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How I Learned to Deserve Love, Even Through My Depression

I am depressed.

For as long as I can remember, I have been. I can rememberĀ the playgrounds at recess and never really feeling that sense of happiness. I can rememberĀ the birthday and Christmas presents and never really feeling like I deserved them. I can rememberĀ theĀ friends who would try to get pastĀ theĀ wall I built, only to be scorned and turned away by myself. I rememberĀ theĀ belief that I truly, truly do not deserve to be loved.

I taught myself that I do not deserveĀ theĀ things that those around me had. I taught myself to believe that I should not and cannot ever be loved.

I have learned, through broken hearts, empty bottles, messed up bed sheets and mornings wrought with regret that I was wrong. I had to be wrong.I found myself often staring out into a backyard, cigarette slowly turning to ash on an ashtray, wine slowly leaving bottle to glass, listening to songs that told me stories of those who got better. In these moments, I would turn my attention toĀ theĀ scars on my arm ā€” theĀ scars that so quietly whispered sweet nothings and so loudly yelled harsh realities.

I spent so many nights believingĀ the differentĀ lies they told me until I resigned that I could only do one thing: I had to learn to stop worrying. I had to learn that it is OK to not be OK. Most of all, I had to learn to love myself through myĀ depression.

So now, as I lay in my bed, looking toĀ theĀ side of me where a wonderful, dark-haired girl lies beside me, resting her head on my arm as she dreams whatever dreams she has for she and I; I smile. I smile and I laugh to myself that there was ever a time I believed I did not deserve to be loved. That I ever believed there was a time I didn’t deserve to be looked at as more than my depression. That there was ever a time I looked into a mirror and believed what I saw was not worth anything. I smile as I remind myself, even through my depression, I deserve this love.

Even through my depression, I’ve always deserved this love.

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Thinkstock photo via tommaso79