Depression is a topic that has been receiving more attention as of late. It has become seen as less of a "lack of strength/will" and more of a public knowledge issue. However it is still very hard for people to admit they have it. I have never had an issue admitting my issues. I have Clinical Depression. This admission often shocks the people around me, provided they don't know me that well. My friends are all aware that I'm medicated for both ADD and Depression. When I tell someone for the first time that I have Depression, the most common response I get to this admission is "No you don't." Which I find amusing to almost no end. Sometimes that response makes me wonder if I'm just that good at faking it. (I'm pretty sure I'm not.) But I do understand why people who don't really know me have a hard time believing I am clinically depressed. I often smile at strangers, crack jokes, make fun of myself, and generally have a seemingly positive outlook on life in general. I mean, I'm LOUD (my friends will confirm this without having to even think about it), in your face, unabashed, utterly unashamed of myself, and I grab every second I can and I am determined to have fun with those seconds. Because I can dammit!
Many people with depression say it's a darkness inside themselves, or that it's like a pit they fall into. It's not cute like they make it out to be in those commercials where the little black blob follows the cartoon lady around turning from a raincloud to a hole in the sidewalk. For many people it is a deep dark hole that sometimes they cannot crawl out of. For me, it's not a hole, although it is a dark and scary place. For me, Depression is pretty well summed up by this image.
|What Depression feels like for Me.|
|However if I were singing like Snow White is doing in this picture, |
the animals would be fleeing for their lives...
I, to quote my mother, "can't carry a tune in a bucket."
|I know it sucks Snow. Sometimes you fight and fight to get out, |
but the trees just grab you and pull you back in. And it sucks.
|When my depression is at it's worst I feel like this, terrified, and alone, |
being reached for by some horrible monster wanting to consume me whole.
|What the crap? They're just some friggin branches... |
Give me my dress back before you rip it! Paws off the cape pal!
If you are stuck in your personal forest, or whatever your depression manifests as to you, remember, there are people that love you and want to help you. Hell, I love you and want to help you, and we haven't ever spoken to each other most likely.
Suicide is not the answer. I know. I tried it, and have the scar to show for it. In the 7 years since my attempt it has faded significantly and healed very well, it's now just a pale spot on the inside of my right wrist that is only truly noticeable when I get a tan. I'm not ashamed of it however. It's a part of my life. One of the dumbest parts of my life, I admit, but I am not ashamed of it. I am disappointed in myself for attempting to kill myself, no question about it, but I am not ashamed of the scar. It reminds me every time I look at it that I am stronger than the depression. That I am capable of saving myself, and that I am better than the trees whisper that I am. And so are you.
Don't let the lies the trees whisper get to you. They're lies. Plain and simple. And you are better than lies. If you feel hopeless and like you have no where to turn, that isn't true. there are many places. If you can't talk to your family or friends about how you feel, call a hotline. And if you are unaware of the signs and symptoms, I encourage you to learn up.
A bit of information:
- Mental health issues can affect everyone, without regard for sex, race, religion, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status. It's estimated that about 1 in 4 people in the U.S. have a mental health condition in any given year.
- Gay, lesbian and bisexual teens are five times more likely to commit suicide than their heterosexual counterparts.
- Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among people ages 10-24 years, including college students.
Suicide IS preventable. Someone may be suicidal if s/he:
• Expresses depression, anxiety, stress, & feelings of hopelessness
• Has increased conflicts with or aggression toward others
• Talks or writes about death & dying, killing oneself, or ending it all
• Starts giving away possessions or tying up loose ends
• Withdraws from family, friends, & activities once enjoyed
• Increases use of alcohol/drugs or engages in reckless behaviors
• Gains access to guns, pills, knives, etc
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK
Common Ground: 248-456-0909, 800-231-9100
Affirmations (GLBTQ Support): 1-800-398-GAYS
Available Mon-Sat, 3pm-9pm
And there are many, many more that are community based.
Peace, Love and LIFE