I joined a reality television show and was burned. I was embarrassed in front of millions of people. I woke up every morning to messages on social media saying I should kill myself. I was told no one would miss me if I were dead. I post pictures to this day and am still told I’m a psychopath, a bitch, ugly, a waste of life.
I’ve tried to date since the show, and I’ve been let down time and time again. I’ve been rejected because of my stint on “The Bachelor,” and I’ve also been used for it. I’ve been judged, told off in the streets of New York City. I’ve been rejected from jobs because of reality television.
These experiences made me who I am today, and that’s a person suffering from depression. But instead of hiding in the darkness, I want to talk about it. It’s taken effort each day to build up the guts to talk about depression, but I’m here and sick of being haunted.
It’s hard to explain what’s going on in your head when you can barely explain it yourself. But depression is real. It’s a feeling of waking up and wanting to go back to bed. It’s living in a nightmare every day. It’s wanting friends but not wanting to be social. Depression makes you think about life without you in it. Depression compounds every day, like there’s no end in sight. It is not straightforward, there is no “reason” why you feel sadness. It is hopeless, lethargic, and lonely. It’s feeling alone in a crowd. It’s pain that doesn’t seem to have a purpose. Depression is full, numb, a feeling of being lost in space, a feeling of nothingness washing over you every single day. It’s wasting hours just staring at a wall. It’s wanting to be happy but feeling like you don’t deserve it.
Sometimes, it takes therapists, even anti-depressants. It takes support from family and friends. It takes trying new things, putting yourself out there. It takes tears, moving one step forward and three steps back. Depression is living in a body that fights just to survive every day. I see where it’s easy to give up. The mountain to recovery seems too high to climb at times.
But think about it this way: Each day that you survive, you’ve won. You’ve fought one of the toughest battles. You’ve become stronger, a warrior who won’t let depression trap you in its bodily prison.
Someone tweeted me something offensive the other day, and I responded by saying, “Nothing can insult me anymore.” I didn’t say that because I’m weak. I said it because I’m strong. I said to him, “I’m working so hard every single day to get out of the darkness and I won’t let you push me back.”
You must come to a point where you realize you are valued. You will get better. You won’t find recovery to be scary when you understand that your problems are not to be feared. I read something recently that I wanted to share. “Sadness does not equal weakness. It represents a very real aspect of being human. It should be welcomed and not denied. Tears can be so very healing. Allow them.”
Embrace the struggle. Most importantly, if you suffer from anxiety and depression, get help. Talk to someone, heck, you can talk to me. I know it’s not easy to explain “why” you’re depressed to others, but there’s no reason not to try. Depression is not a weakness. Do not let it define you and know there is light at the end of the tunnel. Little by little, every day, start a new pattern of thoughts. Know that you deserve happiness. You were never created to live life depressed or embarrassed. You were created to be victorious.
Remember: “Deep in your wounds are seeds to grow beautiful flowers.”