When you're depressed, it's almost impossible to remember all the wonderful, worthwhile things about yourself. You're in a fugue state that takes you down into the very depths of misery, so feeling smart, pretty, funny, gracious, and selfless is like an exercise in defeat. None of those things ring true, even when they are. In addition to reaching out for help from all the people who love you, I want you to do me a favor. Keep this list close by, and look at when you're depressed and need a reminder that there are so many beautiful things to remember about yourself, things that touch the people around you every day.
1 You Are Love
You are loved. You are loving. You are love itself, plain and simple. You exude love and you have so many wonderful things to share with others. You may not feel that way when you're depressed, but try. Recognize this, realize that you are worthy of love and that the love you give is worthwhile, and it will go a long way toward battling your bleak feelings. It may not immediately cure them but it shines like a light at the end of the tunnel, and sometimes that light is all you need.
2 Your Smile Lights up the World
You might not feel like smiling right now, but realize that your smile is the most precious thing to a lot of people. Maybe it's your mother or father, a sibling, a best friend, a partner, a secret admirer, a teacher, or a coworker. Maybe it's someone you barely know who also wrestles with depression, and feels hopeful every time he or she sees you smile. Your smile can light up the room, yes, but it also lights up the world, and it will come again.
3 You're Strong
You've been through some things, haven't you? Don't look at your tragedies and triumphs and compare them to anyone else's. Everyone goes through their own experiences, and your pain is uniquely yours. You've made it through, that's the point. You've overcome, even if you don't feel that way right at this moment. You're here, you're breathing, blinking, living, and being. That's huge.
4 You're an Inspiration
That's also an inspiration, even if you don't feel that way. You inspire someone out there. It might be an online friend you met through a fan forum or a support group. It could be your little sister, your cousin, or even the girl sitting behind you in class that you don't know very well. Everyone inspires someone, and someone out there is inspired by you.
5 You're Beautiful
You are beautiful. A goddess. A shining beacon of strength, perseverance, flaws, victories, talents, and intelligence. You are an exquisite creature from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. Beneath the skin you are a miracle and above it you are a marvel. Don't you ever doubt that.
6 You're Valuable
You're so valuable. You're priceless. There are people who love you unconditionally and without reservation. There are people who look up to you and depend on you. There are people who smile because of you. Never doubt your value, because there is no end to it. Every day you walk through this world, you increase its worth.
7 You're Enough
You're not too fat or too skinny. You're not too moody or too cold. You're not too tall or too short. You're not too hyper or too morose. Everything you are is the perfect amount. You are enough. You are just enough.
Depression is so hard. It could be a momentary case of the mean reds or a more long-term condition. Please remember that it does get better, you can overcome this, and you are worthy of feeling happy. You're lovely, you're so strong, and you're brave. Hold on to that. If you have other helpful, loving reminders for friends, family members, strangers, and our AWS community, please share them. Everyone can use love and support when they're depressed.