To explain the complexity of what depression does to one’s brain is impossible. Not only because everyone’s story is different, but because there’s no words to describe how such an all-consuming darkness can also feel like you’re only friend. At the end of this month, May 29th to be exact, is the fourth year of this world no longer holding the life of my brother. To some, his decision to take his own life might be selfish, only it’s anything but.

To live a life with depression, especially growing up as a child with it, can seem like such a normal way to live. You don’t know anything but the negativity in your mind. You don’t know how to believe in yourself and feel proud of accomplishments. The ability to believe it will get better like others say seems false considering a depressed mind is all you’ve ever lived with. When people would tell me to just have hope, I simply didn’t know what hope was.

Depression and its familiarity during hard times is what almost makes it a friend. It’s so complex due to this aspect. The cycle of hysteria to numbness repeatedly, day in, day out, makes hard times linked to this depression. This depression becomes familiar, even though it’s also what can cause the hard times. It becomes the only “thing” there for you. It almost feels comforting. To then be told to get over it, or even just to change and get help, is terrifying. How can I cope without this self-harm? How can I just sit with these painful thoughts tearing apart my body without allowing myself to feel comforted by them too? How can I, instead, try and combat these thoughts with positive thinking? The positive words feeling fake, unfamiliar, heavy inside me. Wearing me out, I can no longer stay up with the anxiety allowing me to clean the house. The healing process begins when this occurs, but it’s so painful. So exhausting. So lonely. Only, it is possible to get past the whole “it gets worse before it gets better” thing. I have gotten through it. I’m determined to continue to get through it. Healing can take a lifetime. But every minute I heal a little more. Every minute, it gets a little bit easier to breath.

Please, if you need help, make the step and get help like I did. It’s not easy. I can promise you that. It will be the worst pain fighting against yourself. And I’m so sorry for that. You will hear people say things like “suicide is selfish” or “just do x activity,” they simply do not get it. Do not take it personally, it’s like a sociology major giving advice to an engineer major’s project. They just do not get it!

I am beyond the worst of it. Not because my life itself got easier, but I learned (through much therapy and hospitalizations) how to cope when things get hard. I learned how to believe in myself. Every inch of me believes in recovery. It’s possible. It’s a process that I’m still in, but I’m more faithful in myself than ever. It’s an amazing place to be. I believe in you. I know it seems like the right thing to do, to give up, it’s what my brother thought too. I’ve been there, luckily I survived it though, and had the ability to keep fighting. I don’t believe my survival was because I’m more special or deserving or blessed than anyone else, but rather a random aspect of life. I take this randomness, however, and try and put it to as good of use as I can. If I am the one who survived, I want to help others do it too.

Take care. Keep on recovering.