I No Longer Wish To Die
What has changed after I overcame depression.
I fucking hated being alive.
I didn’t wish to be dead, I never actually did. However, when living was so painful and breathing felt suffocating, wouldn’t you wish to be dead?
Remembering the bleak period and comparing it to now feels surreal. To think that there will come a day when I look forward to being awake is unbelievable.
Here are some changes that I felt after getting out of depression.
1. It doesn’t hurt to breathe.
Woken up with a heavy feeling in my chest was my routine. Every time I breathed, I could feel my chest tighten as if I was drowning.
The pain would get worsen when I met people. Whenever I did, not only did I have an unexplained ache, but also the feeling of worthlessness would accompany me. A sense of guilt and hopelessness would stick with me for days and even months.
This was the main reason I could not meet people even if I wanted to.
A study discovered a connection between depression and persistent chest pain. Depression, after all, is a neurotransmitter imbalance. It is not simply “a bad thought in your head”, it will also affect your body and your overall physical health.
2. The judging voice in my head is gone.
“You shouldn’t have been alive.”
“Everyone hates you because you are ugly and worthless.”
“See, even your brain is useless and you can’t even talk to people.”
There was never a peaceful moment in my life without a second passed with a judging voice in my head, telling me I am the worst thing that could ever exist on the earth.
No one ever told me those nasty remarks. It was my own brain doing, sabotaging itself. She loved to see me falling and defeated by her words.
Now, I still talk to myself a lot. But, my old self would jump out of her skin if she knows that the sentence I say to myself a lot is,
“It is okay, you are doing great.”
“Everything is going to be alright, let’s believe yourself.”
3. People are not as scary as I thought they were.
I could feel everyone’s eyes staring at me whenever I walked past them.
I always felt like I didn’t belong anywhere and no one would want to be my friend. Why would anyone want to spend their time with me? A pathetic person like me didn’t qualify to be anyone’s friend.
Now I know that 99% of the time it never happened. I never did anything controversial for them to judge me.
In fact, each of us is busy minding our own business, so why should I think that others care about what I was doing?
4. I don’t despise my family anymore.
Mom and Dad, I am so sorry for this. I used to hate the fact that I have both of you as my parents.
Mom, I often felt that you never cared for me. I hated the way you nagged at me. You were unlike my friend’s mom who would say sweet things and worry if their daughters didn’t call for days. You didn’t love me the way a mother is supposed to do.
Dad, I never understand why were you so indifferent towards me. I was jealous when I saw others being playful with their dads. Why didn’t you do the same?
I was foolish, weren’t I? I was too busy comparing our family with others without realizing how precious our family is.
Mom may never use sweet words to convey her love, but she expresses it differently. When I say that I want to eat fried rice, Mom would always be ready to get her wok and cook for me.
Food is her choice of expression to shower me with affection. Nothing can beat an Asian mom's way to love her children, no debate.
My dad is also not an indifferent person. I found out about it belatedly, when I made a resolution to be closer to him and started to call him frequently. He is actually a great listener. I love talking to him and I feel listened to as if we have always talked vulnerably before.
Moreover, he always believes me, even when I cannot do the same to myself.
Don’t take what you have for granted. What you currently have might be something that others are dying to get.
5. I am grateful to be myself.
I was never comfortable with myself. It felt as if there was something so wrong with me that I need to fix.
I loathed the way my body looked like. I hated myself to the point that I avoid seeing my own reflection in the mirror because I looked so dull and unattractive.
Not only physically, but I also thought that my personality was the worst. I would analyze how people interact with each other and copy it when I socialized. It never succeeded, I was still the awkward me who couldn’t talk longer than three sentences.
I was busy trying to be like other people without realizing that I was being inauthentic. I was never myself.
Now, I am happy to say that I am finally able to love myself (and sometimes admittedly too much). I also have a lot of friends. I went a 180-degree change from swearing that “I love being alone, that’s why I don’t enjoy socializing,” to needing to hang out with my friends almost every day.
Being my own self and letting my personality shines was the best decision I have ever made.
Living with depression was something that no one should wish to experience. However, if I can turn back time, I wouldn’t change anything.
Having experienced depression for almost 10 years taught me a lot. Without it, I don’t think I would feel this grateful to be alive.
Sometimes it still feels like a dream to say that I am very happy with my life. For that, I am thankful for myself, for always believing that there would be an end to all the suffering.
Hey, Laila from the past. If you see this, thank you for being brave enough to stay!