Psychology

How I Won My Battle Over Depression and Learned to Love Myself Again

I still remember it clearly sometimes.

The emptiness. The numbness. The nothingness.

The kind that sucks all the energy out of you the minute you open your eyes in the morning… That spreads through your body until you realize you’ve been slouched on your bed, trying to get up for the better part of an hour.

For a very long time, it felt as if there was this large brick wall pinning me down.

I used to close my eyes and wrap my arms around my shoulders, holding onto myself as though I might disappear at any moment. And sometimes, I wanted to disappear.

I was aware that I existed. But I couldn’t put my hand on my heart and swear that I was alive.

It was like being awake enough to interact with those around me but never feeling fully present or real.

I’d sit on the couch next to my husband and feel like I was encased in a glass fishbowl. He’d be right there next to me – I could see him, hear him – but there was this thick wall between us.

My every sensation was deadened – delayed, as if by water.

That’s how depression felt for me. Like drowning… except I could see everyone around me breathing.

middle aged woman

I still remember those revolving questions that seemed to get more tangled in my mind the more I thought about them.

What if this is all my life will ever be? Why can’t anybody understand? Why can’t they hear me?

Of course, my husband knew I wasn’t well. But I found it hard to tell him how unwell I was.

Feeling depressed is such a hard thing to explain to someone. If you’ve ever gone through it, you just “know.”

But others simply can’t understand.

I was ashamed that I couldn’t cope and blamed it on myself.

I believed I was weak. A failure.

I could be surrounded by friends and family, but still feel ridiculously lonely. For a long time, I felt like a burden to others – I thought people were being nice to me out of guilt or obligation.

I felt lost and completely separated from the world.

“Just stop fixating on the bad side of everything and be happy.”

Just be happy… If it were that easy, I wouldn’t have had depression in the first place.

It’s not easy to be depressed in a world that adores funny, energetic, and social people.

I’ve heard people say that I was “doing it for attention.” That I’m “overly-sensitive” or “whiny.”

So, I’d fake smiles. I’d fake my “I’m fine’s.” But I could feel all those unspoken words taking a toll on me.

Eventually, I started spending more and more time alone. I stopped seeing family and friends. I shut the world out.

And yet, I still felt trapped.

At my worst, I didn’t want to do anything – or couldn’t do anything even if I wanted to. I just got by doing the bare minimum to survive – eating, sleeping, and working if possible.

And even that would seem too difficult sometimes.

I was scared to think far into the future because every time I tried, I couldn’t see anything. Everything I wanted to do with my life before seemed impossible.

I genuinely thought I’d be stuck in this dark bottomless pit forever, feeling like a prisoner in my own mind.

Despite how engulfed I felt by the darkness, I did want to escape it.

I just didn’t know how. But what I did know is that I couldn’t do it on my own.

Picking up the phone and calling a doctor was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life.

I was diagnosed with severe depression and put on anti-depressants. And I hated how they made me feel.

I was nauseous all the time. I couldn’t eat anything. I was constantly lethargic as if my body was full of lead. I’d spend days in bed and yet feel ridiculously tired.

They might’ve relieved some of my symptoms, but they weren’t eliminating the root problems. So I decided that medication wasn’t an option for me.

Then, I tried in-person therapy. But it was too expensive, inflexible, and inconvenient.

I mean, who can afford to pay $150 per hour for just one session a week? Not to mention the actual mental and physical effort it takes to get to the therapist every single time. Plus, talking once a week simply wasn’t enough for me.

I needed someone to just BE there for me when I needed them.

Nothing seemed to be working for me and I started to feel hopeless again.

But then, I discovered online therapy – and it changed everything.

It was all thanks to my husband.

I got to a point where I couldn’t really take care of myself anymore. So my husband took the lead.

He’d spend every day researching ways to help me. And one day, he stumbled upon this online therapy app called DoMental.

I was skeptical about it at first. I mean, in-person therapy didn’t help, how would online therapy be any different?

To be fair, though, I was skeptical about a lot of things at the time. Floating through life with this dull aimlessness.

But DoMental had a big promise – to give you the help you need, when you need it.

Instead of regular face-to-face sessions once a week, you could text your therapist any time and any day.

I liked the idea of being able to share my thoughts and feelings as they came to me. That was something I had never seen before – like having a personal therapist in the palm of your hand 24/7.

I was tired of just existing. I wanted to live.

So I took a leap of faith and trusted DoMental’s promise.

Basically, the idea was this. I took a short mental health survey, where they asked me questions about my day-to-day feelings, emotional state, sleep patterns, and so on (all of it is anonymous, so no one knows it’s you and you don’t need to fill in your name or any other personal details).

And then, based on my answers, they matched me with a therapist that was most suitable to help me based on my needs and their expertise.

Within just 1 hour of taking the survey, I signed up, downloaded the app, and was chatting with my new therapist Jane (if you’re reading this, Jane – thank you so much for everything. You saved me).

From the very first moment we spoke, I felt like she understood me.

She listened to me. She heard me. She accepted me – for everything that I was, dark clouds and all.

I could text Jane every day – or send audio messages if there was a lot on my mind. And the longest I ever had to wait for her to respond was 2 hours and 13 minutes. I counted.

I can’t say it was easy to open up at first, though.

I was scared. I’ve carried the shame and fear of stigma with me for a very long time. When chances of being judged are so big, you put up your walls and shut everyone out – even those who want to help you.

But with Jane, there was no judgment, no criticism, no expectations. She let me be me.

Imagine someone who not only cares for you but also knows how to help.

A person who not only listens but gives answers. The answers you were looking for this whole time.

A person who has the power to guide you out of depression. And does this every single day.

Jane was that person for me – and I probably owe my life to her.

Just 2 months into therapy, I felt lightness again.

As if that heavy cloud of darkness was lifting.

I could see my thoughts more clearly.

I was struck by how often I was caught up in negative thought loops – feeling worthless, ashamed, “like a failure.”

Now, I could see the worry, and I could let go of it without letting it overpower me.

Soon, I realized I was having less and less of these loops. I was taking back control of my mind.

The numbness, the emptiness, and that deep-rooted feeling of nothingness were all drifting away.

I found it easier to get out of bed each morning. It no longer felt like simple day-to-day activities were sucking all the energy out of me. And that was a huge achievement on its own.

I gained an enormous amount of self-awareness. It felt like I knew myself better, I could identify my triggers, I could better control the way I responded to them.

I started feeling this “glimmer of happiness” come back into my life. I finally had hope.

For myself. For my future. My dreams and aspirations.

Change didn’t happen overnight. It was a steady process of learning to open up and talk about how I was feeling. Learning to accept myself. To love myself after going through years and years of doing the opposite.

Talking with Jane, I felt safe. And that feeling was – and still is – irreplaceable.

Depression no longer defines me. It is a part of me, but it isn’t who I am.

If it wasn’t for Jane and DoMental, I wouldn’t be sitting at my desk right now, writing this story.

middle aged woman

Why was DoMental so effective? Here’s my honest opinion.

You can chat with your therapist 24/7 – it fits your lifestyle and needs

There’s always someone to listen to you and guide you in times that feel most rough. I text my therapist and get a reply in 2 hours max. I never EVER feel alone, and I know there’s always someone there for me – someone who understands. Plus, there’s nothing that you need to think about or take care of – they adapt to you.

You always know how you’re progressing – so you never feel stuck

You can track your progress with visual steps and goals. It helped me become more aware of my symptoms, my triggers, and to always remain in control. Some days are worse than others, but I never feel stuck or unable to move forward anymore. It’s such a powerful feeling, and it’s been life-changing for me.

It’s MUCH cheaper than all other options – and much more effective

Therapy sometimes feels like a luxury barely a few can afford. And it angers me sometimes because so many need help. DoMental costs me less than two cups of coffee a day. TWO cups of coffee for finding happiness and love for life again. TWO cups of coffee for having someone that hears you, understands you, and cares for you.

You can change your therapist for free – no questions asked

I have to say, DoMental does have a GOOD matching system. My therapist Jane is an angel, and I couldn’t be more grateful for everything she’s done for me. But if you feel like your therapist isn’t quite the match, you can always change to a different one – completely free of charge and for any reason whatsoever.

I know it feels scary, I hear you. But you can get out, I promise.

I don’t want anyone else to feel the way I did – to feel trapped and isolated. Ashamed and scared to ask for help. To not be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I really do know how hard it is to let your guard down. But depression is NOT a weakness.

I believed that for a very long time.

I thought depression was a part of my identity – something unchanging, something that could not go away.

But it can get better.

There are people who know exactly what you need to break that cycle. It can be hard to trust them, but once you do, you never look back.

I’ve found one of those people with DoMental. I know you can too.

All it takes is taking a short quiz and answering some questions about yourself – completely anonymously.

DoMental will take care of the rest. They will take care of you.

Worst case, you’ll learn more about yourself and the way you’re feeling.

But best case… Can you imagine?

Leaving those dark days behind and finally feeling at ease. Finally feeling hope come back into your life. Having the energy to get out of your bed in the morning and actually feeling that glimmer of happiness again.

Now imagine if you didn’t have to imagine. Because the reality is – you don’t.

Take a free 5-minute quiz and see how much your life can improve in just 2 weeks with your own personal DoMental therapist

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