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The Word I Remember on Days I Feel Like Depression Is Winning

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I was inspired to write this because of a Mighty post showing tattoos from people
with chronic pain. One in particular caught my eye. “Invictus.” One word, translated from Latin, meaning “unconquerable” or “undefeated.” It is also the title of a poem by William Ernest Henley. As a person with depression, this word and part of the poem resounded with me immediately.

The poem begins with these lines:

“Out of the
night that covers me,
Black as the
pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my
unconquerable soul.”

It brings to mind the many battles I have fought with my depression. In the midst of the darkest moments in my life, I have often thought depression was winning. Upon reflection, the last line reminds me I have always been victorious. I am still here. I have not given up nor given in. I have survived days of emptiness, apathy, sorrow, and hopelessness. I have survived days where I wanted nothing more than to no longer exist. I am undefeated.

I say this only to remind you that if you are reading this, you too have survived. You too are undefeated against depression. There may be days when you can see this more clearly than on others, but you are still here. We have all experienced days when just getting out of bed was the victory. Other days, leaving the house felt impossible, but we managed. Many of us have even had days when asking for help and staying alive was the best we could do. That is still a victory. We are stronger than we know, and we are proving to be unconquerable.

The truth is, depression lies. It wants us to believe it has won every battle. It wants us to give up, but we are thus far undefeated! We are in this fight together, and we have shown a 100%-success rate of surviving the worst depression can throw at us. We will continue on this journey.

There will be good days and bad days, but depression never gets to win. We are still here fighting, and despite what depression wants us to believe, we are winning every fight. Whenever you find yourself believing the lies depression tells, and whenever you think depression is winning, remember only one word. Invictus.

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

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255

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Thinkstock photo by Herzstaub

Originally published: March 7, 2017
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