Depression is beautiful. It’s amazing.
People who battle depression are strong, beautiful and amazing. I am strong, beautiful and amazing. I have never said those things about myself before. It’s against my nature to lavish praise and attention on myself. It’s against my Chinese and WASP culture to do so, to draw attention to oneself. It’s almost a cardinal sin to do such an unedifying thing. I prefered to fade into the background, even at my own detriment. I never spoke up for what I needed, liked or disliked. I disliked being the center of attention.
But now I will acknowledge myself as a strong beautiful person because I battled depression for most of my life, without help or guidance from anyone. On really bad days, I white knuckled it. I forced myself to get out of bed and go about my day. And the only thought I had was ‘When can I go back to bed?’
I am also a mother, which means on most days I have no choice but to get out of bed and do what I must do. Some days are more difficult than others. Some days I am withdrawn and I am just going through the motions so that their physical needs are taken care of. Some days I am irritable, but most days I am amazing. I power through to be the best parent to my children. I got well for them.
When one is young, it’s easy to white knuckle everything. A young person has the strength of will of the mind to overlook the abhorrent, which is why children are resilient, even children of abuse when given the opportunity and environment can revert to happy carefree kids playing in the park, but the effects of abuse still rears its ugly head when they head into teenagehood and young adulthood, when they realize the full weight of what has happened to them.
When I was much younger, I was able to power through my depression and anxiety with very little effort. But as I got older, and as the adversities and blows came more frequent and harder, and as I got more mentally tired and weary of people, life and the world in general. My depressive episodes lasted longer each time and it was more painful each time. The pain was physically manifested into headaches, backaches and other body aches. Little disappointments became an insurmountable source of anguish, anger, frustration and bitterness and it took longer to dig myself out that black hole.
I knew why I was getting depressed, I knew instinctively what caused it but I was afraid to do much about it for fear of rocking the boat and causing upset to others. I put everyone else’s feelings above my own and I couldn’t change it.
But this year, I had my own Table Flip moment. I was going to take care of me first, mentally and physically. I will speak my truth, my unvarnished version of the truth as I know it. I became empowered for the first time in my life. I took ownership of my feelings and unafraid to expressed them. I have ‘warned’ my nearest and closest to apply Law School 101, if you don’t already know the answer to the question, then don’t ask it or you better be prepared for what comes. I will not be shamed, blamed and guilted into tempering my feelings so that others feel better. No More. Not ever again.
Depression is beautiful. It made me strong. It made me discover myself. It made me discover my truth. I am grateful to it.