In 2013, I noticed something changing in me. At first I thought it was simply puberty and I was just being an edgy preteen. In 2015, my family and I had to come to terms that I had depression and anxiety.
When the psychologists told us the news, I was not at all surprised. I had this emptiness consuming me until I was nothing at all. I was losing grip of reality and letting anyone and anything hurt me, including myself.
Now depression and anxiety can manifest from multiple places; it can be genetic or psychological. My therapist has told me it was both. My father’s side of the family had the bad luck and had different forms of mental disorders such as borderline and depression. Aside from that, I had been bullied in school, emotionally abused by a family member, and assaulted post high school. I want to say my life is unfortunate, but I’m not one to stay in such a dark place like I used to.
On a normal day, I am a bubbly person. I love to talk about astrology and cosmetics. I can talk about anything with anyone. I love to laugh and I break into song. It’s a shock to some when I say I suffer from depression.
On a bad day, I will not reach out to anyone, in person or on the phone. I get anxiety attacks when I have to answer the phone. I will dress down and sit, overthinking my whole existence, as if I was never meant to be who I am today. Sometimes I just sit in silence, and sometimes I will break down. Regardless, I will not leave my bed.
I used to be so hesitant to put the information of my mental illness out in the world, but I realized that it’s common, and the topic shouldn’t scare people away. Having any sort of mental illness is valid and there are good people willing to help. I can’t say I can cure it with a snap of my fingers (boy, I sure wish I could, you know how great everything would be?), but I am here as proof to say that it gets better.
2015 was a bad year for me and I cannot say that enough. I was contemplating my whole life at such a young age and pushed everyone’s opinions aside. I was lucky to go to therapy and learn more about myself and have the support of family and friends. That was also the same year I got into makeup and it foreshadowed a career for me, which I’m forever grateful for. Sure, I still feel empty on certain days, but I definitely have better coping habits than I did when I was in high school.
This post isn’t meant to show you how to get over mental illness, but I believe to understand the existence of it, from the perspective of someone carrying it. I mean, look at me: the featured picture is from the same day. I had put on a full face and loved it, but about half an hour later, I broke down because I felt worthless.
Depression and mental illness doesn’t go away instantly; it follows you and creeps up on you when you least expect it. Any healthy mechanism to push it aside is a valid mechanism. I didn’t see myself taking medications, but I know there are people who rely on it to go through the day, and that is okay! I’m someone who drinks tea, writes, reads and does makeup to cope, and that’s also okay. Everyone has a different way of coping to get by.
Anyone who has a mental illness, you are heard and what you feel is valid. If you ever need to talk to someone about what is going on, please reach out to someone you trust. If you have the access, please reach out to a specialist and there is also a crisis hotline available in the event of an emergency.
You are heard. You are seen.