7. The Depression You Feel Isn’t Caused By One Thing Or One Moment.
It is just a part of who you are and deep down…you know that. You will blame the severity of it on certain people and events in your life…but it has always been there. It’s chemical, it’s genetic, and it’s hereditary. Those terrible moments have maybe enhanced it, but it has always been there.
Accept that and accept that it will probably never go away completely. Once you do, you’ll figure out a way to manage it. Whether it’s the pills you take, the therapist you talk to, or the changes you make in your life…you will be able to manage it.
And when that dark cloud comes…even if it’s severe and crippling…you will know that it’s just a moment. It’s not the be-all, end-all. It’s a moment that will pass… and believe me when I say this, it WILL pass.
8. The Embarrassment And Defeat You Feel After You Take That Handful Of Pills Is Temporary.
As much as you regret it (whether it’s wishing you hadn’t or wishing you had taken more), I promise you, you will learn from it. It will make you stronger.
And years from now you will look back on that day, those feelings of wanting to die, the facility you were forced to stay at…all of it…and you’ll think to yourself…. “I got through it. I survived. I’m still breathing. I’m still living. And I’m okay.”
9. You Will Love Again.
I know it feels impossible after all of the trauma…but you will. Those butterflies you think are gone forever will come back for someone else. You’ll meet new people, you’ll try new things, and trust me…you will fall in love again.
10. Write. Submit. Publish.
You’ll regret sharing so much of yourself…and you’ll think, “I only published those pieces because I was in the moment.” You’ll feel embarrassed and regretful and beg your editor to take them down…but believe me… those letters will come. Those messages, those conversations, those hugs… And that’s when you’ll realize that your words and your experiences hold so much power.
Your words have encouraged people to get help, they’ve given comfort to those who need it, and they’ve inspired so many. Keep writing!
11. Embrace Your Age.
Every year that passes, every birthday that comes, makes you sad. You are still young! Embrace your energy, your youth, your drive! Decades from now, that will all be gone and all you will remember when you look back…is that you spent your whole life “feeling old” and allowing that to stop you from doing certain things.
Not everyone has the privilege of growing old. Embrace it.
12. Don’t Let Your Compassion For Others Weigh You Down.
If the news and the state of the world become overwhelming, it’s okay to unplug. If you know you can’t help someone, don’t feel bad when you have to say no. Set healthy boundaries. Your mental health will thank you for it later.
13. For The Love Of God, Keep Drumming!
Do not get rid of your drum set, fuck the neighbors and their noise complaints, and stop making excuses. As much as you think you’re just a music fan…you will eventually realize it is way more than that.
It’s not just a passion, but your world. It is your therapy, your joy, your inspiration. You’re the happiest when you write about it, when you’re around it at shows, and when you create it. Keep playing.
14. You Will Learn What Your Calling Is When You Least Expect It.
Growing up, you will have a lot of moments where your depression will become debilitating. But in one particular year, you will experience a massive breakdown that will almost take your life. Everything will feel strange and the things you once loved, will no longer bring you joy.
Although it may feel scary, I promise that those pieces of yourself that you lost will eventually come back. You will realize that the things that helped you get through it, are the passions in life you must pursue… which are writing, music, and advocacy.
15. Buy Those Plane Tickets, Those Music Festival Passes, And Book That Trip.
The amount you spend on makeup, takeout food, and the latest gadgets will amount to more than what any of those experiences will cost. Experiences outweigh tangible things. Spend your money on moments. That is all that will matter to you in the end.