I’m back at Saint Leo University this semester. I actually graduate this semester. And even though it’s only the second week of school, I feel like this is going to be a great semester. I have so much motivation about my school work and I’m also not procrastinating on assignments. I feel like I have a great handle on my workload this semester. If you are familiar with major depression then you would understand that the fact I have all this motivation to do things is a really great sign about my health.
So I’m pretty sure all of you have heard the song Fight Song by Rachel Platten? If not, here is a link.
Well, I wanted to talk about how empowering this song is for me. This song probably means way more to me than the average person. It makes me feel so empowered. And I relate to it on probably a different level than the average person. The lyrics are great and can be used for any struggle. It reminds me of my own personal struggle with depression. It reminds me to always keep fighting. To keep fighting with determination, as if there was no temptation to say “I can’t.” It is a song that reminds me how strong I am and how I can do anything. Heck, I overcome depression at age 21. If I can overcome severe depression then I don’t think there is anything that can stop me! The world better watch out!
However, on a more reflective note, I am realizing that I don’t think I will EVER forget what this recent episode of major depression was like. I think my grapple with the darkness known as depression will forever be ingrained in my mind. To be honest, I am not sure how someone can forget about such an experience and just move on like nothing happened. I know I can’t. I can’t just sit and do nothing now that I am able to speak out. It’s just not possible for me. My mission is to scream out in defiance to stigma, ignorance, and religious opposition to mental illness. You could say this is “my fight song.” Though, my fight song is also one of perseverance and not giving up. To keep combating the darkness with what little light you may have. You may just have a little cigarette lighter, but let that light shine and don’t let it go out. No matter how weary you get, and there are people out there willing to help you keep your flame lit.
Can you hear me? I got so much fight in me and I won’t sit ideally by in silence. If someone thinks they have depression I will be the first to talk to them and advise them to go to counselling. And I won’t stay silent when things could be said to change people’s misguided perception of mental illness. In general, the topic of mental illness makes people uncomfortable, but I don’t care. I will speak out about it. And let’s say if a third episode of depression comes upon me (this is very likely to happen one day), I will fight with all my heart against it.
It may be a little arrogant of me to think, but I feel like my battle with depression shows how strong I really am. It shows I’m a true fighter because I have been through a lot more than people my age have.
I encourage anyone reading this, whether you have experience or not, to speak out about mental illness! And also take a really long hard look at how you look at people who are a little different than you. They need your support and if you think you have some sort of mental illness don’t be afraid to ask for help. Don’t be afraid to sign up for counseling. Counseling is more normal than you think.