Lessons from Depression

Published AnonymouslySelf-acceptance The overpowering scent of latex gloves flourishes over me. I watch as the doctors walk past each other, some speed walk, while others take their time. The calls for help over the speakers for accidents come every few minutes. Both my arms begin to feel sore from the nurse’s numerous failed attempts to draw my blood. I am leaning back in the tiny uncomfortable bed as teardrops roll down my face through my closed eyes. My body begins to warm up from the heated blankets covering my shivering body. I am separated by the hectic hallways by only a thin curtain drawn over the narrow doorway. The poison control center says I must wait three more hours for observation before the doctors bring me down to the psych ward for evaluation. I have just reached the ultimate climax of my depression.

My problems began to arise at the start of the 8th grade. I had just turned 13, and was thrilled to be back with my friends and had just had a fantastic summer vacation. However when I began to look at old photographs of my friends and me in bathing suits at the beach and pool, I grew unhappy with my appearance. Everybody had been telling me things like “Oh, you’re so skinny!” and “You’re so, so thin!” but for some reason I didn’t believe them. It was then when my tiny self critic turned into a massively powerful inner conscious who gave me explicit instructions on how to lose weight. I was knowingly being destroyed by my own self. And I didn’t even care.

I began to eat less and less, and eventually went days without a single bite. I was beginning to develop an overpowering and dangerous obsession to stay under my calorie limit. I made a promise to myself that whatever meager amounts of food I ate I would purge immediately after. This became a habit, and I grew so accustomed to it I barely thought about it. I knew full well that my body was spiraling into a bottomless pit of unhealthiness, and my mind was being taken over by itself. I hated every inch of my body, and every day I named my flaws from head to toe, hoping that the voice inside my head would help me to repair them.

After about two months of these destructive habits, I grew sad. I had never been so overcome by sadness in my life. I was in the midst of a downward spiral into the dark abyss of depression. I grew to realize that the pit of sadness I had trapped myself in had all started with the eating troubles. I had promised myself that I wouldn’t let it get out of hand, and I had failed. I had never felt more out of control in my life. I desperately searched for any possible method of finding control in any aspect. But those just grew into even worse self destructive behaviors. My life was falling apart.

Now, after being in therapy for almost one year, I can safely say that all of my troubles began with what I thought was just a simple diet. Looking back, I realize that all of the things that brought on those urges to starve and purge were all my own immensely powerful inner critic. I realize that in a matter of months, it had grown to a giant monster within me who cared about one thing and one thing only: me losing weight. In addition, I realize that is what brought the depression, along with the urges lying behind it. I learned to feed the positive affirmations about myself, while starving my inner critic. I learned to not only feed myself with food, but to also feed myself with compliments and things to make me feel better. And most importantly, I learned such a valuable and life-saving lesson: Don’t listen to the voice inside your head telling you you’re not good enough. Listen to the part that tells you how beautiful and amazing you are. Because no matter how small that part is, it is always the right one.