The monsters crawl out in the dark of the night, while everyone else is asleep. Left alone to fight off the demons on my own. “You won’t have to suffer anymore if you just kill yourself.” No. No, no, no. Get out of my head.

At 27 years old, I still have a lifetime ahead of me. A life where I know I want to travel, meet new people, snuggle with my cats, take photos, eat delicious food. I know want to love endlessly, laugh for no reason, and feel the sun on my face as I stand with my arms stretched up towards the sky.

I know I want to live, yet my depression often tells me otherwise. It’s almost as if there’s two completely different people inside of me. The real Miki, and the depressed Miki. We are constantly fighting each other over control of my life.

My depression: “You’re helpless. No one loves you. You don’t even love yourself. What is the point of even trying anymore? You’re not even going to live to see your next birthday. The pain and emptiness will consume you until you can no longer bear it. I will make sure of it.”

But, I have made it this far. I have suffered profusely. I have self-medicated with alcohol and drugs. I have self-harmed in an attempt to alleviate some of the pain. I have seen countless therapists and psychiatrists. I have spent time in a psych ward. I have received diagnoses that I am unable to count on just one hand. I have tried all different kinds of medications. After all of that, why would I give up now?

If I was able to make it through years of major depressive episodes, general anxiety, social anxiety, panic disorder, agoraphobia, PTSD, and ADHD, some of which began while I was just a child… then I can make it through the next year. And the next. And the next. It won’t be easy, but there’s at least a small part of me that knows I can do it. That’s all I need.

Even when my mental health is deteriorating to a point where I don’t recognize myself, I can still hear that little voice that tells me to keep going. Keep struggling. Keep fighting. I will find my way through the dark, and into the light, no matter what it takes.

Eventually, I will learn to love again; both myself and others. Smiling and laughing won’t seem like something I have to do, as it will come naturally. Isolation will be a thing of the past, as I surround myself with good friends. Being around people will feel comfortable, not unnatural. I will really live again.

 

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