it beautiful.

Everyone needs the yin to his or her yang and the darkness to the light in order to appreciate the good things life has to offer.

The only true failure is giving up on yourself.