How I Dealt With My Depression and Survived It

The sales assistant looked at me in confusion when she saw that the only thing I wanted to buy was a pack of sleeping pills.

I usually always used the self-checkout machines but this was a tiny store so I had to go to the cash counter. I thought she wouldn’t let me buy those pills without a medical prescription but thankfully, she didn’t say anything and just gave them to me.

I left the store feeling relieved. I hadn’t slept properly in months. Tonight I was going to finally sleep. An internet search had informed me that the pills would work better with a glass of wine so I popped off to Sainsbury’s to buy a bottle of £5 sauvignon blanc along with a pack of 6 muffins.

I came back to my flat and saw two pairs of shoes by the door which meant my flatmate’s first girlfriend was around. Yes, my flatmate had two girlfriends and no, it wasn’t an open relationship. He was cheating on both of them.

I went back to my room and heard the sounds of laughter through the walls. Do you know what’s worse than being sad? Being sad while you’re surrounded by happy people.

I was exhausted. It was not the kind of exhaustion one feels after a long day of work. It was the kind of exhaustion that makes you want to sleep twenty hours a day for the rest of your life but you can’t sleep at all. I could feel the exhaustion in my lungs, in my bones, in my skin, everywhere.

It had been there for a while, for a few months. It felt like a part of my brain was invaded by something, maybe aliens. The aliens had convinced the other part of my brain that everything is fine and I am just overacting. The alien invasion was not as fun as they show in Hollywood movies.

I poured the wine in my glass and waited to muster enough courage. I had heard that if one overdoses on sleeping pills, they could die. I did not really know how long I wanted to sleep, I just knew that I wanted to not be awake, at least for a few hours.

I wasn’t scared of death either. Because in a lot of ways, I was already dead. I hadn’t laughed in weeks, I hadn’t brushed my hair in months. I was surviving but I was not living.

I popped the pill along with a sip of wine and ate my muffins while watching Netflix. I started feeling sleepy about an hour later and with Ivan and his girlfriend’s laughter in the background, I was lulled to sleep. The next time I woke up, I thought a whole day must have passed. I crossed my fingers before checking the date and time on my phone. My phone clock showed me that only six hours had passed. I looked outside my window and it was pitch dark outside.

I could no longer hear Ivan and his girlfriend. I sat up and crossed my arms in anger. Either the sleeping pills were ineffective or I hadn’t taken enough of them. Either way, I was once again wide awake in the middle of the night and I absolutely hated that.

My mother always said ghosts do not exist. But I saw one that night. The ghost looked very different from what I had expected it to be. My perception of ghosts was drawn from the horror TV shows I had watched when I was a child. I always thought they would attack me whenever I close my eyes, like when I lather my face with soap while taking a bath or when I sleep at night. I never saw any ghosts while I was a child.

But here I was seeing a ghost right in front of me.

I used to live in Glasgow in those days. Glasgow is a nice city but I didn’t know anything about it before I moved there. I used to live in Govan, a part of the city with a very high crime rate. I got to know this interesting fact from my Uber driver while I was going from the airport to my flat in Govan.

It was too late to change flats then.

For the first two months in Glasgow, I didn’t have anything to do. I didn’t have a job, even though I was frantically looking for one. I didn’t have friends either because it was a new city for me.

I had heard Glaswegians were very friendly people and they indeed were. They would start talking to me in the subway in their thick accents and it felt good. But even though they were friendly, none of them were my friends.

I rarely went outside in the first two months. They were cold months of October and November. It rained a lot and in my condition of joblessness and quickly depleting financial resources, I didn’t want to spend my money on the subway just to feel a little better. I also couldn’t go for a walk around my flat because I didn’t feel safe.

So I would spend my whole day in my bed. I lived by a church in Govan. I wasn’t a Christian but I always admired churches. Seeing the cross of the church from my window every day made me feel better.

In Hinduism, they say ghosts don’t give you any trouble if you have god around you. I thought Christianity might work in the same way. This is why I wasn’t scared of the ghost when I saw it that night.

I focused on the black shadow and I realized it wasn’t a ghost at all, it was the darkness within me.

I was depressed.

I had been living in oblivion all this time, I just didn’t want to accept that I needed help. I felt that by being depressed I was being weak. But I couldn’t lie to myself anymore. My depression was standing right before me and I could no longer play hide and seek with it.

The realization that I was sick and needed help did what my sleeping pills couldn’t do. I slept like a log and woke up the next day feeling refreshed. I still felt horrible but that day I brushed my hair and even went out for a walk. That day was the first time I reached out to an old friend for help and that changed everything.

It’s almost three years since that day and now that I look back, I am not really sure what I saw that night. Maybe it was a dream, maybe it was not. I don’t know.

But here I am doing two things I love the most: writing and eating ice cream. My life is still not perfect but I am still grateful for everything. I am glad I did not take too many sleeping pills that night.

If you’re also going through a difficult time, know that there is hope for people like us.

You don’t have to stay dead. With a little help, you can come back to life.


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Hi there! I am Vidhipssa. I will help you begin your journey toward embracing the true joys of life.