IN MARCH OF 2020, I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder and Anxiety Disorder. While I’ve been experiencing the symptoms since I was only seventeen, I had always refrained from giving myself a diagnosis. My initial thought was that I could finally get the help I needed. After I was sent home from being in the psychiatric facility for that rather short but seemingly extensive period, I kept that experience and my diagnosis to myself. I was scared — and for some reason — ashamed.
When I finally decided to tell someone, I was relieved. But my heart did indeed feel heavy. I was finally asked by someone I knew: How does it feel? How do you feel? For me, sometimes I feel like a shell of myself. When I’m feeling a little more lively, I fear that these feelings of euphoria and excitement are only temporary. Since my diagnosis, I have seen improvements in my mood and behavior. I often think back to the times where I was at my lowest and I live with the fear that I can — and maybe will — hit a similar or new low someday. Although I do have these sometimes invasive thoughts, I also live with the comfort that, I, myself, am alive. I am here. I am loved. I am worthy of living a fulfilling life. Recently I told myself — after being diagnosed — that I will not give up on myself. I am turning on every single avenue there is on the way to find what and who makes my heart content.
These things have taken me a rather long time to say and realize — and there are things that I still need to work on — but I have recognized these truths to be self-evident. For this, I am forever proud. And finally, to all you beautiful individuals who may struggle with similar issues: I hope and wish that you find your comfort. That the rest of your days are filled with the sounds of your own laughter. And that the sun shines on you.
I love you. I am here for you. ■