Choosing Life: Thoughts From A Survivor

We all have moments we feel down in the dumps, but when those dark days become our norm it’s a red flag that something more serious is going on under the surface. Fortunately, there are many resources you can turn to for support. Whether you’ve got a family member or friend going through a tough time, or you are experiencing depression yourself, this article on Darling Magazine by Allie Marie Smith (founder of Wonderfully Made and creator of the Body Beautiful iPhone app) reinforces the fact that no one is alone.

When it comes to dark days and nights I get it.

I am a survivor.

Nine years ago severe clinical depression was violently destroying my picture-perfect world. Deep-seated insecurity, stress, perfectionism, and grave hormonal and physiological imbalances collided, shattering my world into bits of broken pieces.

There are moments like right now when I second guess why I continue to share the ashes of my life instead of forever bury them beneath false appearances of someone who has always had it together.

But I’m alive and full of joy so I will not be silent.

I’ve known the feeling of death and dying within a body that keeps on living. I’ve known the ruminating, relentless thoughts of self-hate. I’ve known what it’s like to want to disappear forever and to believe the lie that world is better off without you in it.

But I also know that hope is real. And that such pain doesn’t equal permanence.

I believe that mental illnesses are real, but very treatable. Through support from my loved ones, counseling, prayer and medication I have been able to find healing and help. If you are suffering, know you are not alone and that there is hope for you too. Do not give up. Believe that you are irreplaceable and, in the words of To Write Love On Her Arms, that better days are ahead.

You cannot be replaced. Here are some helpful tips for anyone who is struggling

Reach Out

Two out of three people who struggle with depression do not seek help. Untreated depression is the leading cause of suicide. If you are struggling it is imperative that you seek help. Finding a counselor, talking to a friend, joining a support group, or calling a hotline can be a great place to start.

Invest In Counseling

View counseling as an investment in your future and wellbeing. Psychotherapy helps you work through the environmental and physiological causes of your mental state and aims to alleviate psychological distress through talking, which can be extremely healing for a person experiencing depression or mental illness.

See A Doctor

Find a psychiatrist who can diagnose your possible disorder and provide you with medication if needed.

Build Community

Honest, life-giving friendships and relationships promote emotional and mental health. Actively seek a positive community where you can be authentic with your struggles and victories.

For more tips and helpful resources to help you or a loved one who is struggling, read the rest of Allie’s piece on Darling by clicking over here.

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