Looking Back on Depression, and What I Would Do If I Wasn't Afraid


I found an old journal entry recently. I wrote it in December 2015, one of the hardest times for me. I was at the height of my depression, struggling to get through each day. In part of this entry, I had made a list of things I would do if I wasn’t afraid.

After rereading this list, I was overcome with emotions. I laughed at some of the items, felt remorse for others, but mostly I saw how much I have grown and changed in the last year.

This list was a reminder I needed. It reminded me every day is a new day. It’s a new beginning, a new chance to become a better person.

When you think about life day by day, it’s hard to see how life could ever get better. But when you find a list of things you wanted to be able to handle and you see how strong you are now, that list seems a little silly.

It doesn’t matter what you can or can’t do each day. Your mental illness doesn’t define you. What defines you is how you deal with it.

So get up each day. You can have a bad day every once and a while, but try to get up every day. Do your hair, put your makeup on — or don’t. You don’t need it. Do something that makes you feel good every single day. And before you know it, it’s been over a year and you’ve found a list of things that used to make you anxious, and you realize how much you have survived.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via Thomas_Zsebok_Images


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Depression

Man walking on a boardwalk in the fog

What It’s Like Trying to Focus in ‘Depression Fog’

There are many different kind of “fogs” that come from illnesses. Some are from the illness itself, some from the medication used to treat it. I’ve heard a friend talk about what she refers to as her “fibro fog” and I’ve heard others talk about the blurriness of thought when taking pain management medications. I [...]
Men sitting on wooden floor, smiling

What I Learned From Opening Up to Family and Friends About My Depression

Almost a year ago, I did something I never thought I was going to be able to do: I opened up to my family about my mental health issues. My therapist has called it dysthymia, a mild but chronic depression. As far as I’m concerned, I’ve faced elements of depression, anxiety, obsessive thoughts and hypersensitivity. [...]
woman sitting on the steps outside

3 Things Anxiety and Depression Are Not

Ever since I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and major depressive disorder (MDD) several people have tried to tell me what they think caused it, or what they think of the whole thing. Depression and anxiety are very serious and the stigma needs to end. 1. Anxiety and depression are not contagious. In [...]
Close up of a nurse touching hand of a patient

To the Nurse Who Made Me Believe Everything Was Going to Be OK

A couple years ago, my psychiatrist ordered me to get blood work done. Tears welled up in my eyes upon hearing this. I hate needles and I had already gotten so much blood drawn and they kept losing the paperwork — I didn’t want to do this one more time. They thought maybe my depression [...]