‘Sprinkle the glass over her decaying eyes, plunge into the empty darkness, Look into the past, a million memories like clockwork, Emotive explosions tinged with bitter silence, eternity is inevitable punishment, Shredded to pieces underground, dank earth clogging my lips, Prayer is futile when you cannot speak, lips sewn together,A waterfall of sticky red mess purged by sin, an angel on one shoulder, Hope is part of another world, here all is lost in an abyss of self-destruction’
Depression affects over 350 million people worldwide and is a common cause of disabilities, suicides and poor health. But what if I told you that depression was more than just a statistic but a way of life, where we are controlled by negative energy that infiltrates our planet’s atmosphere? Here in my broken paradise depression has trampled over my hopes and dreams leaving me to hate the woman in the mirror. The mirror is a parallel universe where each negative comment or look I am given drives its claws into the mirrors surface causing depression, anxiety and low self-esteem.
I had never thought that I was depressed, often described as happy-go lucky by friends and it is only recently that I have realized that the happiness was a facade for something much darker; a relentless disease that was taking over my mind and body. Where I was once so positive I was now plagued by negative thoughts convincing me that everyone was against me, obsessed that the flaws I could see so visibly etched on my skin was so apparent to those around me.
I find it strange even now to accept that I am depressed; how did I transform from a strong positive girl into a strong yet weak paradox of a woman? I know that I have had a tumultuous path to adulthood but I never let sadness cloud my vision. Perhaps the depression was innate, surfacing when the events of my life came crashing into reality? Suddenly I had realized that I was truly unhappy and had manic episodes where I could not escape out of the poisonous fog clouding my mind. Depression exhausts you, I am fatigued, sick and in pain yet I don’t let my illnesses stop me because no matter what I am strong and my strength is something that noone can ever take away from me.
I have always had a high capacity for emotion- sadness, happiness- but it was not until university that I realized I was depressed. I had friends who were clinically diagnosed and I supported them through their highs and lows thanking my lucky stars that I did not suffer from this harrowing illness. It turns out I was wrong, I was drowning in a sea of sorrow, wallowing in a pit of self-pity unable to climb out of my depression.
When I first began to hint at feeling depressed I received hurtful comments like ‘it is all in your head’ or ‘your just a hypochondriac’ when that couldn’t be any further from the truth. When I am sick or ill I ignore it hoping that it will be ok so I can help others and be the ‘pillar of strength’ that they needed me to be. I became a stigma afraid to be associated with because I represented the unknown, depression has no answers and that is why we are afraid to acknowledge it exists. I want to challenge the misconception that depression is ‘self-inflicted’ or a weakness of the mind because it is not. Depression is a silent killer claiming the lives of many whose cries for help were ignored to focus attention on the homogeneous norm.
I want each and everyone one of you to reach out to someone that you love, hold their hand and tell them that everything is going to be ok. With love and support we can battle depression and prove that our demons will not win the battle of ‘survival of the fittest’. Instead we will unite as one and tackle one symptom a step at a time. The first step to dealing with depression is to discover the root of your anxiety. I am obsessed with achieving perfection and when I fall short I feel that I am not good enough. This anxiety stems from people telling me ‘that I am not good enough’ or will never achieve anything in life. Because of being under pressure to perform I am constantly fatigued, determined to keep on working despite my flailing health. My second anxiety is ‘self-loathing’ where I get upset about the way I look and that stems from a lifetime of abuse and bullying. By diagnosing the cause of my depression I am one step closer to being at peace with who I am.
If you or a loved one suffer from depression and want to get in touch then email me firstname.lastname@example.org and I will answer any questions that you may have. Or if you simply want to talk you can send me an email too.
Photography- Jumanna Khanom
Location – Crystal Palace Park
Roll Neck- Pretty Little Thing
Skirt- Miss Selfridge
Shoes- Ego Official