3 years ago, after years of untreated depression, feelings of inadequacy and anxiety. I had endured what I felt was too much to handle and was suicidal. I struggled to see any light at all and felt at my lowest. I was too frequently binge drinking and overthinking.
Having depression is a strange thing. It’s not always a constant stream of darkness and misery. Sometimes it’s having a laugh with your pals, dancing until 3am and having the brightest smile.
It’s not always something visible, sometimes it’s flamboyant outfits and high heels. Sometimes it’s overcompensating, trying your hardest to smile. Sometimes it’s cancelling plans at the last minute and leaving many messages on ‘seen’ and ‘read’. Sometimes it’s getting black out drunk. Sometimes it’s about not drinking at all. Sometimes it’s about saying sorry for everything and anything. Sometimes it’s listening to Nick Cave. Sometimes it’s about dancing to Candi Staton with hardly any clothes on.
Sometimes it’s frequent trips to coffee shops and posting selfies on Instagram and inspirational quotes. Sometimes it’s about not getting out of bed and not washing your hair. For days. Sometimes it’s hot baths that are so hot they almost scald your skin. Sometimes it’s about saying hi to everybody. Sometimes it’s about saying nothing, nothing at all.
And sometimes, it’s about that candid conversation with someone, somewhere safe where you can just be honest and let your tears free fall.
It can just take one conversation. To seek some help.
Reach out. There are people out there to support you, whether it’s a friend, a family member, a colleague, or mental health professional.
So, on World Mental Health day, and every day, it’s important to remember that you are not alone.
Mental Health support is available on campus, please reach out if you need to by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. You are never alone.
The Samaritans also offer a free, 24/7 helpline. Dial 116 123.