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My Depression Leaves Me Feeling Lost at Sea

I permanently reside on a makeshift sailboat in the center of an endless sea.

It is always nighttime where I live. Although my compass has broken and my destination is unknown, I sit and wait anxiously for a miracle. All is not still, though. Rain pours down from above as the foundation of my raft rocks back and forth to its own unstable tempo. I unwillingly inch closer and closer to the center of a nasty, raging storm and before I know it, I am overturned and submerged. With the only support I once had sinking straight into the depths of this unrelenting ocean, I am left beyond terrified.

The water is frigid and dark, and there is no telling what lurks hidden beyond my feet. There is no life vest and there is nothing to hold on to. Gasping for air, I battle to keep my head above the waves, but they feel far too powerful to combat against. I may see other ships sailing smoothly in the distance. I cry out for their help but hope is bleak. Surely they can’t see the state I’m in from so far away, right? After fighting and flailing on my own for so long, all of the muscles in my body become tired and weak. My chest clenches as water spills into my lungs. I am now left to wonder if I even have an ounce of strength left to pull myself up for air once more, or if it would be easier to surrender to this unforgiving force and let it effortlessly pull me under.

A lot of times for me, living with the symptoms of chronic depression can be best comparable to perpetually drowning in a lonely sea of hopelessness. The good days where I can finally catch a “breath of air” are what keeps me sailing in the right direction. Those times are the crisp sense of motivation that screams out to remind me my life and well-being are worth fighting for.

To all those who struggle with me, please stay strong — and no matter what, keep your head above the waves. You may not see the shore as fast as you would like to, but your determination will guide you to freedom and the storms you’re up against will pass, I promise.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 741-741.

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Thinkstock photo via ysbrandcosijnexclusive.

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