My family and friends are the strongest supporters of my journey, and I am grateful for the way they manage to care for me and assist me whenever I feel trapped. Heading back to my previous post, watching my pale face, quivering body, terrifying gaze, and miserable state, my parents went speechless. Then my father asked gently, “Dalia, what are you talking about? Is there anything bothering you? Tell me what happened.” I explained to him that my mind was not in good condition and couldn’t even identify the words I was speaking to him right now.
“I’m going to die, dad; that’s all I can feel and say right now,” he and mom rushed me to the hospital. On our way there, we passed by my uncle, who comforted us and explained that the problem I’m experiencing was most likely not physical, but rather mental.
Once I arrived at the hospital and spoke with my doctor, I began to tell him everything.
He was a kind person, and after hearing what I stated in detail with shocked hands and a sacred heart, he smiled swiftly and told me, “no need to worry, you have depression, it’s a normal disease like cold, you will be fine, it will take time, you just need to be patient, and you are smart and intelligent to recognize that and ask for help at the suitable moment.”
I started to breathe and felt lighter and relieved when he declared I had Depression and there was nothing wrong with me. “There’s nothing wrong with me; I’m just sick, and I’ll get better”, I told myself. After distinguishing it, the most challenging phase, in my opinion, is dealing with its consequence because you are fighting an invisible enemy, “your mind”.
I concluded that even if I can’t see it, I can still learn about it by reading. I developed my new daily routine of taking care of my mind via reading, writing, and learning Spanish, which was my defensive habit over Depression. I began my treatment and fought with one target in mind: I would not permit Depression to win; I chose to live and recover.
But the battle was by far the most difficult. It began with me losing my appetite entirely; I was barely eating. However, I would wake up shivering, scared, and crying.
There were awful days and bad days. I was shivering and frightened of things I didn’t quite understand most of the time. I recalled sitting at the table alongside my family to eat with hands trembling enough that I could not grasp the spoon properly.
My family was doing everything they could to help; I recall my father buying me new flowers to plant in our garden and my mother checking out my food and walking with me, “which was a daily part of my healing process.” I was sleeping during the day due to the medications, and often I felt like crying but couldn’t; there were no tears, no sorrow, nothing more than a blank space inside my heart.
I recall being out walking one day when one of my relatives stopped me and just said, “I heard you went to a therapist. I am sorry about what happened to you, I want to come and visit, but I don’t want people to know.” “It was very sweet of you,” I replied, smiling, “but I have depression, I am not insane, and if I am, that is not something to be ashamed of.”
My mother was extremely concerned because, thanks to TV, she had heard a lot concerning suicide cases due to mental illnesses, so she was afraid that Depression would destroy me. That day she told me, “don’t give up, keep on fighting, we are all with you, we will take you anywhere in the world to get you back,” yet those words were like magic.
I realize how lucky I am to be alive now when I think about what happened. Every day seemed like a struggle, and getting out of bed and sleeping were the most difficult things I had ever experienced. “You can run away and keep yourself distracted throughout the day, but how can I fight my nightmares while?”
I once asked my sister a question that had been troubling me a fair bit: “Do you sometimes feel happy and sad?” No doubt, she responded. “You are lucky,” I told her, “because I can’t recall the last time I felt happy, let alone how it feels to be happy.” I feel like everything is okay and I’m around people, but then again, the lights go out, and it’s completely dark and scary.
After a year and a half of running without a break, I was glad to rest after three months of receiving treatment. My sleeping disorder was getting better, and I started eating a little. What shocked me the most was how uneducated I was when it came to mental health;
We all choose to live in a deluded bubble because there were only particular words that related to Depression that almost everyone understood, words like “crazy, mad, really shouldn’t talk about it, complicated”.
To describe my entire thoughts and feelings these days, I was thinking of myself as a burden on my parents, causing them pain and suffering, not to forget the expensive treatment.
Today, I can confidently say that I am better, know more, and now am ready. Depression rarely fades away entirely; it hides in the shadows, waiting for an opportunity to hit, so I am concerned. The only reason I’m publishing my story is that I want people to take action, educate regarding mental illnesses, and help themselves instead of just staying silent or even being worried about how others might view them. Eventually, I dream that perhaps day, mental health treatment will be accessible and available to almost everyone.
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