I’ve mentioned before a couple of times on Storyhelix how I’ve had to suffer from depression a few times in my life, both from high school and being pregnant. (I have a great conversation starter if I ever run into Hayden Penattierre, and it’s not about Heroes
or Heroes Reborn.)
Here’s a secret I’ve learned from it: Depression does not define you.
Oh, don’t get me wrong. Depression terrifies you, hurts you, pokes holes in your heart, makes your soul bleed out a quiet, murmuring death. You get to see the darkness of life much more clearly, as though you woke up from a dream to find yourself in a nightmare. There are moments you will never forget which are more ingrained in the writings of your memory. There are words people have said to me and I’ve heard them over and over, echoing inside me a hundred thousand times, trying to figure out if they were meant to inflict pain or pass on neglect.
Yes, depression leaves a giant footprint in the molding of your heart.
But it does not define who I am, my character, or leave me completely hopeless.
If anything, depression has taught me what is the only true hope I really can have in this world.
Depression taught me to recognize, beyond all illusions, who I really was, and whose I really was. Depression affirmed my loneliness, how I could be really alone in my own worlds. Depression taught me darkness, but I found I was able to fight it in its other forms more easily, and I could hold on to make sure I see the ever-expanding supernovas of sunshine behind nighttime’s knitted fabric.
Depression was an enemy that sought to destroy me, but ended up only making me stronger. It also helped me with my writing, so I could communicate my imaginary worlds to the physical world.
It still comes around once in a while, but I’m happy to see it licking its own wounds. In some ways, I’m sorry to see it go; I’m sure another enemy will replace it, as these things tend to happen, and now that it’s an easier opponent, I feel more prepared. But I do like knowing what victory feels like.