(If you read this, remember it’s my own personal perspective based on many years of self-healing and discovery. If you can relate to it, great! If not, move onto what you can. You must find your own path, take your own steps and discover what works for you personally…)
Depression for me is feeling numb. There is an odd sensation of detachment as if you’re floating in a world of your own and yet you are highly sensitive to everything around you. Emotions run wild, you feel physically in pain and nothing seems to process in your head. It’s as if you have lost control to a monstrous beast and there is no way out.
I felt like my veins were filled with black slime. Nothing seemed to shake off the heaviness when depression hits and that’s the perfect word, ‘hits’ because you feel like it’s something outside of yourself engulfing your chances of being normal.
Everything is frightening, people seem to judge you and you sit in a pool of self-hatred, slowly drowning in the internal noise convincing you that something is very wrong. Which is ironic considering my depression struck me when I thought I had everything I ever wanted. A Swiss,gorgeous boyfriend, being at University, living in Brighton, a headhunting job to fund my life style, friends…But this left me even more empty. When would it end?
My depression was originally triggered by numerous external events which I later came to understand served a purpose but at the time would knock me over. Sometimes it was somewhat silly like a critique from someone you love and other times it was something as bad as my friend being murdered. All of them mounted up and over the years I would witness how these supposedly external events would spark off my self-hate and severe stress.
Death becomes more welcoming than life as you slowly separate yourself from the world around you. You are letting people down all the time, you can’t explain why it’s happening and soon you are begging for a way ‘out’. Guilt then steps in as you cannot change these feelings or ways of being – you become a slave to the internal abuse and fears. Anxiety can become your best friend and soon your physically tired, exhausted and drained as the depression eats away at your energy. I wanted to die because I couldn’t stand people around me suffering because of me. I seemed to drain everyone; I seemed to turn the lights off wherever I went.
Thankfully depression isn’t a physical illness yet for those who are labelled as depressed, it feels extremely physical. In fact it can be worse because when you are physically ill you have something to relate to or something tangible to explain your suffering. Yet depression is an invisible battle of the internal worlds colliding with one another until you put an end to it all…
Depression to me is spiritual, physical, earthly, and cosmic. It’s an experience. We must get clear that the epidemic of depression is largely because we have forgotten our original human intent. We have forgotten the soul’s intent or even our life’s intent – we have given our power away to a reality that is out of alignment with our heart. This giveaway results in a feeling of helplessness and that only something external can fix this horrific sensation of powerlessness. We suppress ourselves, emotions and we end up generating pure fear or anger as nothing seems to change.
Ironically you need to turn in and get clear on the invisible prison you have created. You need to transcend blame, guilt, shame and helplessness. You have to see the bigger picture and accept this crazy mist blocking your vision is in fact a gift. It is temporary.
Depressed people are often judged as selfish, indulgent or stupid. For those who have never suffered with an extreme sense of self-rejection or helplessness, it’s a hard concept to accept seeing someone let go of himself or herself and feel at the mercy of their own thoughts or emotions. Many people told me to get a grip, snap out of it or used tactics to help me see how ‘lucky’ I am. “Just keep positive Natalie!” Yet none of this works because all a depressed person really needs to hear is: it’s okay.
If you know someone depressed, keep it simple and listen to them. Do not try to fix someone, or put your own experiences on him or her. That isn’t listening. Their world right now is helpless; the thoughts are on a feeding frenzy to destroy. I know it’s hard for loved ones, but if you can look someone in the eyes and simply listen and be with them heart to heart, you are freeing them from the internal need to escape. They may feel safe again if you allow them to be. It empowers them and offers them a chance to speak the truth. I often felt I couldn’t be truthful because I was hiding away my suicidal thoughts and trying hard to fix everything.
No one could relate to my internal world and I didn’t expect them to which is why you need to find out what you can do to help yourself. What form of therapy, alternative work, books, courses etc will work for you? What do you need to do to become aware of what’s really going on?
Personally I wish someone had told me at the age of 19 that the most important message I need to grasp is that I am the only one who can help myself. No matter who screams at me or even if the answers are written on the back of my hand, I won’t see them or hear them until I’m ready. I have to be ready and accept it as my own personal wisdom.
You have to grasp to the core of your existence that you can heal yourself. Ask for help, support, guidance but you have to decide that you can live a life free from self-hate or depression because you are the creator of your life. I believe if you do not do this and consistently depend on the next healer, therapist, book, medication, course etc, you will never fully take responsibility for your own powers and always try to fill the gaping hole of misconception. Learn, absorb and be open to the messages that come to you but don’t hook into people claiming they can ‘fix’ you. You don’t need to be fixed, you just need to wake up (slowly!).
I cannot stress enough that depression is temporary if you want it to be. If you ‘need’ depression then it will stay with you yet if you read about the subject, get to know who you are or what it means to be human, then you can see depression is a product of your thoughts, emotions, past and seeing the world as ‘out there’. I know many people say it’s a chemical imbalance but again if you read about the brain, about neuroplacicity about our cells, I feel you can come to your own conclusion about how supposedly ‘helpless’ you are in your own body. I don’t believe it but this is because I have spent the last 10 years investing my money, time and energy into fully grasping what is going on inside of this crazy being! I have come to my own conclusions that empower me, bring me peace and are helping me to rebuild my life in full consciousness.
You conclude…you have to. Even when the whole world is screaming at you that this is reality, you still have a right to see things with your own heart and understanding.
I am so blessed to have transcended my depression, suicide and self-hate oh and anxiety! Over the last 10 years my depression episodes went from lasting months and months to weeks, days and now blips if any. It doesn’t mean my life is suddenly perfect. But believe me, when you have suffered years of self-abuse and denied yourself the freedom to be happy, just being okay in your own body is a miracle. Just being able to smile in the mirror at your reflection, being aware of why that thought just popped up, not wanting to kill yourself because you feel helpless and unworthy of life…it is heavenly and now I know what it feels like to be happy even when my environment appears the same.
I find it hard to write about depression now as I have done so much work to expand myself and let go of the heavy loaded bags filled with reasons to hate me. Often it feels like a dream, yet it’s also liberating to remind people depression is temporary and can bring some amazing gifts of awareness/ healing.
You can heal yourself if you give yourself permission to do so and be open to the open road of mystery whilst remaining grounded, balanced and responsible. There is a lot to discover about who you are in the present, past, future and who knows where else! Personally for me it was making that powerful commitment and making a decision to live life free from depression and without medication that has taken me onto a very turbulent yet fascinating journey.
It’s not easy because people want you to take the easy route and just get over it, yet personally it’s been worth all the hard work, pain and fear. You are a work in progress and will be until you die. That’s the fun part, the breaking down of illusions and accepting your energy origins.
I also have a wonderful mother and stepfather who have offered me sanctuary every time I ended up at rock bottom which is why one day I want to ensure I can do the same for people like me.
These are my words, my opinions and all written from personal experience. If you suffer with depression, be responsible and do what you can to understand it. There is nothing wrong with you. You’re having an experience, we all are. Do what you need to do to knock down the brick walls and transform them into beautiful waterfalls of cleansing, nourishing and powerful energy. You can do it. Depression is a word that can shift to anything you want. Even if it’s just being at peace with who you are.
Your path is sacred, I honour your path.
* Please do not take my words as replacement for medical advice. I am not a doctor and should you be suffering with depression or suicidal tendencies, always seek out the advice of a professional and ask for help. I did. You don’t need to suffer alone. Writing this is coming from my own personal experiences of learning to handle the emotions, beliefs and what often felt like – a loss of control in the moment. Your journey is yours – please be responsible and do what you need to do to ensure you are safe, aware and finding the resources you personally can relate to.