I exert considerable effort now to keep my depression distant like how the sun is to the moon. I practice mindfulness now, and I am aware whenever I feel de-energized, depressed and anxious. I just observe these feelings and tell myself that it’s just my mental illness and I should never confuse my biology with my true self. And I am a smart, creative and loving person who just happens to have a chemical imbalance in the brain. I love writing poetry. I love spending time with my family. I love going to the beach. These are the things that make me who I am. Love is the reason why I get out of bed in the morning. Love is the reason why I have this strong commitment to recovering from being suicidal, isolated and self-destructive. Love is the reason why I have this strong desire to change my life for the better. I jog at least half an hour a day because releasing endorphins is just freaking great. I forgive myself now for the little things. Even my father. I have a haircut once every two weeks because I notice that when I look in the mirror and feel handsome—my whole being feels lovely. I text my best friend. I tell him that I’m still fighting my depression. I tell him that I’m doing okay. I eat healthy foods, and I have a schedule every day for my life, and I’m fucking accomplishing things. I’m going out of the house more often now. I’m not that afraid anymore. I’m really making progress. I’m free from the four corners of my dark room and realize that it doesn’t have to be my prison anymore. I can simply choose to go outside and smell the yellow flowers and tell them that I love them. Because I am growing like them. Because I am beautiful like them. And I am grateful for my struggle because it has taught me that I am more resilient than I think. I listen to a song, and I just keep on hoping that things will get better because I am working on it every single day to choose the things that are best for my healing. And let myself be enough.
I am very cruel to myself. I demand perfection, but I am very lazy. I want to become great, but I fear the result of becoming misunderstood. I desire to be loved, but I panic at the thought of becoming rejected. I yearn to heal, but I long for the things that destroy me in the end.
It’s okay if there are days in your life when all you can handle to do is take a shower, play video games and watch films. It also happens to me sometimes when life gets too much. I just leave all the dishes in the sink and leave the flowers outside my garden unwatered hoping that it will just rain.
It’s okay if there are mornings in your life when you just can’t get out of bed. Sometimes we need a day off from being strong. Sometimes we need to cry it all out to ourselves when all we have is ourselves to feel sorry for ourselves. And that’s not entirely wrong despite most of us being dead to self-pity because it reveals narcissism in its most primary form. Sometimes self-pity could be in fact the most important emotion to feel when it comes to being depressed because it tells us that life is in truth hard in so many ways. And yet it tells us that we are still lovely despite all of our imperfections and despite being misunderstood by so many people.
It’s okay if there are evenings in your life when you just want to end it all. Sometimes feeling suicidal is just a way that we cope with the realities of existence. Sometimes feeling suicidal for me is an escape when I see no light at the end of the tunnel because the thought of suicide sometimes is the only thing that gets me through bad days knowing that I can do it but not really do it. Sometimes feeling suicidal is just a way that I am because I am afraid to live because I do not have everything that I want and I am horribly limited.
It’s okay if there are times in your life when you just say “fuck it, I’m going to live despite everything that’s giving me every reason to die.”
It’s okay if you go through all of it alone.
Maybe you’re in your mid-20s, and you’re going through some tough mental health issues, and you’re feeling left out in life. Maybe you sometimes ask yourself if it’s too late for you to heal. To turn everything in your life around.
Some people who are younger than you have it all together. Sticking with your depression seems to make a lot of sense. You’ve learned so late about stuff. Maybe it’s your passion for writing poetry or painting or making music. You’ve learned that you’ve wasted years doing useless things. You’re now living a life filled with regrets, and I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone in feeling this way and that you are never too late to heal.
Everyone has made mistakes. Everyone has wasted years. Everyone has their own regrets. And you and I are late bloomers in passion and in healing. We don’t need to compare our progress to anyone other than ourselves. We are what overcomes us at the present moment. We are not prisoners of our pasts, but we are pioneers of our futures.
So please, let’s not stop writing poems, painting, and making music because this is what we love doing because we’re artists. Each and every single one of us is a revolution in the flesh conquering the tyranny of regret and despair. Each and every single one of us are heroes that make the world a better place through healing ourselves through our art. Yes, we are going through our quarter-life crisis, but that’s not going to stop us from creating and healing while there’s still air in our lungs and blood pumping through our hearts.
We are never too late to heal because we’re just getting started and we’re going to leave this place filled with hope and self-love.
The thing I’m looking for the most in a relationship is not love but rather understanding. I just want someone who can basically stand being with me I guess. Someone who can accept the fact that there are days in my life that I won’t be able to get out of bed because I find no reason to live. Someone who can learn that loving me won’t be pretty because I detach from reality sometimes and it’s just hard to feel connected in times like that. I just want someone who can be aware of all of my defects and still love me not despite of them but because of them.
I just want to know that if one day I lose my mind we’d still be together no matter what. And we go to the beach together because that’s where I feel safe the most, and she tells me that everything’s going to be okay and that it’s okay to smile despite everything that’s going on in my head. And then she says my name, and it sounds different in her mouth, and I feel safe there. And then I tell her something that I’m terrified to tell her because I’m terrified that it will make her stop loving me but when I do it just makes her love me more.
Or I tell her something very dark and honest like wanting to kill myself, and she doesn’t panic, and we just talk about the things that have been bothering me, and she tells me that she believes in me because she believes that I am a very strong person despite being so fragile and vulnerable. She tells me that no matter what she’ll always understand. She tells me that no matter what she’ll always be there for me even in times when I need space. She tells me that her love for me would always be there waiting whenever I am ready.
The best day of your life might be you spending it alone and finding that everyone all around you is fundamentally alone. It is when you feel a sort of euphoric loneliness that you as a human being have struggled all its way into existence finding love in all the wrong places and acceptance in all the wrong people. It is when you’re sitting at a café drinking black coffee near the house across your street that you realize that everyone is going to die. Whether they’re rich or not. Whether they’re popular or not. Whether they’ve finished college or not. It is when you no longer care about people’s opinions about you. About the kinds of clothes you wear. About the types of songs, you listen to. About what you really want to do with this small little life of yours as you choose to follow your heart. And you realize that there is no reason not to follow your heart because from the moment you’ve been born you’re already dying. So you quit wasting years waiting for that certain phone call, letter, or kiss to make everything feel alright again because everything will never be the same in your life again. Every choice you made in life has both created you and destroyed you into the broken but resilient person that you are today. And you realize that you only have one chance to play everything out until it’s gone and absorbed into oblivion. And you realize that you’ve been so fucking hurt for so fucking long because no one but you has cared about you all along. And you realize that loneliness is so fucking universal because everyone’s got their own misery and everyone’s got their own pain, and everyone’s going to leave everyone sooner or later just because that’s the nature of things. And you realize that you’re not special and neither anyone is. Everyone is just everyone in their own silly costumes in this silly joke party called life. And you realize that loneliness isn’t that a bad thing after all because everyone becomes everyone. Like how you’re also your mother’s first heartbreak. Like how you’re also your best friend’s mental health issues and how she tends to isolate herself from the ones she loves from time to time. Like how you’re also your father’s last breath as he slowly but silently slipped away from this sad existence that’s surprisingly as similar as yours. And now finally, finally you realize that you’re going to die as this tragic and fragile being back into the dust of the earth of which you came from. So you finish drinking your black coffee, and you just walk as you think of how you’re slowly shedding your youth second by second. As you think of how you’re slowly losing people from your life because each of them has to die and you forget about them just like how people will forget about you once your turn comes to die. And now you realize that you’re just walking and walking and walking. Just passing time. Just trying to find a place or a person to call home but there isn’t going to be one, and you know it. And you’re just walking. Just passing time. Minute by minute. Hour by hour. Day by day. Moment by moment. You’re just walking. And you reach a point where you feel tired, but you still keep on moving and living with no destination. You’re just walking now for the sake of walking. Just passing time. And now it’s your time. Your shining moment. Your curtain call. It is now the best day of your life. It is when you die and laugh and realize that none of it really mattered, but still, you never gave up. And you lived.
I gazed at my face in the mirror this morning, and I saw a cluster of stars—old and new that were imperfectly placed in the galaxy of my own reflection. Some of them placed near each other, and some of them dead, and some of them were about to create a supernova in the near future. But most of them have already passed away—leaving black holes to suck the happiness out of my own universe. But what I have learned since the big bang was that a universe without planets and stars is a universe without beauty. And loving the galaxy of my own imperfections would be the greatest joy of my life.
—Confessions of a Wallflower, page 237