May 21, 2012
By Anonymous

It started out as a feeling. A feeling that grew and grew till it became a dream, a dream that took over my entire world. A dream that took my reality and turned it into a dream, all the while turning the dream into my reality. I thought the dream was what I wanted, but it was what I had all along that I was looking for.

It all began to spiral when I started what I call 'wistful thinking'. I wish my house was bigger, I wish my boyfriend didn't have Jew hair, I wish I was a little kid again because things were so much less complicated, etcetera, etcetera. It was innocent, nothing big. Just wistful thinking. I didn't actually expect my house to grow overnight, or my boyfriend to magically have totally rad hair, or to go back in time to relive my terrible two's. I didn't actually expect them to happen, I didn't even really want them to happen, until one day when I did.

After months of wishing my life were easier or my hair was blond, I began to dream about my wishes. Every night. The first couple times were great. I lived in my very own castle complete with an indoor pool, a hot prince that didn't have Jew hair, and two adorable kids plus their very reliable nanny. I was living my version of happily ever after and went to sleep smiling ever night. In my dreams nothing could go wrong unless I wanted it to. I controlled everything, even the weather. Sleeping became my favorite activity so it was no surprise to me when it became my only activity. It was also no surprise when, although I smiled in my sleep and had 'sweet dreams' that reality became unbearable. Every time I closed my eyes I held within me a secret wish that I would never open them again. That that had been the last day I would ever have to be sad, humiliated, or hurt. That I could live forever in my dreams, where nothing ever went wrong and everyone wanted me. But every morning I opened my eyes to a world I felt I didn't belong in. Every morning when I opened my eyes, I opened them slowly, hoping that maybe I was waking up in my dream world, instead of the world I was born into. But every morning, I woke up in the same place I fell asleep in. I call that place 'Never Land.'

The Never Land I'm talking about isn't the Never Land your thinking about. In mine, there are no fairies, no magic, and no flying delinquents. My Never Land is a land full of all the things I felt I could never do, things I could only dream about. Having friends, doing good at school, being good at something, feeling pretty, or being loved by someone. My Never Land wasn't somewhere I escaped to, it was somewhere I was trapped. Everyone has a Never Land, but we choose whether or not we stay there. It took me years to even find my Never Land and even longer to find a way out. It hasn't been easy. It is so much easier to just close my eyes and pretend than it is to get up, to smile, to keep trying. It may sound easy to someone else, but for me it was daily struggle. Some days I couldn't even get up. I thought of everything that had gone bad yesterday and the days before, and it would weigh on me till it dragged me down to my dreams, the only place where I thought I could escape my pain. But my dreams, my perfect, unrealistic dreams, were the cause of my pain. I had created a perfect world when nothing in this world is perfect. I had created a world with out pain, when that's all this world is. I had created a world where I could be whoever I wanted to be, because I was afraid to be 'me' in reality. If there is anything I've learned from my battle with depression, it's that what you think you want most is really what you need the least. Today, what I want most is to know how to be happy, with out any reason and with out any help. It may take me a lifetime to figure it out, and even if I never figure it out, at least I can say I tried. I can say I tried, and I kept trying. Every day, of every week, of every month. At least I can, say I have taken an active role in my life instead of just dreaming and wishing it away. At least I can say I lived, instead of just wishing I could live.

The author's comments:
The best part of depression is when you realize you don't need it anymore. That all it's doing is holding you down. Once you realize that, you're free. Free to metaphorically spread the wings you didn't know you had and soar off into the sunset.

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