If you live with a mental illness, especially depression, you know how much your brain will mess with you. You know that depression will lie to you and tell you horrible things about yourself. Your brain will tell you that nobody loves you, that you’re a burden, that you’ll never be successful, that you’ll never find love…ALL LIES. That’s how depression works. It makes you believe things that aren’t true, and you don’t need that.
You also don’t need “friends” like Amanda Lauren deciding if your life is worth living. You don’t need some vapid, horribly self-absorbed twit telling everyone that because your bedroom is messy and you’ve never really had a boyfriend that you are better off dead. Assholes like Amanda Lauren don’t deserve to be friends with someone as amazing as you. And you ARE amazing. You know how I know that? Because you’re still here. You’ve been listening to your brain say things like this for years now and you’ve managed to find the strength within yourself to ignore it and keep going on. You are smart enough to know that you have an illness that makes it difficult for you to do things like clean your room or be in a relationship. Don’t allow toxic people like Amanda Lauren make you think that these are personality defects or character flaws. It is a mental illness and it fucks with your mind in the same way that diabetes fucks with your pancreas. You know this so please don’t ever let depression make you forget it. Keep fighting.
That’s not an easy thing to do. I know because I’ve been doing it since I was 15 years old. Sometimes my brain almost won. Sometimes I gave in and decided that, yes, I really was a burden and that my family would be better off without me and my friends wouldn’t miss me. In 2006, my brain almost killed me. To this day, I still struggle with those thoughts. But that voice in my head that tells me those things aren’t true? It’s getting louder all the time. Find that voice and keep listening to it. Find friends that you can trust to be that voice until yours is louder than a whisper. Write down all of the wonderful things about you, whether it’s your mean guitar skills, your knowledge of Doctor Who trivia, or your long eyelashes. No detail is too small, and the longer your list is the better.
I’ll even help you get started…
You are caring and compassionate. There’s someone that you love, maybe a parent or a child, maybe a partner or roommate, maybe your cat or guinea pig. You have the capacity to love, and you care about people. Just make sure you’re giving yourself the same amount of care and compassion (and then some) because you deserve it,
You are talented. Maybe you like to write or sing, maybe you’re a good listener or a peacemaker, maybe you’re great at giving advice, maybe you can draw or paint…there’s something you’re good at. Find it and put it on your list.
You are a badass. For the past X number of months or years, you’ve gone through a lot of shit. You’ve lost a job, a loved one passed away, a relationship ended, you have a disability or physical condition that has complicated things for you, somebody has let you down…but you got through it! You’ve lived through shit that you didn’t think you could ever get through but you did. Even if you’re still trying to get through it now, give yourself credit for how far you have come.
You are not alone. No matter how much you may feel like you’re all alone, you’re really not. There are so many of us out here dealing with the same issues you’re facing. Come find us. If you read The Bloggess, there are a bunch of us on Twitter that you can find through the #BloggessTribe hashtag. You can follow me on Twitter and just let me know you need someone to talk to. I know it’s hard to reach out, but remember that you have nothing to be ashamed of, and you are not a burden. There are people who are willing to help.
PEOPLE DO LOVE YOU AND CARE ABOUT YOU! Put that one at the top of your list. In big, bold letters.
And if you need some resources, try these:
1 (800) 273-8255
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
The Trevor Helpline: (800) 850-8078
Trans Lifeline: US: (877) 565-8860 Canada: (877) 330-6366