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An Open Talk About My Depression

February 8, 2017

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Are you prepared for a really emotional video? Cause wow…this was a hard video for me to film.

I was really hesitant about sharing this with everyone because I didn’t want the end product of this video to be sadness. I didn’t want to share my feelings with you all and for you to leave the computer feeling sad. Simon and I have been talking about sharing this video with you all for a long time, and I think I finally felt comfortable sharing it when I was able to get a grasp on how it is that I deal with my depression. I didn’t want to just tell you all “hey I suffer from chronic depression.” I wanted to talk about it once I had the words to explain how I handle it.

We talked about it a lot, which I think is really important because you can often be caught inside your own head and not fully understand what you’re feeling. And that’s challenging, because depression is really isolating, even if you’re in a room full of people. If you stay inside your own head, you start to believe the things you tell yourself, as if they are facts. Without being checked by the outside world, you can fall even deeper into your own negative thoughts.

Those days that I was my lowest, I kept thinking something must be wrong with my life for me to feel this way. But the more I dug into it, the more I realized that I don’t really have anything to complain about in my life. I am the happiest I have ever been, personally and professionally, but my body and my pain is the worst its ever been. Even though I am mentally in a happy place, my body is sending out distress signals due to the constant pain, and that distress is wrecking havoc on me mentally. But it wasn’t always so obvious. I had to break down and scrutinize every aspect of my life to see if something was wrong. I looked at my job. Was I happy as a YouTuber? Yup. Totally. It’s the most fulfilling job I can think of. I actually think it might be the most fulfilling job in the world, if you have a kind audience (like we fortunately do). I looked at my husband. Is Simon doing something wrong? Am I upset with him? Nope. He’s fantastic and supportive and my best friend. Am I angry at my friends? Family? Pets? Co-Workers?…the list went on and not matter how much I searched for “issues” with my life, I found that I didn’t have any. This long hard look at my own life and what I perceived as bringing happiness or sadness gave me a feeling of both relief and dread. I realized that the outside sources in my life were not the problem. It was a problem I was dealing with in my own head. Even though I am currently living my dream life, living in Japan which is something I wanted since I was a child, and I’m living a great life here, depression doesn’t care what state I’m in, and has come along for the ride.

It isn’t something I can fix with money or lifestyle changes. And I think this is a really important point because a lot of people think that if they were millionaires that could have all the cars, houses, food, girls, guys, clothing, jewelry, and vacations in the world they would be totally happy. But that is just not the truth. I have a favourite quote from Jim Carrey who said, “I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.” Since I have come to that same conclusion, I realize that I need to see my depression as a chemical reaction, not as a byproduct of my life. It can feel impossible to fight against an emotional feeling, but you can do it. It is not impossible. You acknowledge that what you are saying is mean and untrue. You are whispering negative things to yourself, but you are strong enough to see those negative things and acknowledge them as wrong. It is the same as when someone looks into the mirror and calls themselves fat and ugly. The more you call yourself these negative things, the more you truly believe it. By stopping this cycle of negative thought, you stop adding fuel to the negative fire.

I still have days where I feel totally despondent and sad, but now I know that they are coming. Now I see these days are a write-off where I have to just take a bath, watch a show, or check out mentally. When I was younger, these days blindsided me. I felt overhwmelend and alone with emotions. I let them wash me down a river of negative thoughts. I believed all the negative thoughts I was having, and I would act on them. And…I tried to kill myself because of it.

That was really hard for me to say. It’s a deep dark secret that has embarrassed me and stayed with my for many years. I didn’t talk about it in my Draw My Life video. I wasn’t comfortable enough with it yet. I feel embarrassed about it now because it’s not a decision I would ever make again. It was a selfish decision that would have hurt my friends and family, and it’s embarrassing to say out loud because I feel like it was such a fucking stupid thing that I did. But I also know that it’s a real state of mind that people feel, a real question that they ask themselves. I’m glad that I was able to get myself out of that state of mind, out of the bottom of the pit. I’m more in control now, but it’ll always be there to remind me of where I could go if I don’t keep control of myself.

The amount of rungs I’ve added to my ladder makes it a lot harder for me to get down that low again. Back then, I didn’t have anything going for me. I was despondent. And all I saw was pain. Now I realize that these emotions and feelings must be contained and dealt with. I squash them down and deal with them all into one or two days, and do my best to not let it spread. In high school and university the feeling would span across days and weeks until I was an exhausted and sad lump of Martina. Now I don’t let it get passed two days. I think that is a huge difference and I hope once day to squash it down to one day. Hopefully I can get to the point one day where I can get it down to just a few hours.

I hope that my honesty in this video didn’t make you feel to upset. I think that we are all human and all deal with different difficulties, and I know that my difficulty is not the same as yours. But what I hope is that in sharing this video, we can all open up and share other ways in which we deal with our lowest days. Or if it’s too personal for you to share, and you don’t feel comfortable (because I wasn’t comfortable for years, and I still feel scared talking about it), I hope at least you can see with my example that, even though I have chronic depression, and I will never be able to fully get rid of it, I’m learning how to live with it and manage it. I hope that you can do so as well. I love you guise.

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An Open Talk About My Depression

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  1. Thank you. Thank you for being yourselves. Thank you especially for this video. Your videos have lifted me up on many days when I needed it. I have been depressed for ever, and I very much understand the hole that you can get yourself into. I somehow climbed my way up, and I am glad you did too. I am just now trying to work on things for me, rather than letting my depression tell me that I can’t do it. I am going to my first concert alone in March, which is terrifying. I am also trying to get certified to teach abroad, which I’ve wanted to do for years. I admire your strength and really wish I could give you a hug through the internet. Never apologize for being yourself or crying. You are still the same awesome person you have always been. Thank you.

    3 years ago
  2. Hi Martina! I have been a fan of the both of you since EYK and have been silently following and watching your videos. I decided to register in this forum, after watching your current video, and be a silent follower no more. I just wanted to let you how much your bravery has pushed me to start to “build a ladder” and get out of my own dark hole. I will try my best to be as brave as you. I am not sure if you would be able to read this, but please know that in my heart I am really grateful that brave (and bright coloured ^_^) people like you exist. Your video has made a tremendous ripple effect in the world! I am glad that you have Simon (such a blessing to you) who loves you unconditionally. Thank you, Simon and Martina (and to Spudgy and Meemers too!). Sending you both the warmest hugs all the way from “Winterpeg”, MB <3 <3 <3

    3 years ago
  3. Martina!
    I really love your ladder metaphor. I’ve never officially been diagnosed with depression or anxiety, but I occasionally have some pretty dark days and I always beat myself up about them because I’m always telling myself, I have such a great life, there’s no reason for me to feel this way, and I just start to feel guilty for my feelings and it ends up making me more upset. I think in the future, I’ll think back to this video when I’m feeling shitty, and I’ll look at all the good things in my lofe and happy memories as rungs on my ladder, rather than reasons to feel guilty. I think that this mindset and the will to CREATE more rungs on the ladder when you feel at your worst, could help a lot of people. Thanks so much for making this; your honesty and bravery in posting it to YouTube and your desire to make sure it has a positive effect on the world is so admirable and amazing. You’re amazing. ❤️❤️❤️

    3 years ago
  4. Thank you for this video Martina. I have a sister with an invisible disease (miastenia congenita, which means she was born with it) and sometimes it is hard for me to understand how she feels about it and te hard times she has because of it. Today she doesn’t have much truble with it but i know that she struggles with her desease, it limits her actions (she gets very tired if there is too hot, or too sunny) and it makes her feel frustration, that there are things she can’t do… So… thank you, thanks because maybe this video can help me and her to get over this predicaments.
    Lots of love, for both of you.
    PD: MVP Simon.

    3 years ago
  5. “Building a ladder” is really close to the phrasing that my therapist and I use to describe how I’m feeling lately, actually. I’ve been unemployed for a while and really scared and demoralized to re-enter the work force, mainly due to my total lack of self-confidence in my ability to work. I tried to convince myself that I was going to school and looking for jobs for my own happiness, when in reality it was to try to make other people, particularly my family, happy (happy for themselves that they could have something to brag about, not happiness for my well-being). I am sloooowly, slooooowly learning that I can live for myself, and not only to feel like I’m obligated to make decisions based on what others think I should be doing. I feel so much fear every day that the small steps feel like awesome accomplishments – little steps on the ladder leading out of the pit of depression and hopelessness. I have to admit, I still feel down a lot of the time, but since realizing how good building a ladder feels, it’s become so much easier, after some down time, to pick myself up and keep trying.

    I am going to keep trying, for you, for me, and for all of us here. The little steps are important. Let’s build ladders!

    3 years ago
  6. Thank you Martina for having the courage and strength to open up about such a difficult and personal topic. And thank you even more for managing to pull yourself out of your pit, finding meaning in life and experience and going on these adventures. I’m glad that you have managed to continue living such an interesting and magical life. For some of us who are unable to make certain things happen at the moment, we are living our hopes through you as well thanks to all of your videos on information and adventure. As difficult, frustrating and mentally exhausting as it can be, I hope that you will manage to keep on going and I’m really glad that you also have such an amazing support system from your friends, family and especially Simon. May you keep on smiling and collecting amazing stories to look back on. #virtualhug ❤️

    3 years ago
  7. I don’t suffer from chronic physical pain, but I have Bipolar Disorder, so I know all about that black pit of despair. I think Martina made a lot of important points here. I love what she said about “building a ladder.” When I was younger, I had no ladders. I didn’t even think I could build a ladder. I was just stuck down there at the very bottom of the pit. But now that I’m a bit older (I’m around Martina’s age), I focus my life on building those ladders. I fell in love and married my soul mate. I got work-from-home jobs so I don’t have to miss work when I’m having a Bipolar episode. I rescued a puppy. I just got back from the trip of my dreams. Like Martina, I now have awesome memories that can get me through the bad months. I know I’ll be manic and depressed over and over again for the rest of my life, but every year I build more ladders so that I can get out of the pit a bit more easily. I wish I’d seen this video fifteen years ago. Maybe then I could have started building ladders in high school instead of being stuck at the very bottom of the pit for a decade. I hope we can all remember that while we might not be able to stay out of the pit forever, we never need to go back to the very bottom.

    3 years ago
  8. I don´t really know what to write but i wanted to thank you because i think you helped me expand my mind a little bit and see things in a different color, i´m glad that you are learning how to deal with this feelings and that you have support from Simon, your family and i hope yu feel the internet love from us, we all have good days and bad days and i think we just need to try our best to be kind to one another and to do what makes us happy

    3 years ago
  9. Thank you for sharing this with us all Martina.
    There is so much you spoke about that I can relate too. It is not my style to discuss my own feelings, so really this comment is just a way to add my voice to the many who are reaffirming that you are not alone and that you are loved, even if we only know you through a screen.
    Honesty and vulnerability are traits that I value in people. You being honest and vulnerable makes me think very highly of you.
    Thanks again for taking the time to share your story.
    Much Love. <3

    3 years ago
  10. i cried with u martina its okay!!! lol. i recently started having body aches and pain, its only been about 2-3 months but it happened so suddenly that now its like, wait am I going to be like this forever?? I remember just when it was hard going up stairs years ago and then it suddenly start escalating everywhere. I still dont have a proper diagnosis either, going to be taking some more tests (tired of the doctors by now tbh and i hate needles but i need more bloodwork done this week i really dont wanna) which has been reallly weighing on my mentality, like there are times where I wonder if that pain I was having a few hours ago was all in my head. it also made me sad thinking about my friend, who has been going through some really hard times and attempted to end his life as well, all these things happening around the same time has just been weighing on me also with family problems, i just feel like a mess. but, i just wanna thank you for sharing your feelings with us, its so hard to talk about my problems with the people around me so i can just imagine how difficult it was for you to do so on such a large platform. i feel like your friend and i just wanna hug you and say everything is going to be alright!! i’ve been watching your videos for a very long time, even through all those ppl who didnt have nice things to say i always supported you guys, am very happy to be here at this point still watching your videos. you both are such an inspiration and here to the years to come, even if there comes to a point where you guys stop making videos i hope to be with you guys as a silent fan until then. thank you for everything, love you both <3

    3 years ago
  11. You have made me so happy so many times i just wanted to thank you, for being strong, and for being here, with us. I wish we could hug you and share strength because you deserve just the best. I wish we just could help you!
    P.D. You are beautiful no matter what you eat! don’t be sorry for that!!

    3 years ago