Dear Nina,

I mentioned in my previous post that I was looking through some old notes I made on my phone and I found a record of some messages that my best friend, who incidentally lives in a different country to me, sent me when I was going through a particularly rough patch.

I want to paraphrase them a little so that they are suitable for anyone and everyone who might need them, because they helped me and I believe that everyone deserves to be made to feel better when they’re having a bad day.

It’s okay.

I will always be here for you and I won’t be mad at you for hurting yourself. I just want to help you to get happier, so whenever you feel like hurting yourself you can always write to me. I will never be dissapointed if you hurt yourself again, because it happens, and sometimes you just break your Wall (the one you put up to try and keep the bad things away). I will always love you, no matter what you do to yourself. You will always be my best friend and I will always be there for you.

If you get sad over small things, I won’t laugh and make fun of you – I will cheer you up and try to help you. If you are scared, and if you feel your anxiety, I will try to calm you down and just help you in any and every way that I can. No matter what is making you sad or scared, I will help you (even if you are too scared to ask for small things, even a sachet of ketchup, I will ask for you). I will always help you and I want you to know that you can ask me anything.

You are my best friend and I find you so beautiful even with your scars. Your scars and past don’t define you as a person. It’s the way you treat others that defines you.

I want you to know that even if it’s 4am and you are feeling sad, call me or write to me! I will just apply cold water to my face and stay up until you are feeling better. I love you.

Please remember that I will always love you and you will always be the same amazing girl that I call my best friend.

No matter what you do and no matter how much you hurt yourself, you will always be you in my eyes.

I am not mad at you for hurting yourself and I will not be dissapointed at you for hurting yourself.

I will always love you. Please remember that.

I know that her message was personal to me and fitted my situation, but I think that most of it could be applied to any situation where someone feels bad.

I also want to add that if anyone is reading this and is in need of someone to talk to then comment on this post and I will find a way to get into contact with you, whatever the time, because no one should feel like they have no one.

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Just Something I Found

While looking through the notes on my phone I found a piece I wrote nearly this time last year. I wasn’t going through the best of times, but by the time I wrote this I think I could effectively ‘see the light in the darkness’, so here:

I have scars on my wrists,

And bruises on my knuckles,

With broken veins and a broken heart.

I have a void where I should have life,

A hole where I should find love,

Yet still I am alive.

I have scratches and marks aplenty,

And cold that runs so deep,

But somehow I am thawing.

I have scars, yes,

But they’re not all so bad,

They show that I have lived,

And survived a lot of things.

Perhaps to the others my hardships

Are nothing but minor setbacks,

But to me they cut too deep

To ever really hide.

I have family and friends,

And I love them all so much,

And it’s thanks to them that I’m still here.

I have love,

Not that I can always see it,

But I know that it’s always there.

So thank you, every one of you,

Who has held me when I’ve cried

And helped me to my feet.

Thank you every one of you,

For the solidarity I needed.

Now I’m not going to pretend that I’m particularly good at poetry, but it’s always been a way for me to express myself; I’ve never been much of a talker and so at a young age I realised that I could far more easily convey myself through the use of written rather than verbal communication.

This poem, sort of named The Scars On My Wrists, was my way of trying to look at my depression. I’m not sure what else I can say about it because I think the poem says enough, at least in the best way I can express.

 

I have depression

I do, and it’s horrible.

The purpose of this little post isn’t to go off on one about how horrid and awful my life is, because believe me I do that enough offline; instead I’d like to write a bit about my depression, because I think it’s something that’s different for everybody.

On the whole, I think I’m quite a smiley person, I mean I laugh a lot and generally don’t wallow around too much. The thing is, even when I’m laughing with my friends there’s a voice in my head telling me that they don’t really like me, or that I’m ugly, or that people are looking and judging me negatively. It’s a pretty self-centred mentality when I come to think of it, but it’s not something I can just stop because it’s just there, as much a part of me as a hand or a foot or something; noticeable, because there’s no way of removing it, and inconsequential, up to a point, because I can’t remember it not being there.

Generally speaking, therefore, that little niggle of depression is just an annoying, underlying little buzz that knocks the confidence but isn’t crippling in its presence. Generally speaking, I said. Because there come those days when it is crippling, to the point where I physically can’t get out of bed due to the sheer weight of my mentally emotional state.

Sometimes, on these days, I feel like everyone and everything is against me no matter what is said. It feels like I’m suffocating, and sometimes I genuinely can’t find enough breath, and so I lie there in a cloud of nastiness with that little buzz in my head suddenly finding a megaphone and yelling out all those things that before were just whispers.

When this happens I’m really not the nicest person to be around. My only excuse is that I can’t shut out the stuff in my head and so, if there are people around, I tell them those things; I attack the people closest to me because I don’t know how to turn off that voice in my head telling me that they don’t care, or don’t love me, or don’t like me. So my loathing of those things bursts out of me as if it’s me who doesn’t care about people, meaning that I turn from just being sad to being an uncontrollable monster. When I flip to that ghastly being there’s nothing I can do, and it’s as if I’m sitting there watching someone else screaming remorseless words and watching them find their mark. When that happens I want more than anything to stop, because I know how wrong it is and I can see the effect it has on other people, but I can’t. I don’t know how to.

That’s what my depression is like, a perpetual sense of unworth that could, at any moment, build up and up and burst free, like a monster lying dormant until it gets nudged awake, at which point it rears up and rips out of the frail cage it was imprisoned in.

I hate it.

Of course, there’s the ‘cute’ side of depression too, where you just sit there and cry a lot, perhaps buried under a quivering mountain of pillows and duvets and blankets, but beneath the layers of soft bedding there’s still that monster inside eating you alive with sadness, guilt, pain, loneliness.

Then there’s the depression that is shown through self-harm and/ or thoughts/ acts of suicide. That’s pretty grim too, and it’s often seen as the worst means of expression because wanting to hurt yourself and/ or die goes against nature, but when you’re in that place of self-loathing you’re not thinking about the different ways to show how awful you feel because all you care about is making that feeling go away for good, no matter the cost.

Those three expressions are the ones I’ve experienced. The first, the one involving screaming and hysterics, is the one that I find worst. The second, involving the uncontrollable crying, is the one I most often find myself experiencing. The third, involving self-harm and thoughts of suicide, is the one that I hope is in my past. They’ll never know it, but it’s mainly because of my little sister and best friend that I never followed through with the plans to end my life or permanently scar my body.

After that rather rambling explanation, I’ll end this particular post. I can’t say how often I’ll upload following ones, but I’ll endeavour to do it enough that this blog doesn’t wither away.

I hope that this has brought some understanding to what it means to have depression, and that it isn’t just a permanently flat state of bleh.