“The Only Way Out is Through”

A year ago today, I had a breakdown. It was like any other day, I got up, went to work. I felt quite emotional throughout the day but this had become pretty normal to me over the last few months. The stress was building and I was drowning in it. Completely overwhelmed but equally in denial that this could happen to ‘someone like me’. 

As I walked to my apartment door at the end of the day, my pace quickened as I tried to beat the tears and close myself away before anyone saw my weakness. I walked into the kitchen and that’s where I fell, sat on the floor in endless tears, paused just by whiskey and cigarettes for countless hours. 

I was hopeless, praying for just the courage to put myself out of my misery but coming up short on the ability to do so. I’m thankful for that now. 

I was to spend the next four days in my bed. No food, little sleep, just the feeling of complete hopelessness but also complete apathy. I didn’t care about my job, my family, my friends. I just wanted to give up. This was to be my first realization of the depression that had been lurking in the darkness for years. It was the ominous feeling that was always there but I refused to acknowledge it, refused to give it any attention in the hope it would just melt away into the shadows in which it dwelled. 

But the refusal was fruitless. It pushed its way into the light and for those four days, beat me into submission. I’m lucky to have some amazing support that brought me out of the fog and assisted me in getting help and regaining perspective. It’s been a tough 12 months, there’s been steps forward, and steps backward but I continue to learn about myself and how my brain works. This won’t beat me. 

I was able to recognize some toxic areas of my life and fortunate enough to change them but by far, the hardest part of this journey has been acceptance. Acceptance that I have depression, acceptance that I need help with it, acceptance that there will be really hard days and that it will always be there. But hopefully, with what I have learned and the support I have, I can keep it in the darkness where it belongs. 

The most fulfilling part of acceptance is accepting that it is ok. It is ok to feel this way, it is ok to ask for help and it is absolutely ok to talk about it. 

Lucy Underwood

Martina Kelades