Saving Myself + Overcoming Hardships

August 03, 2021

By Albina Tahiraj

My name is Albina Tahiraj, and I am from Albania. I studied Law school for three years, and I am very interested in social issues as well. I experienced depression at the age of 21, and with my passion for writing, I am working to fight against negative thinking. I love to share love with others and help as much as I can.

Pledge to Take Action

*Trigger Warning: This piece discusses depression and suicidal ideation, which may be triggering to survivors or to the family and/or friends of victims. If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please seek help. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24-hours a day at 1-800-273-8255 for assistance.

It was the darkest time of my life, the end of 2019.

I was 21, graduating from college, law school, one of the most sought-after professions and favorited by students and parents alike. While all were thinking about how to afterparty, I was drowning deeper and deeper each day.

I lost counting days, I stopped missing and meeting people, I started to hate music and began loving emptiness more and more. My dad lost his job at an old age, my younger brother, who was just 13 years old, became addicted to video games, my mom lost patience as a housewife, my younger sister just finished her first year of college stressed out about getting a scholarship without dropping grades, and my older sister had frequent money issues with her boss at work.

I felt lonely, sad, and nothing made me happy. I abandoned my hobbies and became a dull sleepy person. I struggled to get out of the house on my own, stayed overnight sleepless, and cried over and over again for nothing at all. I lost appetite, got skinnier, and had problems standing. I just wanted to be alone, in a corner, without saying a word, like a zombie, just breathing and going places aimlessly.

My parents tried medical, spiritual, financial, emotional ways to bring me back to life, but my mind and body strongly rejected everything. People saw me as a “weird” one and those left talking to me gave up contacting.

I don’t blame them though, I blame it on my mind. I was sick and nevertheless didn’t try to be the old cheerful me. I was an empty shell, a quitter. I had no reason for dreaming of a tomorrow, rather I hoped for an end to come. My dad got a new good job, my sister got a boyfriend and better pay at work, my youngest sister kept a scholarship, and my brother was an easygoing teen. Eventually, all of them changed in a good way, but I remained the same.

Day by day, we didn’t talk anymore and the house felt chilly. Trust and love were broken in thousand pieces. One day, after wasting years meaninglessly, as I watched my dad’s face shrinking by heavy smoking cigarettes, my mom’s troubled voice, and others losing their future, I reflected. I decided to change my bad habits and was determined to completely erase my negative feelings.

I had only one thought in my mind from then on: I can save you, I will save me!

I erased my useless things on my phone, made a rough plan on how to keep myself busy, and executed every single one of them with baby steps. I am still learning how to love myself more, how to be happy, how to find a new dream even without having a clear vision, how to apologize to my loved ones, how to appreciate each minute passing by, and how to help with little things called part of the mosaic of life.

Their support gave me wings, my confidence gradually grew bigger, and I accepted all gifts given by Mother Nature. I was glad I found a memory of old me and painted it with lots of courage. Everyone and everything invested in me, and giving my life up was never an option. Beautiful life and wonderful love are made to be enjoyed, not to be thrown away. Precious kindness given by others is meant to be shared with, and happiness must be passed on.

Motivational stories, unconditional love by family and your surroundings, and good songs lyrics can be the perfect medicine to help cure depression. Your only mission is to grab yourself out from there and blind it with brightness.

Pledge to Take Action