Two weeks ago, I received a message from one of my friends, it read:
“I’m so sorry Ash!!! I knew you had depression because you mentioned it before, but I just thought you ‘beat it,’ even though I know you can’t ever really beat it.”
His message came minutes after I had just told him, along with a few of my other friends in a group chat, I had just lost my job at H&H and my depression was back.
I wish I could say I have beaten my depression and for a while I really thought I did. I was happy. I made my disease a priority to fight. I actively sought out my therapist, constantly making appointments when some days were worst than others, while updating her through emails if I needed to. I learned new coping methods, how to properly self-love, I took hot yoga classes, bike rode to clear my head, went for occasional walks, sat and really talked to my family. I wrote down a day-to-day schedule to get myself out of my pyjamas and away from Netflix, read self-help books, learned how to make myself a priority for the first time in my life and in doing so, I said goodbye to negative people, laughed more and began enjoying life again.
I graduated from university, I was a features editor for my campus paper, I graduated university, got two incredible internships at well-known Canadian publications and I received a job from each. I got to see my beautiful niece take her first breath and recently turn one, I saw many of my friends go to different parts of Canada for jobs and internships, I saw them graduate, saw some get full-time jobs and I saw two of my best friends have a baby. But in a blink of an eye, all that happiness washed away.
Depression is like Harry Potter’s scar. It hurts and throbs from time to time, but it never fully goes away. It remains a stain on your skin, soul and spirit. Why am I depressed? Well, that’s my million dollar question. I can’t visibly see what’s wrong with me. I never know what will trigger my depression either and that is so frustrating. But for the first time in four years, I have a support system who lifts me up and actively helps me see how beautiful life is when you have people who truly love you, care for you and save you. Together, we are not letting my depression define me.