Who I Am, Who I Was, And Who I Will Be

By Alaeja Koons • February 26, 2016

“Life is not out to get you despite the things you have been through.”

Do you know what depression is? Is it just another word for sadness? Sure, it’s that feeling you get when your childhood dog passes away, or that sting in your heart when the person you love most turns their back on you. But what is it really? Most people only view “depression” as a temporary feeling, a state of sadness, but what if I told you it was more than that; more than a feeling of sadness? What if it was a constant state of isolation and pain, like you had the weight of a thousand bricks sitting upon your chest and not one person noticed? Would it still be considered a feeling or something more? These are questions I asked myself over and over again while I tried to figure out why I was so unhappy. Depression, to an extent, is no longer considered a feeling, it is a disorder. But of course, nobody ever wants to think much less admit they have a disorder so they pretend it’s not there. They go on with their melancholy lives and deal with the pain. This had to be my biggest mistake. Pretending nothing was wrong.

I was two years old when my parents got divorced, I never truly understood why. I thought people who were married had the happily ever after ending. In October of 2013, I found out this wasn’t the case whatsoever. I was spending the day with my father; it all seemed to be going great when out of nowhere he became very angry and aggressive. I had never seen him like that, of course I tried to calm him down but it took the opposite effect and he began spitting words like venom at me. It was all such a blur to me that I don’t remember how I got home to my mother. I cried for hours before telling her everything he had said to me and done. I expected her to be upset with me, but she simply said it was okay and that she wanted to tell me something. That was the day I found out my father had been abusive to me and my mother when I was too young to remember. I felt as if my entire life had been based on a lie, but the worst part is the fact that the man I saw as a hero became a twisted image of a monster. It took months for be to realize this was my break; the point where my sadness from my past became more than a feeling. It became my whole being. I didn’t think I would ever truly be happy again.

I was in and out of therapy and hospitals, my life felt like it was a pile of medications, councilors, and self-hatred. It’s been now two years since I felt my world fall to pieces, and in those two years I have drastically changed, I thought I couldn’t get better, but I was wrong. I decided I didn’t want to go to therapy, or be on medication that made me think I was happy. I wanted to make myself happy because at the end of the day I only had me to rely on. I stopped my destructive habits, stopped telling myself I was worthless and had no future. I stopped letting depression define who I was and what the future held for me.

It seemed impossible at the time, but I woke up one morning and decided I was going to be happy and turn my life around, and I have. Don’t get me wrong, it was not easy; I had to push myself mentally and physically every day to just get out of bed, no matter how much I wanted to lay there and drown in my own emptiness. Every day it got a bit easier, I felt better. I made changes in my life, from my attitude to my room décor. I stayed away from those who made me feel less than what I know I am, I revolved around the idea that a positive mind leads to a positive life, and that seems to be working. Sure, I have my downs, days where I have to push myself harder, and remember why I can’t go back to the life I had. But those days are a reminder of who I was, and who I don’t ever want to be again. Being happy all the time is nearly impossible when you are a human being. Sometimes you have to let the sadness is and cry a bit. Sometimes you have to be sad first to be happy, and there is nothing wrong with that.

At one point you realize life isn’t as bad as you feel and tell yourself it is. You wake up to beautiful sunrises, drink amazing teas, read captivating books, and see beauty in things you once thought were dull. You see beauty in yourself. The moment you realize you are more than someone else’s opinion, more than a feeling, more than a disorder, you become stronger. I am not who I was two years ago, I now find happiness in the small things in life and I shut out what hurts me or lessens me in any way. I don’t put up with anything or anyone anymore, it’s my life, my only life, and I will remain doing whatever it takes to love myself and everything I surround myself with. The road to recovery can be a long twisted blur sometimes, but if you are able to dig up the smallest amount of hope that things get better, they will. Who I am, is someone I fought to be, who I was is someone I will never be again, and who I will be, is up to the hope I continue to build within myself.

-Alaeja Koons

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