Kelly s Story
San Francisco, CA USA
"Whenever I start a new life chapter, I find it easiest to pretend my suicide attempt, along with the events that preceded and followed it, never happened. I tuck an integral part of who I am, of my story, away in a safe place others can’t find. But, silencing my voice isn’t fair to those who are still struggling to find courage in theirs. Silencing my voice isn’t going to stop the stigma.
Those of you who have experienced episodes of depression, or are currently depressed, can relate to feeling absolutely helpless and hopeless. You know what it is like for a flood of sadness to be so deep that it hurts your soul. You’ve experienced thinking that the things that make you special are suddenly burdening those you love. You’ve gone numb because the pain you carry inside is too heavy for one person to hold.
I used to let these invisible challenges cultivate my depression and it almost killed me... twice. They destroyed my self-confidence, convincing myself that I was unworthy of love, happiness, and life. The invisible challenges created a hope-shattering depression that made survival seem like a cruel punishment.
It took me two trips to the hospital and years of healing to realize that these invisible challenges are created by a chemical imbalance in my brain, and if you are reading this, on the verge of giving up, yours are too. Just because our illnesses are invisible doesn’t mean that we are weird, we are fakes, or that we are incurable. It means we are human.
I still have days when the invisible challenges make me question my worth. However, when I feel this deep depression I think: Without me, who would be there to laugh at my friend’s ridiculous jokes? Who would be there to hold my nieces hand while she wailed about hating dance? Who would watch lifetime movies with my mom? Who would give my sister unbiased advice? Who would be me?
And, I realize the world needs me because it wouldn’t be able to replace me. While our journeys, our healing plans, and our stories may differ, there is one thing we have in common- the world needs us, the world needs you.
No matter how crushing the pain, how unbearable the day, or how numb you feel, the world wouldn’t be the world without you. You are world’s irreplaceable being. My story isn’t clean. Its edges aren’t crisp, its sentences run-on, and the margins are scribbled with raw confessions of good and bad chapters.
My story isn’t perfect, but my story is mine. My story isn’t over, and neither is yours."