“This was written on the 16th of April 2017 a few hours after I meticulously tied a long belt with the handle of the upper drawer in our room so as to ensure that the moonlight would encounter an unfaithful demise of a man who was always told of having some bright and flourishing days ahead. Unfortunately, in the most ironic impression of fortune, these dreams and fantasizing of the people around me about how my life would go have contributed to this almost untimely death of mine. However, you must not be misled nor must misunderstand for I am not ungrateful for their aspirations on behalf of me. I am actually thankful and I shall explain why in the coming paragraphs of this confession – a narration of sentiments of which storytelling I tried to make beautiful despite its own shadows and shades.”
I am writing this not because I am need of attention but because it needs attention. Anxiety. Depression. No matter where their demarcations and differences lie, a person suffering from either of these two has always been in the midst of confusion, distress, suffering, self-disempowerment, and for the worst part, in the middle of putting a rope around his or her neck, of lingering blade or knife on the intertwined directions of his or her veins, of dancing damning waltz at the edge of a building’s roof, or of savoring with his taste buds the rusty pleasure of a pistol in his or her mouth.
Feeling this wearying presence of anxiety or depression always feels like I am close to jumping off from a cliff down to a bed full of thorns. And no matter how many blissful thoughts or motivational ideas I pull out from my mind, my body seems to betray me. I am being betrayed by myself. I am my own enemy and I don’t know how to fight myself without aggravating the loneliness, the neglect, and the feeling of emptiness inside of me.
This feeling of recession is unexplainable. Hence, I would always end up being silent about it in the fear that people would not be able to understand because I could not even comprehend it myself. Instead, I would try to live normally with a spirit full of vigor and strength while my soul screams for salvation, compassion, and comfort. I tried to open up or impliedly transcend this idea of me being depressed to some of my significant others but most of them, if not all, would say the same advice over and over again. However, I do not blame them.
“But feeling depression is not about weighing some other people’s conditions and dispositions.”
I would always get a reminder that I should be better because there are people who have worse problems than having some mental battles that leave you exhausted and overfatigued about life. But feeling depression is not about weighing some other people’s conditions and dispositions. Being depressed has its own gravity that consumes every remaining fiber of your being until you are left with no choice but to withdraw from existence to find solace in fatality.
This is not a choice I/we make. This is not a one day sickness that can be cured by a single sprinkle of fairy dusts. Suffering from anxiety or depression is something serious that must not be hidden inside the closet nor be concealed by ignorance.
Sometimes, I do not know why I feel so depressed and hopeless. Maybe it is because of the hapless or baneful occurrences in the society or the daily news that serves death, corruption, abuses, malfeasance, and more political damnations on a silver platter. Or maybe it can be attributed to the narrow minds of countless individuals who have forgotten their responsibility to make this world a safer place to live. Or maybe, just maybe, it is because of abandonment that keeps on repeating itself whether caused by someone so adored and loved or by some people whom you thought would never leave. Nevertheless, one thing is for sure. Depression is not a made-up story that you tell during bedtimes nor an unconscious daydreaming in broad daylight.
What’s worse is that anxiety or even depression does not only affect your emotions but it also interferes with your health, motivation, self-worth, and other the other aspects of human life. The productivity rate of your body boils down whenever you are suffering from this feeling. I feel that most of the time. The fire of your passionate heart which you thought is indispensable is being contravened by anxiety and depression and there are moments where you would feel that they are winning.
“I remember the times when almost every night, in the vacant room of our previous apartment, I would suffocate myself by covering my face with a pillow. “
I do not know when was the exact date I started being depressed but it was only during my college years that I became aware of it. I tried to control the madness that depression has been inflicting in my life but there were several times that I was defeated by depression. For some known and unknown reasons, the circumstances of these funereal experiences allowed me to explore various ways of ending my life. Fortunately, the fear that you feel whenever death is just seconds away had succeeded in those events. I remember the times when almost every night, in the vacant room of our previous apartment, I would suffocate myself by covering my face with a pillow. There were times when I would trace my veins with a knife or I would drown my head into the water.
“There was that strong urge and yearning that someone would hug you in the middle of nowhere in order for you to cry the tears that had been creating a reservoir in your heavy soul.”
These attempts were never shared to my family until now because I was afraid of being misunderstood and ignored. People around me have been used to believe that I am a repository of vibrancy as if I am a sun capable of bringing sunshine to everyone’s gloomy situation. However, I am not. I came to a point when I felt like I was too drained and exhausted of portraying a happy persona when in fact, I was a shattered individual inside. There was that intense longing of being asked, in the most genuine sense, if how I am keeping up with life or if I am really okay. There was that strong urge and yearning that someone would hug you in the middle of nowhere in order for you to cry the tears that had been creating a reservoir in your heavy soul.
It was so hard to become fragile and to show your vulnerability or to become selfish for once in a world that, somehow, does not allow you to become weak or to show your weakness. Moreover, it was so hard to hide pain when you are hurt, to cover up frustrations when you are disappointed, and to conceal brittleness when you feel like falling down.
In the end, you become numb. You start letting yourself be carried away by the flow of life and how people will define who you are and how their expectations and judgments would shape your existence even when your being revolts against this flow. And the more you numb your feelings, the heavier it becomes and the heavier it becomes, the chances of coping up with life become narrower and limited.
“do not lose hope. If you are suffering from any of these evils, be brave and fight”
In some ways, that happened to me. There was always this tension of the opposite in my body. There was always this feeling that I was doing something that I did not really want to do but because of the pressure imposed by the expectations of the people around, I forced myself to do it. For an instance, I had to give up my dream of having a degree in journalism because my parents did not support and help me reach this dream so I had to find another way to get a college degree (I already forgave them and I have finally understood our situation back then).
There are also some opportunities in my life that I have to grab not because I want them but because they are beneficial to the people that I love. For some moments, my life has been dictated by the needs of others until I have forgotten my own needs, my own aspirations, and even a part of myself and this has contributed a lot to my depression. However, I never regret these choices because I am doing them out of selflessness and they have been given out of generosity. It’s just hard to lose a piece of yourself in sacrificing things for the people you love.
These are just some of the things that trigger my depression. However, now that I have a better understanding of my vulnerability, I am able to retain the bravery inside of me. I have started seeing the good things in everything no matter how hard it can be. I have already been doing my best to stay intact and not be defeated by depression. Instead, I want to become better each day. I do not numb depression anymore. I am already entertaining this feeling so I can understand its source and finally resolve my inner conflicts.
Anxiety or depression is a tragedy. It wrecks your soul as its casualty in the most vexatious way. And in the second that you give these two the opportunity to succumb you, you will be engulfed without any chance of help. However, do not lose hope. If you are suffering from any of these evils, be brave and fight. I could not say that I am already a winner but I am proud to say that I am a survivor who have fought valiantly to defeat depression. You need to become a survivor for yourself instead of being a slave of anxiety or depression.
No matter how hard and suffocating it might be, do not lose hope not just because you need to be strong for yourself but also because other people who are suffering from the same also need see some reasons to proceed with life. Together, we can mend one another’s soul. Do not give up on life.
I need you. We need you. We need one another. It is not us who must be in a coffin and be the subject of our loved ones’ lamentations. It is anxiety or depression that must be put beneath the soil under a tombstone. I know that suffering from anxiety and depression makes living so difficult. I know that you are struggling but do not let anxiety or depression see you quit.
“You are a beautiful creature. Do not deprive yourself to see that worth in you. You are not alone. We are together in this battle.”
James Bryan Suarez Deang
August 3, 1995 – November 27, 2018