A Purpose for the Pain: The Hope I Have Found in My Struggle With Depression
As a 20-year-old college student, you would think I knew what I was doing. Well at least I thought I would when I was younger. I now see how being an adult isn’t all that easy. The summer before I turned 20, I had a incident where I tried to overdose. This landed me in the hospital in a coma for two days, and when I came out of it, my family was heartbroken.
The hardest part wasn’t the fact I was in the hospital, but that my family saw how broken I was and didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know what to do. I soon found myself in therapy on new meds and trying anything to get rid of this feeling of hopelessness and self-loathing. I needed a reason to live, but I couldn’t find one. This continued for months, me trying to find the spark of hope I so desperately needed. Where I found it was in one of the most unlikely places.
It was like any day I practiced. I’d show up 20 minutes early to warm up, listen to music and wait for it to begin. For some reason, this time I chose not to listen to music and actually talk to people. Somehow, I got to talking to one of the guys, and he started asking me questions about my depression.
At this time, I was pretty open about what I was going through. This led to him opening up to me and asking me for help. I’m still not sure to this day how it happened but it did. Then, over the next few weeks, I continued to help him, guiding him in a way only someone who experienced the same things can do and helping him with all my heart.
That’s when it happened. More people started reaching out to me, asking for my help and thanking me for things I had posted on social media. It’s at this time that I realized the struggles I have gone through and continue to go through made me into the person I am now. It was then that I finally saw for the first time in almost two years a reason to live.
This reason was to support, help, guide, walk and cry with those who feel like like I have felt. I truly wanted nothing more than to be able to help others. Looking back now, my mental illnesses defined me and molded me into who I am today.
Do I sometimes wish I could get rid of all the pain? Yes. Yet, I wouldn’t trade what I have learned for absolutely anything. It’s too much of who I am today and has led me down paths I would have never trodden otherwise.
Down these paths, I found hope. I found what I wanted to do in life. I found friends I never thought I would have. I even found places like The Mighty that allowed me to write and help others. Down these paths, I found who I am and who I want to be.
I’m here to tell anyone who is struggling that there is always hope, even if you can’t see any directly ahead of you. If you look around you, then you will see hope in the smallest things. It could be as small as the beauty you see in butterfly or as big as leaving to serve in the Peace Corps. There is always hope, hope for you, hope for me, hope for a better tomorrow and hope for a broken soul. There is always hope.
The most beautiful things aren’t made overnight. If you look at at how diamonds are made, then it’s under intense heat, pressure. Only then are they made into the beautiful and unbreakable stones you see. The same is true about us, about everything we have experienced. We will never be who we can truly become without having things to overcome.
I have found hope in this world through the hope others gave me. I hope I can give you that same hope now. There is a reason why you are here. There is hope within and all around you. Please, don’t give up. I love who you are and who you will become because you are my hope in a better world. You are hope. Don’t forget that. You can get through this and do anything regardless of what you are going through.
I found my reason to live. Now, it’s your turn. Have hope in yourself.
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