Standing on the Edge Looking Down: Hope After the Worst of Depression
A year ago, I was in a psych ward for major depression and strong suicidal ideations after already being majorly depressed for almost a year. I admitted myself because I was afraid of what I would do to myself (or others) if I didn’t, and I really, really wanted to get better.
When I left the hospital, I felt even more hopeless, and the coming months were going to be the worst of my life. I was barely able to get up off the couch, let alone take a shower, brush my teeth, eat food… I became thin and frail from not eating nearly enough, my muscles deteriorating from lack of movement.
I struggled daily with thoughts of killing myself. Utterly hopeless, in a constant state of complete despair. Many days I spent with a blank look in my eyes, unable or unwilling to even talk out loud. It felt like the world was closing in on me, crushing me, breaking me into little pieces until I would no longer exist.
Throughout this depression, I have sought any sort of comfort just short of suicide. At times I drank heavily, sometimes trying to drown my depression, while other times just trying to feel something, anything. I would self-harm, cutting myself at the worst times, or inviting/not avoiding things that would cause me physical pain or harm.
But, I’m still here. Bruised, battered, scarred, and still broken. But, still here. Still alive. And now, slowly getting better, day by day. I still struggle, a lot. But I finally have something I had lost and wasn’t sure if I’d ever get back: hope.
And as I stepped outside
the sun was shining on my face
I put my hand up like a shade
while my eyes adjusted to the light
for I had spent so much time in the dark
the light seemed too bright, blinding
It felt surreal, as if it weren’t happening
Slowly, I was able to open my eyes
And there I was standing
the ground beneath my feet, steady
The warmth of the sun washing over me
The sounds of life reverberating off the buildings
I tilted my head upwards, towards the sun
lifted my arms out, palms facing up
and took a deep, deep breathe
as if it were the first breathe I had ever taken
The comfort of the darkness continued to call my name
but I took a step forward, and another, and another
Soon my feet were pounding the pavement
running through the streets of Beşiktaş
past the market and the key shop
past the shoe repair shop and the tie-maker
past the cafes and restaurants
through the crowds of people
And I came upon the Bosphorus
water splashing against the shore
ship horns blowing in the distance
seagulls flying overhead, free
The crisp October breeze blew off the water
flowing through my hair and across my skin
feet at the edge of the water, gazing out towards Üsküdar
I can’t remember the last time I felt so alive
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