Healing from the majority of the darkness society calls “depression” is one of the most euphoric feelings I have ever experienced. When I was engulfed in the darkness, it affected every decision I made, every single day, all day long.

It was beyond debilitating, and there seemed to be absolutely no hope. This was my reality. This was the mind that carried these demons and I would always have them with me. Right?

There were plenty of moments that should have been blissful, full of joy and peace and no worries. For some reason though, I felt the demon breathing down my neck, reminding me that I am his prisoner. That there is no such thing as joy in this soul of mine.

And then something happened. I hurt my family. I tried to end my life, for the 4th time. They had to visit me in the psychiatric ward for 4 days. My mom cried the whole time, embracing me and thanking God I was still here.

I made a decision then. I would pretend to love life. I would play the part every second of every day even when no one is around to witness. I will make decisions that will make everyone think I love myself and that I care about my future.

Those decisions are what saved my life. I decided to stop befriending poisonous people, I decided to have fun, to laugh. I decided to take care of my body. I decided to meditate and take time to relax my mind.

I decided to seek professional help and see a therapist. I decided to open up to the point it felt like I was being dissected on a table. I listened to her feedback. I applied the coping skills she taught me.

After a while, it became routine rather than a charade. Then it became enjoyable, and I found myself no longer pretending to love myself. I found myself admiring my soul, my mind.

I found myself thinking about how proud I was of my accomplishments and making plans to improve my flaws. I fell in love with myself. The demon stopped hanging around so much. The darkness started to fade to light, like an early morning sunrise.

My decisions saved my soul. I did things I knew would make my family happy; i.e. Taking care of myself. In the beginning, it wasn’t what I wanted. It felt like chores. It was forced. In the end, it made me happier than I’ve ever been.

My mama used to tell me “fake it til you make it.” It infuriated me. I didn’t want to fake anything. If I was depressed, I was depressed. If I didn’t want to take care of myself, I wasn’t going to. “It’s my life.” I said. But looking back now, it didn’t really feel like my life. It felt like I was a host, simply a body for depression to reside in.

Now, I truly feel like it is my life. It’s my life, and I will cherish it and make it last and make it mean something. This is how I have overcome my darkness.