Acknowledging The Reality We All Have Our Own Demons
WRITTEN BY XIAO MEI
“How I Overcame Depression And Won Against Suicidal Thoughts”
They’ll tell you you’re not alone, but isolation is the only thing your soul will feel.
It’s hard to fathom the level of intensity my generation suffers from anxiety and depression. Talking about these issues for the sake of promoting awareness hasn’t improved the fact many people are still dealing with suicidal thoughts and suicidal deaths has not decreased. The battle with isolation depressions bring along a demon many experience. Yet, knowing this how do we overcome this obstacle throughout life?
Do we fight against demonic inspirations on our own?
Do we seek support from our right hand hoping they’ll understand?
Should we tell our family or friends? What will they assume?
Will professional counseling help us recover when we barely can make rent?
Can God guide our footsteps? If so, will we even listen?
MY FIRST EXPERIENCE WITH SELF-HARM.
Many questions come to my mind that are often left unanswered when I think about it all. Hearing about depression, I mentally travel back in my past when I first put myself in harms way. Like any other human being, I battled with suicidal thoughts. For whatever reason, lack of development, lack of emotional stability or bullying - it got the best of me. Luckily I’m still here. Thank you God, thank you mi familia.
Roughly at the age of 15, my father invited me for an outing at Blacklick Woods Metro Park. I love the outdoors and I enjoy being surrounded by nature, hence my astrological sign is an Earth sign. My father knew me well enough to place me in a comforting environment where my guard would be lackadaisical. Though my ditsy-self decided to wear short sleeves, which probed him to question, “What’s on your arms? What’s going on that I don’t know of?” (This man clearly knew what was up and I was gullible to it all. I must admit he planned everything very smoothly.)
…Damn. I’m caught. On each forearm appeared scars from a knife. From my perspective it never felt abnormal that I harmed myself and surprisingly I NEVER felt pain when I slid the blade against my skin. Mentally I was caught up and to this day I’m not sure how I did not feel any pain.
When my father asked those questions, it was very difficult to chalk up an answer. Truthfully, I know why I chose my actions, but I never knew where my inspiration came from. I simply calculated to take the pain away. But ironically speaking, most people battling depression subconsciously do everything to relieve pain while in reality, they place themselves in dangerous scenarios. The irony?!
WHY I DITCHED MY THERAPIST.
I’ve always been reserved, ‘aka an introvert’, which can be hard to believe if you’ve met me out and about in the city. Now that I’ve (considerably) matured, I view the world openly than how my younger self was raised in a much secured environment. I’m more comfortable approaching hopeless days and accepted speaking on topics that people consider mentally challenging.
It took me three years to accept professional help since I was an actual adult. First off, I can be extremely economical. I will spend money on what I believe is worth the cost. This time quite frankly I believed giving my hard-working money to a stranger who listened to my problems was not beneficial. I’ll talk to God if that’s the case, because him listening to me is free!
But having good insurance and all, I finally gave in to visit a therapist. I'm not surprised with my results. I just didn’t like it...not one bit. Most of my pride was caught in the way of seeking help, but I also wasn’t a fan of who I went to see. Long story short, it was weird for me and I never went back. Instead I bought books of mindfulness and improved my prayers. Everyone has different sources when seeking greater understanding of how to overcome any symptom of depression.
A SELF-REMINDER WHEN DEPRESSION CREEPS IN AGAIN.
Not long ago on Tuesday I published “Will The Sun Ever Die?” On this exact day I experienced a mental breakdown dealing with personal issues. Life really slammed me hard and I was mentally unstable. Honestly speaking I contemplated whether to release the post or not, but what pushed me through was my younger self wanting to see my present days to become brighter for my own benefit. No one else’s.
6:00PM: The lights were off. Blinds shut. Face full of tears. Phone on silent. Isolation definitely began to set in play.
At this time my thoughts were slightly blurred, but deep, deep and I mean deep down inside my inner aggressive spirit started encouraging myself. Mind you I was very aggressive:
“Don’t go back. You’ve been here before! GET THE FUCK UP! Get your sh*t together!”
For my own sake, I decided to record myself. I choose to document how I felt at that exact moment. Angry, confused, speechless, sad and stumbled. I somehow mustered up a few reassuring words to myself during the record. I began speaking words of support and released optimistic thoughts to instruct my future self - if I ever revisit this hell hole again to play the recording in remembrance of why I should never want to feel this type of energy again.
EVERYONE’S BATTLE IS UNIQUE.
So you may be wondering what’s wrong with Xiao Mei, is she mentally ill or how come I never saw this coming? I support your curious thoughts, but I’d like to inform this post was not written to play hero or to save the day. Simply to relate and offer possible ways to deal with depression when the time may come about.
For those who state they never battled with anxiety, frustration, isolation or irritability with others or sadness amongst themselves – that’s great, I’m glad to hear, but I am 99.9% in disbelief as well as in awe of you. There are levels of depression and I understand the word itself isn't likely favored, but realistically speaking it’s a word that sums up “a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest.”
It can be simplistic as a woman becoming uninterested loving herself again during postpartum. In fact, Serena Williams just explained her two cents dealing with it. Mind you, she is a strong African-American Queen who has conquered many challenges throughout her career, yet being human exposed her to the possible challenges of bullsh*t like this.
No one is invincible to the challenges that come throughout life. So regardless you can either prepare for them or let it sweep you off your feet. It’s an understatement to say those who have committed suicide were not strong enough. If anything it’s any eye opener that shows the reality how dark the mind can process its thoughts and decision making.
I hope those who are all reading this has enlightened you to brainstorm creative ways for yourself to establish resources when the time may creep up. Also, for those with dependents how you can look out and be the light when children/teenagers are uncertain who to turn to. Whether it's you finding professional help, reading books of mindfulness, or opening up to your loved ones. Figure it out asap.
To this day I still carry my mission, “Be who you needed when you were a child.” That will never EVER leave my foresight.
(RIP XXXTentaction, Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain.) *XXX did not commit suicide, but he was of great enlightenment during my time of personal struggles. I’ll miss the days of him sharing his misery, because somehow it truly brought beauty. It was real. It was relatable. RIP XO.