Major Depresive Disorder is something that I've struggled with for many years and not until recently, I've finally come to terms with it. It truly is a mental/emotional
disorder and so many lives are effected by it. I know it's hard to understand and grasp, trust me, I know. So many times in my life I've been told, "Ashlee you have this, this and this and so much to be grateful for. Why aren't you happy?" And you know what? I agreed with them. I couldn't understand myself and the feelings I was feeling or not feeling. When someone has a sickness such as diabetes, you don't just tell them to "have diabetes and it'll be fine." The same goes for depression, you can't just tell someone to "just be happy and look at all the good in their life." It doesn't work that way, though it would be very nice if it did. MDD is a chemical imbalance and is an illness that needs to be treated just as any other illness--with proper medical attention.
For many years, I lived in denial that I suffered from this. I neglected getting the attention I needed and ignored what my doctors would tell me. And just like any other kind of uncared for sickness, it only got worse. I began to not understand myself and lost the girl I once was. I let my depression control my life. There were times I wouldn't leave my room the entire day; day upon day. Every task began to feel like so much work, and seeing people and my friends was the last thing I wanted to do. Luckily, I had a good friend who saw what was going on and made me get up, and get out. This friend has no idea how many times he saved my life that year. There were times I would contimplate ending everything right then and making a plan and I would hear from him and be distracted. A lot of me feels I owe my life to him. I lived that way for many, many months until the point I couldn't take it anymore and made a plan. A very, very well thought out plan and began to put that plan to action.
Still to this day, I don't know what stopped me, a lot of those moments are very hazy. But something happened that clicked and made me realize how badly I needed help. After having everything taken away from me, including my clothes, and being confined to white wallled room with only a plastic bed
and chair, I committed to take the advice that would be given and do whatever it took to overcome this. I promise myself that I would never go back to that dreaded place again.
My depression didn't go away just like that, still today I work so hard to fight it.
But I've learned more about it and about myself and how I can help myself. I understand that it's okay to be sad sometimes but it's not okay to let it consume your life. I've seen the love those around me have for me and how much my family loves me and wants me here. I've seen the struggle and emotional stress I put on my parents and hope to never see it again.
I've learned that I can't please everyone nor can I live to please them, that was a huge factor of my downward spiral. I've learned that even though this is something I will probably struggle with for the rest of my life, it's okay, life does go on. I've learned how to love and have so compassion for others in ways I never would have imagined. I've learned that even though I suffer from Major Depressive Disorder and Panic Disorder, I should not be ashamed. I'm so grateful for my parents and friends who have showed their unconditional love and patience towards me, I know I never would have made it without them.