I have dealt with depression for a fair period of my life. I have not only dealt with it in myself but in loved ones, friends and acquaintances. There are a lot of common themes that I have found both in my own illness and that of others. There are common questions, common thought processes, common hurdles, common struggles. I, like many others, have done endless thinking and endless reading on all aspects of depression and depression strategy. I'm not sure what my aim is here exactly, but I just wanted to share some thoughts in the hope that they may be of help to others.
I will be clear on the facts that I have no qualifications as a therapist of any kind and that I have nothing but experience to fortify my words. I am not an expert, I am just one voice amongst many.
Two of the most fundamental and reoccurring questions that are asked by those deep in the mire of depression are:
1) How do I break out of this cycle that I'm in?
2) Why should I fight this at all? What reason do I have to live?
The simple answer is that everything starts with a decision from within. You have to want to get better. Some part of you, deep down perhaps, has to want something to be different. Not only do you have to want it but you have to be prepared to suffer and sacrifice in order to get it. You have to be prepared to be put in uncomfortable places. You have to be prepared for the long haul. You have to be prepared to endure a process that will test every aspect of your faith in both yourself and your recovery. No easy thing when you have little faith to begin with, yet you have to make the choice that your suffering is such that the cost of recovery is a price you're willing to pay.
Recovery does come at a cost, not just financial but in your lifestyle and in your coping mechanisms. You have to be willing to let go of things that are holding you up, if and when required. You have to be prepared to trust in people you've never met before. It's a daunting process, it will invariably be a frustrating process, but it starts from you. Nobody else can do it for you, that's just a cold, hard fact. Also true is that there will be little to no forced intervention beyond that which might preserve your life. If you wait for someone to step in and take control of your situation then you might be waiting forever. I can't stress enough how important it is that you make the choice for yourself. There is no other way.
Now to the question of why you should live. Why should you fight at all? Why should you take on other peoples' reasons for being alive when those reasons do nothing to make you feel any more positive about your situation? Well, in short, reasons for being alive are personal to the individual. We can all speculate as to a wider meaning of life, but we do not function as one singular global entity with a common goal. We are individuals, we have individual needs and goals. I could give you 10 reasons why I think that life is worth living to ME and they might not mean a damn thing to you.
You have to find YOUR reason for living. I can't give you YOUR reason, nor can anybody else. You should begin by considering, even for just a moment, that your mind is not truly your own. If you are ill, if you have depression, you might not be capable of being objective about your life and about your future prospects. If you can imagine being trying to review a movie by watching the first five minutes, it would be virtually impossible. Even less so if that movie was in a language that you don't understand. Consider that you are not in any position to make the biggest decision that there is, whether to live or die. Consider that the healthy version of you is in danger of being deprived by the voice of your illness. Really stop and think about it. Do you know your own mind? Are you 100% positive? If you think that everything is always as it seems then ask yourself how magicians, mind readers and fortune tellers have managed to prosper for generations. Ask yourself how people can hallucinate under the influence of drugs or illness. Ask yourself how much you can truly know about anything if your brain is under the influence of an illness.
Once you have considered all of that, consider this. Everything that you have done to date, everything that you have been through, none of that has to have any bearing on your future. It really doesn't. It doesn't matter how many times you might have failed before, you still have every chance of succeeding. A renowned snooker coach once said that snooker is a game where you can play for 20 years and never improve. Then you can spend a few weeks with a professional snooker coach and improve tenfold. The reason for this is that if nobody has ever truly shown you the right way to play then you might never know what you're doing wrong. This basic ethos applies to all aspects of life. If you have spent 10 years trying to hammer a square peg into a round hole then that does not provide proof that your every effort is futile. Everything that you learn, from school to adult life, can be learned wrongly. If nobody has every shown you different then you'll never know. Are you truly sure that you are beyond saving? I would wager that virtually nobody is beyond saving.
Why do people care that you are alive? Why do they fight with your desire to end it all? What's it to them? Well, perhaps they have had a taste of what life CAN feel like. Perhaps they have been where you are and have seen the other side of the wall. Perhaps they truly believe that you have potential that you simply cannot see due to your illness. The reasons why people intervene, besides basic human nature and good intention, are usually those. That they believe death to be an answer to nothing. Death is not a victory, nor is it a solution. It is an exit, but it is an exit that denies you of ever seeing victory.
I hope that some of this might make sense to a few people out there. I have tried to make it as real as possible. Your life is YOUR life. It is YOUR treasure, YOUR investment. YOU own it, nobody else. You will always find compassion amongst humanity. You can only fail to see it if you are always looking in the wrong places. You only have to look on this forum to realise that people DO care. Even people who are burdened beyond measure. People want to help as best they can. They just can't do it for you. They can't fix you. The walk towards better days is a walk that you will have to undertake by your own decision and under your own steam. However, thanks to places like this you don't have to walk alone.