My name is Casey and I struggle with depression and anxiety. It can be very difficult to see because I am typically laughing or having fun when I am around people. Being vulnerable in front of even the most familiar of people is not an easy thing for me. I tend to put on the happy face so that nobody worries about me and so that people still want to be around me. I know the people I love would support me, and they have, but I truly fear becoming a burden. I’d rather keep all the weight on my own shoulders rather than have someone help carry it with me. Carrying all that weight myself can lead to me being self destructive. I’ve called out of work for days because I can’t find the will to get out of bed, I’ve turned my apartment into a dump because chores felt draining, and I’ve lost relationships because I didn’t have the energy to do my part.
Sometimes these episodes can last me close to a year and they can feel endless. I get to extremely dark places, I start to undo the work I’ve done to be successful, and I lose people I care about. There have been several occasions where I’ve had a suicide plan, and I think about it daily during my depressive episodes.
I’m grateful everyday that I’ve never followed through with any of those thoughts. The relationships I have are worth every minute of my life, I found a career I’m passionate about, and I deserve to be here to soak in every ounce of happiness I can possibly feel.
I’ve learned two really important lessons trying to battle through my worst times. The first is to trust the people you love to support you. That support may not come in the way you need it the most, but knowing someone is supporting you is a really beautiful feeling. The people you love want you here and they want you to feel joy. Be vulnerable and trust that you aren’t a burden to anyone, in their eyes you are nothing but a blessing. The second thing I’ve learned is to give yourself credit even for small victories. If you got yourself out of bed just to take out the trash when you are battling your demons, that’s a win. If you are struggling to get out of bed but you make it to work, that’s a win. Anytime you out battle your demons to achieve anything you have won that day!
We all deserve to be here and we all deserve to overcome the things we deal with. There may be times when you look down the tunnel and see nothing but darkness. Sometimes you have to create your own light to chase it. You deserve to catch that light and experience every ounce of joy it brings you.