This week was my 20th birthday, a day I never thought I would reach let alone be able to celebrate outside the four walls of my bedroom. Last year I was in the midst of my depression and the days leading up to my birthday were hell. I was consumed with guilt that I couldn't be thankful for reaching another year, that I knew people had it much worse and I should be thankful for being alive. But I just couldn't understand why I was having to celebrate another year in what I can only describe as hell. Learning to be thankful for my pain almost seemed like a joke to what I was enduring. And then it all got worse but during that I somehow learned to give thanks to what I was experiencing.
This year I woke up thankful for the suffering. Thankful for the endless nights of tears. Thankful for the battles and fights. Thankful for the courage of those around me. I am thankful for my depression because although there was a time I thought it was going to kill me, I think just maybe it might have also saved my life.
I know that sounds extremely contradicting yet it's the only way to describe my journey. I had many days where I laid in bed, staring at the ceiling wondering if this was ever going to end, praying that somehow life would take me away and end my suffering. Then coming out the other end of it, I can say with absolute certainty that battling my way through those days has saved my life countless times. I wouldn't wish depression on my worst enemy but strangely I wouldn't change the presence it's had in my life. It has shown me how powerful my own strength is and that is something I desperately needed to discover.
My depression and anxiety have been there through every moment of my life for the last few years and I'm just starting to learn to live life without my sidekicks with me. That every negative thing doesn't need to be comforted with self-loathing, guilt, hatred and sadness. For the first time in over 6 years I feel like I'm finally getting to discover who I am without depression. It has swallowed me whole for many years and made me unsure of who I am without it. But this year, my 20th year on this crazy planet, I'm getting to figure that out. And my gosh, that is a blessing I could never had dreamed of getting so soon.
My 19th year started at the bottom of the rabbit hole where there was no light to be seen, not even a glimmer. I fought tirelessly for over half of that year to inch my way to the light and finally I found it. It was blinding at first, to see light when you haven't been able to feel it for months and then it gave me my life back. My 20th year started on the edge of the rabbit hole, my legs dangling over the side and looking down at the darkness realising just how far I've come. I've still got places to go but I now know that I can do it, even if my depression is at the forefront or miles behind me.
My only goal this year is to remain thankful for the struggle, whether I'm in the midst of it or I'm basking in the light of my accomplishments.
Hey there, I'm Jasmine, your average 23 year old working in childcare and living in England. Maybe Tomorrow follows my journey living with mental health issues and multiple chronic health conditions, all whilst trying to have some fun along the way.
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