What I learned about depression from reading my old diary entries
‘Life will never be perfect, but it will be easier’
(This story contains graphic descriptions of self-harm.)
“It started at the beginning of 7th grade. It started as a couple of cuts a month, then, in 8th grade, at least twice a week. By the end of 9th grade, I had almost completely stopped, but there’s no real way to stop an addiction.
“When 10th grade, this year, rolled around, everything went bad. I have been worse than ever before cutting, thinking of suicide. I mean, hell, I’m sitting here writing a suicide note. It’s hard to remember when my life went spiraling out of control, but it’s safe to say it’s been this way for a while & it isn’t going to get better anytime soon. So if I decide to end it all, good for me.”
Above was a small part of something I wrote in my diary on April 14, 2012. I recently read through my old diaries from various years of my life. Some were funny, some embarrassing and some made me cry. The best thing about writing down thoughts and feelings about your life is you get to look back at them and see how far you have come.
That’s exactly what I did.
I cut myself for the first time when I was 13 years old. I don’t have some dramatic story about the first time I did it. To be honest, I don’t even remember the first time I did it. I don’t remember why or how or anything. But I do remember that it slowly but surely became an addiction. I remember my friends seeing my arm and telling me I was “doing it the wrong way.” I remember it taking over my life. And I still have the scars that won’t let me forget these things.
March 1, 2010
I was 14 when I wrote this. It’s teen angst in its most pure form. It’s easy to look at this now and think, “Wow, I was a little overdramatic.” My problems then seem so stupid now. It’s important to remember what it was like to be 14. Just because 14-year-old me had a lot less to be stressed or sad about than present day me doesn’t mean my feelings were not valid.
May 21, 2010
It’s hard to pinpoint the exact point when I started to feel suicidal. I can remember obsessively researching the easiest ways to kill myself. One time, after being up all night with suicidal thoughts, I went downstairs to look for guns in my house. Sometimes I would search my house for medications that would get the job done. In spite of all this, I never actually attempted suicide.
I write all this because it’s an issue that is ignored in our society. The stigma surrounding mental health, self-harm and suicide has made it impossible for people to speak out about how they are feeling.
People have started blaming mental health issues for mass shootings and any other heinous acts. This is unacceptable. This only adds to the mental health stigma and discourages people from seeking help.
I ended up getting help. Therapy and medication have allowed me time to learn how to fight my depression and anxiety. These are not things to be ashamed of. And now, I am happier and I have recently been reducing my medication I have been taking for three years. In fact, I will be completely off of it in a few days.
I may have to go back to taking it, but maybe not – only time will tell. My point is, you have to do what is right for you. It’s okay to ask for help. You don’t have to fight alone.
Life will never be perfect, but it will be easier.
If you ever need help, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.