By Alexandra Ladisla
I’ve always managed to hide my catastrophic thoughts beneath a smile.
People never question things once they see how fine you are. That’s the ugly truth that I’ve learned to accept.
My friends and family never questioned the times when I suddenly excused myself and locked myself in the bathroom for at least ten minutes until my anxiety attacks calmed down.
They never asked me why I always wore long sleeve shirts, even if the sun was shining bright out.
They never noticed that I stopped eating.
They never asked me what was wrong after I wiped tears away and told them it was “nothing.”
It felt like I was all alone in my cruel reality with no one but myself to count on. I was slowly become a ghost in the world, barely even existing.
Depression pushed everyone I cared about away until it was just the two of us left.
Depression made me feel like I had no one left to count on, except for the faceless, black pit inside of me.
For some reason, I embraced it. I would let it take over me. Sometimes I even felt relieved that I had a companion — even if it was a parasite that sucked every ounce of happiness in me.
I let it win. I let it control me. Depression never judged me. Depression never forgot about me like the others did. Depression knew the real me. We became friends.
It took me a while to realize that my friendship with depression was toxic. That’s when I tried to pry myself away from the creature that was always clinging to me, whispering poisonous thoughts in my head in hopes of drowning me in a sea of despair.
I learned to let it go. I fought until I was free from the black pit of darkness that would always greet me the moment I woke up. The same darkness that took over my soul whenever I cried myself to sleep at night.
I stopped pushing people away, and started making new relationships with them. I was proud of myself for trying to claw my way out of the darkness.
Nobody knew that depression was an old friend of mine. And that depression still haunts me sometimes, appearing at my worst, trying to drown me and take over my thoughts — but I’ve learned to ignore it.
I’ve learned to fight.
I’ve learned to break free.
And I just want to say to you, don’t give up. Depression may consume you, it may try to take over your mind and body, but you have the power to push it aside. I want to remind everyone to be strong and to fight.
Fight until you slay all the dragons and defeat all the demons.
Fight until you win the battle.
I know you can.