Wednesday, May 8, 2013

9. I Am Not Alone

I am not alone.  i can't tell you how many times i've felt alone.  not just because i'm religious... but just because i'm me.
it took me until i was about 14 to realize that friends were people that actually cared about you and loved you and thought a lot about you. up until then, i'm sorry to say, i was under the impression that friends were the people that put up with you for a few years until you moved away.  well, put up with me until i moved away.  i don't really know where that thought came from, maybe because we moved so much and i had to leave friends behind so many times that i just stopped allowing myself to get really close to people because then it was easier to move on when the time came.  that was before email and social networking was really a thing.
but then we moved to maryland and suddenly i had to open up. i had to trust my friends with pieces of me. and i realized that they cared about me just as much as i cared about them.  it was a pretty marvelous revelation.
so, like i said.  i've felt alone a lot.  i got into this whole, i know everyone but no one knows me shtick.  i didn't want to open up, but i was the one that people opened up to.  and it was really hard to break that habit. i always knew i was 'different' or 'special' in some way. i had seen more of the world before i was 10 than most people see in a lifetime. and i'll always be grateful for those experiences. but i have my demons, too.
and my demons happen to center around depression.
according to the ADAA (anxiety and depression association of america) the life risk of having depression is 17%, with 5-9% of the US being depressed at any given time.  being depressed, you think you're alone. you think you're not strong enough, you think you're weak, hopeless, nothing, disgusting.  and you think everyone else is perfect just the way you are.  if you were a better person, you would be like them.  but you're not. and it's because you're horrible.  and you're all alone.  you don't deserve anything.  you are the problem. just you. all by yourself.
but of course, none of this is true.  but depression, i've learned after many years of getting to know each other, is a disease of reason and logic.  reason and logic become twisted and evil, dark and dank.  and while it makes sense (in your twisted logic) it allows for no human factor. no love. no peace. no mercy.  and also, as i've learned. i'm not alone.  17% over a lifetime? that's more than 51 million people in the US alone.  and as far as extreme depression and suicides go? well... where i live didn't help with that either... where do i live? the state which is #9 for suicides per year. fantastic. but i can't blame it ALL on Utah (although i'd honestly really like to) i've got my demons and i've got to own them.
but i'm not alone. not by any stretch of the imagination.  and i've learned that, though it's been hard.  too many girls i've seen like me.  in the exact or similar situation.  i feel the worst for girls to enter depression like mine having never dealt with it before.  i was drowning, barely staying alive... and i knew exactly what was going on.  i can't imagine having the added shame and confusion of a first bout of depression mixed with the horror of what i have experienced over the last year and a half.  i really feel for those girls. and i've befriended a few.  we're not alone.  we have each other. and we have people who love us and want to help. sometimes we've just got to keep at it until the dawn finally breaks.  as hard as it may be.
but we are not alone. we are never alone.