I’ve often spoken about my anxiety through my blogs which was scary enough but today I’ve decided to openly talk about my depression today. In truth I wrote this ages ago but am only publishing this now. Why?
Well, admitting something like this black and white to everyone that I know is terrifying, but I was inspired by a TED talk that said it’s important to talk about these hard truths for how else will others understand.
I am 25 years old now and I first started getting depression at 15. I have relapsed several times in life and each time it has been harder and harder to work my way through it.
I have a tattoo on my wrist
a semi-colon. The small grammar icon is a symbolisation – it is used when a writer could have ENDED a sentence but they CHOSE to continue. In every one of my relapses into depression I have faced suicidal thoughts, very real ones. It is terrifying and exhausting to talk yourself out of those thoughts on a daily basis and then proceed to go with your day. It is draining and everyday you feel one step closer to giving up. Personally, I have relapsed into severe depression three times. Each time, I have had to really work hard to get myself out of it. Each time, I thought that I would be unable to get through it. Each time, I have had to battle against my demons in a different way. This is why the semi-colon symbolises so much, it is a reminder that at every point that I contemplated giving up, I chose to go on.
Why is it on the wrist?
it’s not a pretty dainty thing for everyone to see nor is it symbol to tell other people what I have gone through. It is for no-one but myself. The reason it is there is because it is placed beside my most recent, and final cut.
Every time I fall into depression I self harm – it has always been an effective deterrent of depressive suicidal thoughts. It was always my temporary solution to stopping my racing thoughts until I could find another way.
The semi-colon not only represents what I have battled and endured but it also serves as a powerful reminder to myself if I were ever to relapse. It is a symbol to remind me to battle anything that may come up. It is a reminder that I am stronger than I believ
e and that I have overcome battles before.
Why am I talking about this? Well, this is for the 16 year old self who was so scared to talk to others, the 19 year old self who thought there was something wrong with me and the 23 year old me wondering why I had not gotten my shit together.
You see, when you self harm you become a master at lying. I got scratched by a fence, I fell over, etc. I was a very clumsy person so I guess it was believable but in truth sometimes I panicked and came up with absolute rubbish. For example, I once had straight hair and claimed that the cut on my arm was due to curlers… and the person I told went on to say ‘ah, I do that all the time, so annoying. Beauty is pain I guess.’
Since getting the semi-colon, I have relapsed once and those real and very scary thoughts did indeed creep back. In these moments though as I looked down to my wrist, the little symbol acted as my reminder that I’d gotten through this once and I could do it again.
You see, at your worst,you feel at your weakest. You feel that you cannot win. So having something to remind you of your strength is a powerful tool. And it has definitely helped me.