The Mighty Logo

How I Learned to Deserve Love, Even Through My Depression

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

I am depressed.

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

I taught myself that I do not deserve the 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 to the scars on my arm — the scars that so quietly whispered sweet nothings and so loudly yelled harsh realities.

I spent so many nights believing the different 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 my depression.

So now, as I lay in my bed, looking to the 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.

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

Thinkstock photo via tommaso79

Originally published: July 27, 2017
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home