Surviving Depression: How I Battled The Phantom Killer With A Pen And A Notebook

I took out a pen from my bag and wrote down in big capital letters across the notebook page, “REASONS WHY I SHOULD DIE“, and on the next one, “REASONS WHY I SHOULD LIVE“. Now, hear me out before protesting the title of the first page.

In your head, it sounds like there are a lot of reasons when malicious voices are trying to drown out your sanity. Putting them on paper and getting to think about them as rationally as you could, you’ll soon realize that most of these reasons, if not all, are just really small things and that they, in no way, should mean your death.

You’ll also run out of them pretty fast since the reasons that take a lot of mind space, when put on paper, still only account for one number.

As for the “REASONS WHY I SHOULD LIVE” portion, I can guarantee you that you’ll never run out of things to write. It could be as simple and funny as not having confessed to your crush yet or it could be as emotional as not wanting your mom to cry whenever she passes by your room.

You get to list down all your dreams and aspirations, things that you still want to do, places that you want to explore, and roles for people that you want to live for. I even remember writing something as corny as, “Who will play ‘Up and Down’ with my little cousins if not for me? My sisters sure as hell won’t do it.”

After writing down maybe around a hundred (or more) reasons in the next page, compare it to the first one. You’ll see that there are a lot more reasons in the latter than the former.

Little by little, work on your first life sheet by fixing everything one by one. Ask the people who you fiercely believe don’t need you or even hate you and clear up any misunderstandings. Apologize and make the necessary steps for you to progress.

Of course, nothing in life comes easy. When you feel too overwhelmed, look at the second life sheet so that you are reminded of the good things in life that you have to stay alive for.

ALSO READ: Reminding Yourself of the Good in This Day of Stress and Depression

Depression is a phantom killer that continues to kill simply because of the fact that people stay ignorant about it. It lures you in by providing a solution to your troubles at the cost of abusing yourself emotionally, mentally, and physically.

This killer, however, is not someone we can physically catch for it resides within our very being. Thus, by raising awareness of the fact that there are better options to one’s problems, we can decrease the mental allure of these self-abusive methods.

As a survivor, I feel thankful for what has happened to me. While I wouldn’t say that I’m proud of the things that have happened to me (mainly due to my emotional pitfalls), I’m thankful that they did.

Because if not for these events, I wouldn’t be the strong person that I am today. Experiencing the hardships of mental illness has pushed me to help others who are silently enduring fierce battles inside their head. I want to show them that I survived–that there is, indeed, a light at the end of the tunnel.

The phantom killer has been defeated but the plot of my life unravels only as far as today. Despite that, I know that tomorrow holds many truths that will give light to yesterday’s mysteries.

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