Why I'm No Longer Afraid to Be by Myself With Depression
I used to be the type of person who relied way too much on others: on what they thought, on their mere presence in my life, on what they told me, on how they reacted to my comments, etc. I’ve tried so hard to make every relationship I’ve ever been peaceful and I’ve often made sacrifices on things I was uncomfortable with just so others would be OK. I would rather take the pain myself than distance others from my life.
I was raised in a very polite house; where we wouldn’t say anything if there wasn’t anything nice to say; where we always aimed for others to be comfortable, to be liked, to be “oh so very nice to the eyes of everyone.”
Somewhere along the road, that mentality became incompatible with my life. I was always searching for relationships to get into — to feel like I was worth it. I was always scared when my friends found other friends because I thought they were going to get along better with them than they did with me. I endured some pretty hard jokes and gossip just because I didn’t wanted to be alone. Because if I was alone, in my mind, I was a failure, I wasn’t worth it.
And being with myself, no sir. I was a nervous reck with way too many emotions to handle, a bunch of self-hate, questioning every single one of my choices. I wasn’t comfortable being with myself because I was too far from being who I thought I should be. I thought I should be thinner, and happier, and healthier, and more outgoing, and funnier, and smarter, and prettier, and more sociable, and more clever, and so on.
So why should I be motivation enough? I wasn’t even good enough!
My boyfriend at that time and my friends became my reason to be better. To get out of depression and anxiety. To get rid of fibromyalgia and asthma. Because who would love a sick gal, right? People made funny comments about getting tired of me being depressed or being “crazy” for making up so many “nonsense scenarios” or “faking things to stay at home.” And all I could do was smile. I’d even apologize to them for being such a burden and thank them for being so nice, because despite all of that, they stayed by my side.
Recently, I’ve been faced with a lot of lonely nights. My closest friend from school just vanished like a ghost, I got out of an abusive relationship that left me with deeper scars than I would like to admit, and I was all alone. Of course, some friends remained and my family never left. But I felt alone. I felt like there was only me, myself and I in the deepest, darkest pit of major depression.
As I faced a chronic mental health diagnosis and a newly acquired diagnosis of arthritis, I thought to myself: What if this is all there is? What if it is just me? Am I worth saving for me?
With no clear answer, I started gaining courage and saying goodbye to all of those who mocked me, who tried to make me feel “crazy,” who made fun of my characteristics, who told me I was an attention seeker for telling my story. I started writing more, sharing more, and I showed myself to the world — scars and all. And for the first time in more than 20 years, I could say out loud: What you see is what there is — I’m broken but I’m infinitely worth it. If you don’t like it, feel free to move along.
And I really meant it. I would rather be alone than endure hate and mockery just because I was way too afraid of being with myself. Once I got to know me, I realized I’m not that bad. I’m better than I thought — stronger and smarter than what I always gave me credit for. I can say I actually even like the person I am — the authenticity, the courage, the consistency, the coherence. I may lack some things, but I like who I am for what I am. For myself. And I’m really starting to believe I deserve to be saved, to be loved and to be accepted for who I am. Not for who is by my side.
Yes, there are still some lonely nights. Choosing to be true to yourself isn’t the easiest road and it might not make you the most popular person on earth. There is a constant question whether this is really the path I want to follow, because the truth is, I might have to be cautious about who I let in, who is just a tourist and who isn’t even worth being part of my story. This could leave me with many goodbyes, but also the truest hellos.
It isn’t easy, but at least I can look at a mirror and say: I love you. And I honestly feel that it’s enough. I am enough. I am all I’ve got. I am a story worth telling.
Me, myself and I: We are enough, Kid. We’ve got this. I swear.
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Lead image via contributor