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What It's Like

by Alyssa Woolley
(New Mexico, USA )

People have very skewed perceptions of what is really means to be depressed. Depression is not just sadness and it is not just the endless stream of tears down your cheeks. It does not mean that you are a bad person. It does not mean that you are contagious. It does not mean that you want people to tip-toe around you in fear that they will get cut on one of your broken pieces. Depression is difficult to explain to someone who’s never experienced it for themselves. Depression is the overwhelming feeling of being completely and utterly alone. You want desperately to reach out and ask for help, but at the same time, you want nothing more than to be left alone. You want at least one person to show you that they care about you without you having to explain the unbearable pain you feel inside of you. The loneliness is so terrifying that it slowly eats away at you from the inside out. You feel as though you’re drowning with every breath you swallow. You’re drowning, but no one sees you struggling. And how could no one see you struggling? Not your family or your friends or the person you’re in love with. How could no one see this? Or more importantly, how could someone see this, and not care enough to help pull you out of the water? But you see that’s the tricky part of depression. You have to pull yourself out. No, it’s not easy. Yes, you will feel like giving up; you will feel like you want to succumb to water filling your lungs and pulling you under for good. Depression is scary. Depression is like a war with yourself; either you survive or you die trying. I know you want to be saved. I know you want someone to come and rescue you from the waves that crush you at every waking moment. Depression makes you weak, but surviving it makes you so much stronger. People usually use the word “survive” if you live through something like cancer, but people survive depression, too. Depression eats at your insides until you’re a hallow shell of yourself. Then, you have to rebuild yourself and that, that is what survival is; fighting for your life every moment of every day. You are much too young to let the world break you. You are much too young to let your heart grow cold. You are much too young to give up. I know sometimes you feel like you’re not needed here. I know sometimes you think everyone would be better off; like you’d be more helpful from somewhere else. But know this; you may be someone’s angel on earth. You may be an angel and not even know it. You may be the reason that someone else wakes up in the mornings. You may have saved someone from their demons because you’re already an angel. And I wonder how many people are walking around unaware of the wings that are hidden beneath their skin.

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