Despair, Depression – Give up or Fight back?

I wrote this post a while back but it bears repeating. Depression is an ongoing battle and so many out there are fighting to climb out of that hole. Shout out to all those fighters, carry on. Fighting!

What is Despair? A state in which all hope is lost or absent. Depression? A mental state characterized by a pessimistic sense of inadequacy and a despondent lack of activity; Sad feelings of gloom and inadequacy.

Despair and depression grab you by the throat and slowly strangle the life out of you. They make you blind to the bright colors in your life so that all you can see is gray. A cold lifeless gray. It can be so seductive, so easy to surrender to it. 

What brought on this topic you may ask? I was thinking how a lot of us, potential writers and closet writers, are discouraged in writing, in following our dreams. You want to be a writer and people tell you it’s a pipe dream, give it up. Others tell you that you’re wasting time, give it up. More believe it’s just a hobby you’re fooling around with, that you’ll give it up soon enough. And there are those who laugh at you and believe you could never write anything worth reading and advise you to give it up. 

Those three words again: Give It Up. They go round and round in your head until they’re all you can see. And discouraged, you decide it was a foolish dream to start with after all and you GIVE IT UP. Then you go through your whole life incomplete and without hope, your life as gray as you are inside, devoid of the bright colors that spark up your soul.

How many of us fight through despair, depression every day? Through the loss of hope, through disappointment? 

The key to dealing with despair and depression is to not quit. NEVER give up on yourself. People might bring you down but believe in yourself. It’s the most powerful tool you could ever have – self-belief. 

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Fight for what you want. Give yourself a pep talk. Be your own inspiration, your own warrior.

Exercise frequently – believe me, it helps to have a physical outlet for all the frustration, disappointment, sadness bubbling inside of you. I recommend swimming if you can, it clears your head.

Relax with your favorite movie or TV show. All this helps in strengthening you for the obstacles in your life. 

Dream as big as you want, because dreams are what keep our souls alive. (So long as your dreams are legal and don’t hurt anyone, of course.)

Whatever you want to do, be it to write, to sing, to tame lions and sharks, go for it. Make a start somewhere. Try. Even if you fail, at least you’ll know you did your best. That you tried. Do it for yourself, not for others. The moment you start, something inside you unfolds and everything in your world shifts and becomes clearer. You have purpose in your life. 

There will be days you will be so full of hope you’ll be bursting with it. Anything will seem possible.

And there will be days when life cuts you to small pieces and you feel like you can’t get up. You have to get up, keep going, keep enduring, keep fighting. If you don’t fight back, you’re just lying there in the middle of the road and telling the bus of life to run you over. 

Treasure those days of hope and keep fighting on. Start now! 

Best of luck!

S.R. McKade

Book Review – Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

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You can’t stop the future. You can’t rewind the past. The only way to learn the secret . . . is to press play.
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker – his classmate and crush – who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why. Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah’s pain, and as he follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life forever.

Genre: Young Adult

Rating: 4 stars

Review:

I finally read Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why and just in time for the new Netflix tv show based on the book.

It’s such a heartbreaking story, about a young girl who had her whole life ahead of her and she threw it away.

I’ve seen that some readers have left low reviews saying that Hannah let small things get her down, that she died for nothing.

But they weren’t small things. Hannah’s suicide – it was such a waste. But that’s how depression works. Insidious. How it creeps up on you and you don’t notice until it’s too late. How your life feels hopeless. If you’re not strong enough, can’t will yourself out of it, it can drown you. And when you’re drowning, you’re unable to call for help, unable to accept it when it’s given.

She got to a point where she lost any self-respect for herself. She didn’t have the willpower or the courage to do the right thing. That, more than anything, drowned her.

Why is it so hard to do the right thing? For people to be considerate? This book didn’t just portray Hannah’s decisions but the other kids involved in her life who were selfish and who used others to benefit themselves. How many of us can say we would have done the right thing in her shoes? It’s easy to say it, but harder to live it when you see the injustice and cruelty happening around you. Do we really know what a person is truly going through?

The one I felt the most for, was Clay. It’s the people left behind who are the ones who hurt the worst.

Jay Asher wrote a story which emphasized real issues that are happening in our high schools, issues like bullying, peer pressure, sexual abuse, stalking, rape. High school should be a safe place and instead, it’s a minefield. How many kids end up drowning under those problems? How many are like Hannah? Who don’t have anyone to talk to, someone who listens to them? Who are misunderstood? Who feel invisible or who are crushed down by other people?

Thirteen Reasons Why was a well-written story. Maybe it can sensitize others into thinking of the consequences of their actions and give them the courage to do the right thing.

S.R. McKade