At the age of 19 I was finally diagnosed. Finally I had a name to call this. This thing that has been overshadowing my life, my thoughts, my dreams. Depression. Today I’m 35 and I’ve seen this disease from both the patient and the loved ones side. My late brother also went through these ups and downs, and I remember very clearly the helplessness of seeing someone you love so dearly ,go through such a hard time but not being able to do anything for him. I also know personally how helpless one feels when you are going through it yourself, and as bad as it seems from the outside, believe me it far worst on the inside. The constant inescapable black hole you find yourself in, fighting every day. Every morning to have to convince yourself “just one hour” to get out of bed, get dressed go to work, and when that one hour is finished” just one more hour”. And then the mixed feelings at the end of the day ” Phew, I made it through another day” and then the flipside: ” Why do I do this to myself? won’t it be easier to just give in to the darkness?” I recently changed my WhatsApp profile status to : “There’s are always more reasons to get up and carry on than to give in: If not for yourself, then for those you love and those who love you” And its true, it does not make it less hard though. When you live in an ignorant world where things like: ” You need to stay busy you have to much time on your hands to think” or “you need to decide to be happy and you’ll see the difference” seems to be the majority of peoples response when you tell them, you feel even more alone and isolated, and frankly sometimes you prefer the darkness to the light when you have to face people with inconsiderate answers. Sometimes you get treated like someone who is supposed to be quarantined! This is not something we asked for. I don’t think it is anybody’s 5 or 10 year plan, or life plans for that matter, to battle this crippling disease every day. This is not a choice, this is a battle, a battle that threatens your very existence. I’ve been fighting this battle with the help of Phycologists, Psychiatrists, Occupational therapists, medication to assist with the chemical imbalance. ” Home therapy” in the form of painting and drawing. and supportive loved ones. I choose to distance myself from situations and people who contribute to negative feelings. At times I get very down and really would love to just give up. Praying that when I go to bed, I can just stop breathing. At times I wish I could somehow join my beloved late brother in heaven. But I have people on earth that need me and love me. So I don’t think too far ahead, one day at a time, one step at a time, one breath at a time. I try and remind myself of all the good in life, and try and push the bad aside. I fight, every day, I fight.