My Story of Hope: Depression, Anxiety, and Self-Harm

TRIGGER WARNING: If you have experienced suicidal thoughts or struggle with self-harm this post could be potentially triggering.

You go to bed and you have a bunch of plans set for the next day. You feel good about yourself and where you are in life. Then you wake up the next morning and it suddenly hits you. Those negative thoughts telling you how worthless you are. There seems to be an internal dim of light in your life that wasn’t there before. The energy that you once had seemed to be sucked out of you and you feel exhausted and useless. So many thoughts seem to swirl around inside your mind until it feels like they are consuming you completely. Getting out of bed each morning and taking a shower is hard. All the while those negative thoughts just keep getting darker and darker, deeper and deeper.

This is what happened to me my freshmen year of college. I didn’t take it seriously until one night it felt like the only way to stop the pain I was feeling was to end my life. This was my first and only time I’ve attempted suicide. I woke up the next day grateful to be alive, but I was also terrified of what my thoughts led me to do. I knew this wasn’t me and I needed help.

Seeking help was hard at first because you have to fully surrender and accept yourself. Denying will only hinder your treatment. After a few years, I was taking control of my depression. Then I experienced my first panic attack.

You know that feeling you get before giving a presentation or tilting your chair too far back and almost falling? I was use to getting those feelings often, but it wasn’t affecting my life. But when I had my first panic attack, it was the worse thing I’ve ever felt. I just remember saying over and over again, that something was wrong with my heart. I thought I was having a heart attack.

My anxiety started to control my life. I would stay home for days because of fear that I would get another panic attack. My anxiety even led me to self-harm as a way to cope. It’s like a release for me and distracts me from my thoughts.  

Dealing with both depression and anxiety can be overwhelming. You’re constantly fighting negative thoughts in your head.

For years I felt ashamed for my illnesses. I was afraid that others were going to see me differently. That shame led me to not seek help for a long time and that almost cost me my life.

My depression, anxiety, and self-harm is still something I work on to this day. I think it’s something I’m going to have to work on for the rest of my life and I’ve accepted that. Its hard work, but the results you get are worth it.

I’m here to tell you that there is hope and you’re not alone. You’re allowed to feel and you’re not a burden. Don’t be too hard on yourself, no ones perfect. If you’ve relapsed, pick yourself up and start over. Take it one day at a time and don’t look back because that’s where shame and guilt lives. Keep moving forward. Be kind to yourself, you deserve it.

Here’s a quote that I find myself going back to and repeating often to myself:
And here you are living, despite it all.” –Rupi Kaur


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Sherene Binns is a mental health advocate and founder of Beautifully Complicated. She’s wants to help others and share her own experiences with depression, anxiety, and self-harm. When she’s not helping others with mental health, she enjoys reading (James Patterson is her favorite), writing poetry, and watching documentaries. She believes the more you start conversations about mental health, the fewer stigmas are attached to it.

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