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How Pinterest Helped Me Cope With Heartbreak and Depression

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I was diagnosed with clinical major depression a few days after my boyfriend left me. It was not the break up that caused the depression, in fact, I would go on to say it was the other way around. I could not understand what I was going through then and neither did he. Needless to say, he did not stick around to find out or make it better either.

So, after a messy breakup where no goodbyes were formally said, I felt unlovable, hopeless and was ready to throw in the towel.

My only saving grace was I was not on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter) to stalk my ex and to see more of his photos with her — the other woman.

The photos on my phone did not allow me to scroll through the hundreds of memories I had with him. Otherwise, I would trigger very painful wounds from wondering if they had all been lies.

I had deleted Spotify from my phone along with all the songs that used to make me happy because I had found out he had even made a playlist for her while we were together.

With very limited media resources and apps to turn to, I opened the only app available to me: Pinterest.

I searched for quotes on depression and strength, for anything written on forgiveness and letting go. I was comforted to be flooded by many inspirational words, bible verses, gratitude challenges that gave me the small ounce I needed to go on living.

At the middle of the night, during an anxiety attack, I would reach for my phone and open the app to find myself for hours on end going through countless quotes to get me through the night. It resounded in my heart and silenced the voices in my head.

Wise words and advice from poets, philosophers and writers like Rumi, R.H. Sin, JmStorm, Neruda, Rupi Kaur, Mother Theresa, Buddha and Maya Angelou touched the very core of my spirit and gave new meaning to my soul. It healed open wounds and made the pain bearable.

I must have pinned hundreds if not thousands of quotes in my “Moving On” board. But it was not so much the words that helped give me a reason to keep breathing — it was the knowledge that people, very many anonymous people, who had written these words knew and understood what I felt. I was a little less alone.

It is soothing to read words that let you know someone out there was just like you who struggled and made it through alive and was better for it.

Pinterest opened a world for me outside the confines of my bed, my safe place. It gave me a glimpse into other people’s challenges without having to leave the space I was not yet ready to leave. It allowed me to connect without having to fully and purposely reach out to others. At that moment, that was only what I was capable of.

I still find myself in the wee hours of the morning searching for more words to pierce through the dark cloud that hovers above me. It’s as if I am programmed habitually to open the app when I feel restless, exhausted and have no more will to fight.

It has been almost a year since that uneventful day, but a lot of things have changed. For one, I have not pinned anything on my “Moving On” board for a while now. Instead, I opened a new board: “Hope.”

Inside it are poems, dreams and aspirations I cling on to when the days get gloomy or stormy even. I allow others’ experiences to give healing, strength and confidence to my weary and broken spirit. I fill my board with verses and quotes that continue to edify and encourage my soul.

Through the words of others, I convince myself everyday that love is enough reason to try again, to to trust again and to hope again. Through their words it just might be possible for me to believe in myself again. And maybe — just maybe — someday through my words, you will also believe in yourself again.

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 or text “START” to 741-741.

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Thinkstock photo via milicad.

Originally published: July 2, 2017
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