The darkness envelops me, clinging to me like a spider's cobweb. It's heavy, dragging me down, down, down. A never ending downward spiral that leaves me exhausted and unable to continue fighting against its powerful grasp.
Depression is real.
Sure, it might be an abstract noun––something we're unable to physically touch––but it touched me. It wrecked its havoc on my mental health and did its best to yank me away from this world. I felt as if I'd been dropped into this ocean with no land in sight, no escape from the vicious waves and unrelenting sun beating down upon me. Every morning I woke in a salt sea of grief and went to bed in it every night, doing my best to tread water and keep my head above the waves in between. I struggled against the dark, evil thoughts depression threw into my head. But even the strongest people break down after a while. No one can continue fighting against such an unrelenting enemy as depression for very long.
Depression is the leading cause of disability in the United States among people ages 15-44. I believe that one of the main reasons for depression is a lack of purpose. Without purpose in life what is there to live for? Because of the depression I fought against I began to realize just how important it was to find out what my purpose was.
What was my worth? What rendered me useful and valuable in this world? What reason was there for me to push forward? To wake up every morning?
So often today we are taught to depend, on both an emotional and physical level, on someone else. My worth had been so wrapped up in other things outside of myself that when those things were taken away from me, my whole world shook under my feet. Depression came crashing down around me and enveloped me. This was when I began to realize that in order to crawl out of the debris crushing me, I had to take my worth out of my job, my friends and relationships, and place it back where it belonged. Within myself. Once I did that I was able to redefine myself. I no longer had to worry about what others thought of me for fear my worth would be shaken. I could decide what mattered to me, because I was secure. My purpose really mattered to me because it was what I knew without a doubt was mine.
I challenge you to take the steps to begin placing your worth back within yourself. Be in control of what defines you. Develop worth within yourself. That way when the world around you is changing, you can stand firm, with your own purpose, in your own predefined worth.