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It is Mental Health Awareness month and I have to share a story: I was talking about someone I know who has very openly stated they are going through Depression and can't seem to find a way out of it. They claimed they had no drive for life, to which I said something that I was surprised came from myself: The only drive you need in your depression is the WILL to get out of it. Once you want to get out of it, you'll have a reason to start trying again.

I'm no psychologist or expert, but knowing from personal experience how debilitating it could be, I know that one of my purposes is to have a voice and speak on it. Depression can make you feel lower than low, like you are nothing to the universe and the world would be better without you in it. It tricks you into believing that you physically can't do what you were usually able to do when you weren't depressed.

My message is this: the only person who can get you out of depression is you. Your partner can't, your parents can't, your friends can't. Until you DECIDE you want to stop feeling this way, nothing will help you. You need to get to the root of why you are feeling down. Maybe it is all just chemical and you may need medicine, but you also may need a therapist first. I started admitting to myself and my family that I needed therapy,and I'd do anything to get back to life the way it was.

When it's that serious, it is a long road to recovery, but that road can change the way you think of the process and of life in general. I feel so lucky that I have emotions again, I can live in the present moment, I can achieve things and force myself to do them; all things that depression stops you from doing. There's also not always a reason you get depressed; sometimes your environment triggers a gene that already exists within you. Sometimes life just gets heavy and your emotions go wild.

I chose the title "DePRESS-ON" because of the theme of "pressing on", meaning moving on despite the hand that you were dealt. Pressing on, to me, means that you continue to push yourself through the difficulties regardless of your mindset. It's ignoring the negative thoughts that flood your brain. It is telling yourself that you, CAN and you WILL overcome this period of your life.

Also, remember you can't pour from an empty cup. If you aren't taking care of yourself, you can't take care of others. You cannot actually help people if you cannot take control of your inner world. You need to love life again, or at least love the body you are in and the heart and mind of the person you are becoming. Self love is the purest, most difficult love to achieve. I don't believe we were born loving ourselves, it's more of a learned skill.

As with most mental illnesses, the person experiencing it does not love themselves. The person is scared of navigating life with the consistent thoughts that interrupt the present moment. Sometimes you see people going from relationship to relationship because they simply cannot be alone. If you cannot be alone, you don't love yourself.

Self love starts with you. Depression is definitely not the topic that people really want to discuss. It's ugly, it's laziness, lethargy, a battle with yourself that no one understands unless they have gone through it. But, the good news is, you CAN get out of it, as long as there's a WILL. I repeat, as long as there is a WILL, you CAN get out of it. Don't be afraid to reach out for help when you need it, and start with the necessary steps you need to do. If your first step is to call your mom and tell her how you feel, do it! If you need to set up an appointment with your therapist, do it! Do what's right for you, and remember to PRESS ON.


Jane Verdel



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