Ari J.

@ariel-jasqui | contributor
Ari J.

Depression and Feeling Selfish

I’ve had depression for over five years, and after a wide array of medications, therapy sessions, self-help books and friendly advices, I have learned something that may be key to my recovery. It may be common knowledge for some, but for me it was a turning point. I learned it thanks to a close friend, without her knowing the value in her accidental teaching: My depression was making me self-absorbed. This can strike as an insult to the reader, but I ask to be humored for a few more lines to prove my point. People experiencing a major depressive disorder are so inside the pit, the world beyond it sometimes ceases to exist. How many of us haven’t asked ourselves countless questions like these: How can I care for my family or friends when I don’t even care about myself? Do I need to worry about someone else’s problems when I cant even cope with my own? The answer is quite complicated. I think depression breeds a rather macabre vicious cycle: “I need other people to feel better, but since I can’t care about others, I feel isolated and left alone with my problems and mental imbalance.” “I can’t care less of the problems the person in front of me is having when I am thinking nonstop in suicide.” “The issues affecting the rest of the world seem small in comparison to my misery.” It’s not that I am an egocentric person or that I don’t care about other people. It’s simply that all the noise in my head prevents me from listening and connecting. So, the graveness of my discovery falls upon me like a ton of rocks: depression has not only taken away my happiness and mental stability, it has taken my ability to care about others. I used to be a guy who was always there when needed. Now it’s all about my illness, my mental state, my problems and my depression. How can I improve? Parting upon the premise that my being so deep inside the pit, prevents me from seeing other people, maybe contacting other people in their own pits would help. But help who? Only me? Group therapy won’t work for me if I see others as mere tools to my recovery. I need to break this cycle somehow. I want to be able to care for others, to be a good listener and return some of the help that has been given to me for all these years. I just need to keep looking for an answer that, right now, eludes me.

Ari J.

Living With Suicidal Thoughts and Major Depressive Disorder

Editor’s note: If you struggle with suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741. The first thing that crosses my mind as I wake up to the alarm clock is I want this day to be over. I want to fast forward until it’s time to go to sleep again. Sadly that fantasy never comes true, so I must get out of bed. And so the day starts. Slowly, a pitch black sadness begins to cover me, like a blanket. The fight with myself. As I drive to college, I daydream about crashing my car full-speed in the tunnel I cross every day. I know an impact at more than 80 kilometers an hour is almost fatal. I tell myself to wait, to postpone the fatal ending until September, after my birthday. I’ll see what happens then. As I sit in class, the lecture given by the teacher dissolves into unintelligible sounds as I think, “We are on the fourth floor. The fall from here is approximately 25 meters.” I fantasize about falling, and experiencing freedom as I plummet to the ground. The class ends, and while I grasp all its meaning, I can’t seem to enjoy it as I used to. As I eat dinner in my house, I glance to the laundry room and see the bottle of bleach, lying there seductively — almost inviting me. And so it goes, on and on. I cope with these kind of thoughts every day. They are not desires, but primal impulses that originate from a dark part of me. However, I try to find the resolve to be happy, against all odds, regardless of what’s written in my genes or whatever neurotransmitters my brain lacks. There is an ongoing war within my mind, between hopelessness and the pursuit of happiness. As with all wars, sometimes a battle is lost and sometimes won, but what matters at the end is the final outcome. I need to keep on fighting. I refuse to be defined and doomed by this illness. As I lay in bed at night, I tell myself I don’t know what will come for me tomorrow, but today I won the battle. If you or someone you know needs help, see our suicide prevention resources. If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The Mighty is asking the following: For someone who doesn’t understand what it’s like to have your mental illness, describe what it’s like to be in your head for a day. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.