You Can’t Trust Depression, But You Can Trust Yourself

writer-tag-michelle

I think of my depression as a thief. It crept in when I least expected it and it took everything that was dear to me. But unlike a thief, it didn’t take a laptop, jewellery or money. It took away the things that made me who I was; my outgoing personality, my confidence and my zest for life.

I became a shadow of myself. I dealt with how I was feeling the only way I knew how, by withdrawing into myself.

In my eyes, it was self-preservation. The way I saw it, the less people I let in to my life, the less chance I had of being hurt or disappointed. I lost faith in others, and I lost faith in myself. I often thought about my life and what I was unhappy with.

But I told myself that I shouldn’t make any decisions to change anything because:

1) I was ill and I wasn’t seeing things clearly

2) I wasn’t strong enough.

Number 1 was a fairly valid reason. Decisions that are motivated by erratic moods, irrational thoughts and extreme emotions are almost always going to be the wrong ones.

But telling myself that I wasn’t strong enough, that wasn’t me.That was depression.┬áDepression won’t hesitate to tell you that you’re weak, incapable and unlovable.

My now rational mind tells me that even at my lowest point, I was strong enough. I was strong enough to get out of bed every day, I was strong enough to seek help, and I was strong enough to make the decision to stay alive.

I was strong enough to find hope, when depression told me there was none. In terms of my own life, I knew that I had to make decisions, and they were big ones, about my relationship and my job.

But I decided that I would watch and wait.

When I started to feel better, the situations that were making me unhappy were still there, and I felt no different. Things had to change.

Change is a scary thing at the best of times. But sometimes it’s necessary.

People cling onto people and situations for a lot of different reasons. They feel they can’t leave or change things, or sometimes they just won’t. For me, it definitely wasn’t easy to leave a relationship I wasn’t happy in and to leave a job that was causing me undue stress. But ultimately, the reasons to stay as I was were outweighed by one huge reason to go; I needed to be happy.

Choosing to create a happy life for yourself is not selfish, it’s absolutely necessary. Happiness is not about getting what you want, it’s about having what you need. And as soon as I realised that, I found the peace within myself that I had been lacking for so long.


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