In the US, at least 15.7 million Americans have reported that they’ve had at least one major depression episode in 2014. Depression at this point has grown from a point of “It’s something you experience in your teens” to a legitimate mental illness.
But today, instead of talking about the doom and gloom of depression, I actually want to thank depression.
I know that sounds very weird right now. As someone who has gone through depression in my teens and recently in my early 20s, I can only say one thing:
By all means, depression does suck A LOT. I can’t even begin to describe some of the most extreme cases of depression. I can only relate to what I felt:
A shell of a human being.
I was hypocritical, especially since I turned to self improvement because I needed fixing. Yet it took me years to seek help and to slowly start fixing myself.
But that’s why I’m thankful.
Made me get my shit together.
It kicked my ass as a teen for nearly a decade.
It came back again a few years ago and made me start caring about what I’m doing, and saying.
From that alone it made me do incredible things that now I wouldn’t trade for the world.
I travelled across Canada for the first time. I had the opportunity to finally leave my childhood home after living in it for 14 years at the time.
I met some incredible people through that. And even though I didn’t chat much, nor really build a friendship with them, their positive energy warmed me.
I started a business and became a legitimate author, writer, and entrepreneur.
I started to care more and more about those titles and what they mean to me and my brand.
Even to this day, depression in a sense is spurring me on. It’s allowing me to stay committed to my goals.
More importantly, it’s prompting me to follow through with my exercising. Something that I’ve been “struggling with” for several months now. Last week was the first week I was able to exercise daily.
Where Is This Coming From?
I know full well that depression is serious. But I am also aware that some depression is simply our mood for the day.
Just because you have a shitty day or a string of shitty days doesn’t mean you suffer from depression.
Maybe it’s because your life sucks.
And let’s be honest here, I feel my depression I felt recently (two years ago), was because my life sucked.
It’s why I never went through a deep depression episode. In fact I didn’t quite realize it until it was brought up to me in recent months.
What I went through as a teenager, I’d say was a full blown depression episode that shook me to my core. That episode alone brought me along to where I am today.
But I still can’t deny that because my life sucked, I was feeling down and lost. Despite my own optimistic view, I certainly felt stuck, yet hopeful.
Because I saw depression as something else. I came to my own terms that depression is certainly something that sucks a lot.
But it can also be a very harsh and strict mentor.
Depression Taught Me
And because depression taught me, I have to be thankful for it to some level. I will never deny the events that happened to me and shaped me. Who I was and who we all are, is important.
But what is more important is our potential.
Who can we become from these experiences?
I went from a shy boy, to someone that is comfortable sharing these details, talking with confidence, being genuine.
I went from someone who was talking out of his ass most of the time, to being someone who is starting to commit to far more things, making changes to my life and more.
This wouldn’t have been possible, if it weren’t for the events, the episodes, the thoughts of giving up and despair that I went through.
That I overcame on my own.
Depression, My Mentor
I know for many others that depression has plagued them for years. Decades even. It’s a total ass for sure.
But I believe in people.
And I know depression can be all in peoples heads. Maybe your life does suck. Make a change to it. You don’t need to be popping anti-depressants in that case.
If it’s a full blown legitimate mental illness you are suffering, know that I believe in you. Even if I don’t know you. I have faith in you.
You can overcome this. Always.
To your growth!
Eric S Burdon