How It Feels To Be Haunted By Depression Every Day Of Your Life

by Melissa Lin

After a series of events this week, I have been waking up with nightmares every morning again.

I dream about my brother, and he tells me how he’s so glad he got to commit suicide first.

I dream about my ex. I dream about my ex with the girl he’s taking to the wedding, and they are both standing there, laughing at me.

I have recurring dreams about being in a car and losing control, and also dreams about water. I dream about falling or diving so deep into water, I cannot see the surface when I look back up.

Supposedly, dreaming about water signifies emotions of some sort. I guess this makes sense because when the nightmares come, I wake up covered in sadness, and I realize how broken I am and how this is who I am now.

Today, and perhaps forever, this is who I am.

Today is one of those days the demons of depression are back and all I can think about is killing myself.

I know with how often I have days like this and all the attempts I’ve had so far, eventually, one day, it will really happen and I’ll be gone. I should be scared by this, but I am not; I have long ago learned to accept this is who I am.

Although I haven’t been a total loser, either. I have been giving a lot of effort into putting myself back together.

I dress up and go out with friends; I laugh and take pictures and explore. I have much potential where my school and work life is concerned.

I go to the doctor for therapy and medicine, and even though I don’t take it every day, this is still a huge improvement over my lowest point when I couldn’t eat or shower for days and would just lie in bed, staring at nothing.

The ironic part is this is working for everyone but me. Most people have no idea I have tried to kill myself multiple times, or that depression is something that haunts me on a regular basis.

In fact, just the other day, an old acquaintance messaged me on Facebook to tell me how it looks like my life is so vibrant and fun, and wanted to know how to have that for themselves.

They asked me this because according to Facebook, I am sexy, happy and fun.

According to Facebook, I dress up and go out with friends on the weekends, while still conveying an intelligent interest in books, school and work.

I am busy and adventurous. This is not the first time someone has commented on how great my life looks in the past few weeks, and if people only knew the truth, they would be so surprised.

I guess this is the power of social media.

None of my suicide attempts have been cries for attention; in reality, I am ashamed of my depression and all of the things it’s ruined for me in my life.

I try my best to pretend even to myself it’s not there. I often feel like there are two people living inside my body: the one everyone (including myself) wants me to be, and the one I truly am at the end of the day.

In reality, I am like one of those avocados that looks perfect and shiny on the outside, but when you cut me open you see that you chose wrong; I am filled with bruises.

I decided to take a look at my life and the reasons why I haven’t killed myself yet, and share them with you, so maybe you, or someone else in my position will see this and understand.

This is not a feel-good fluff piece about how you should live “for the smiles of strangers,” or “bubble baths,” or anything stupid like that.

These are not the “big” reasons, such as the fact I got a full ride to the school of my choice, or I’m “so young and pretty with a future full of potential.”

Sometimes these reasons do work, but on days like today, these reasons can go f*ck themselves. They are not enough to make me want to stick around right now, today.

So, these are simply the honest reasons I have that are meant for right now.

Maybe they won’t be real tomorrow, and maybe they won’t be enough to save me in the end, but for today, they are. Maybe they will be for someone else, as well.

I am still alive today because I realize although I am neurotic and crazy, it gives me permission to admit and experience things we might not let ourselves otherwise.

For example, some of the reasons I am about to give you might be really lame or not the healthiest, but guess what? I can disclose whatever I want with who I want because I am this way.

There’s a sort of liberating freedom in realizing that, and a sort of morbid beauty in its own right. In a way, I have permission to be more real, more myself, than anyone who is “normal.”

Today I am still alive because yesterday I heard the Sound Remedy remix of “Medicine” by Daughter and I liked it so much, I looked up the lyrics and they were meant for you and I, today.

Yesterday, when I heard it, I was in the car with my friends and I closed my eyes and felt the wind across my face and that part sounds fluffy, I know, but for a moment I was transported somewhere else.

And if you are sad, I suggest you look up the lyrics, put this song on and close your eyes, too, and maybe, for a few moments, it will also make you forget how pathetic you feel about everything else.

In fact, I’ve had it on repeat while I write this for you because it’s one of the few things I have to hold on to for today and so I don’t want to let go.

Today, I am still alive because I just moved into a new area a few weeks ago and hadn’t tried the coffee place right around the corner yet.

It’s called Dark Matter, and it's one of those places with good Yelp reviews, filled with ironically trendy people. I keep wanting to go there when I walk by, but always forget.

Today, I remembered, so I decided instead of going straight home from work and doing something stupid, I’d go inside and order a coffee.

I mentioned to the barista I lived around the corner, so she gave me a punch card. They were actually out of them, but she made an improvised one out of a business card, so maybe I will stick around until it is full and I can redeem my free coffee.

And then, when I got home, I sat down here and started to write, and now I’m laughing at myself at the absurdity of putting off suicide for coffee, but that’s how much I love the stuff. And I’m glad I did because it’s really good.

Today, I am still alive because when cleaning my room, I uncovered my small tin of various pills and realized it would be a shame to die and let this and my alcohol collection go to waste.

If I’m going to die, I might as well experience some more self-induced, fake euphoria first.

With any luck, these tiny little pills might carry me through this particular storm of depression. It’s worked before. At least that’s what I’m telling myself, so for today, it’s still a reason.

I am still alive because as I write this, "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" is sitting on my desk, and it’s one of my favorite books because I completely relate to the main character.

In case you’ve never read this book, he’s an awkward nutcase with post-traumatic stress disorder, and possibly even crazier than me. It reminds me that even though he is a fictional character, the author himself is real.

And if someone who really exists wrote this, then that means there are other real, living people who can at least understand, to some extent, my story and what goes on in my head.

Also in the book, there is a short passage of how the main character says he loves Twinkies, and he is telling the reader this because “we are supposed to think of reasons to live,” and I really shouldn’t have to explain to you how awesome that is.

Today, I am still alive because I have plans to hang out and watch a movie with a friend later, which really means exactly what it usually really means, but I’ve been avoiding people for too long, and it will be nice to remember what cuddling with someone who’s not a complete assh*le is like before I never have the chance to again.

Today, I am still alive because my friend is getting married in a few days. I do not want to go because my ex will be there with his new love interest, and they will throw this in my face and this is going to suck, but not as much as it would suck for me to commit suicide two days before my friend’s wedding.

So, for the next few days, I have a reason that’s not really mine; this reason belongs to someone else, but it’s still a reason.

I think this is the part where I am supposed to give a final reason, a feel-good one that everyone can relate to. I actually tried to think of one, but I can’t. So, I apologize, but I just don’t have one.

I am still alive right now simply because I am. And I will be until the dark lure of depression gets too strong for me to resist again and I attempt to leave. And, eventually, the right combination of events will take place and it might work.

But, for now, I’ve left these reasons here, for you. I hope you understand me.

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, there is help available. Please do not hesitate to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1 (800) 273-8255, or visit It is never too late.