There was an exact moment that I woke up and and consciously decided to live. I don't mean like, "you only live once" kind of thing. I mean I decided to live.
I was driving home from a friends house at 5am. We had talked literally ALL night. I sat down with her as one person and drove away the next morning as another. I drove away and on that 15 minute drive I decided to live. Up until this conversation no one had told me the truth. No one had told me what I looked like from the outside and you know what scared me the most? I wasn't hiding it as well as I thought I was. She knew, and if she knew then how many others knew? So, here I was alone in the car and I had two choices. Finally I could lay down and let the darkness take over, or I could light the match my friend had given me and start digging.
It's obvious what I chose to do, I chose to live. That was 15 years ago and I am still digging and I will be for the rest of my life. You know what is so beautiful though? Once I admitted to myself that I was going to have to work at keeping the darkness away it became easier. Does that make sense? Once I stopped trying to hide it and stopped fighting so hard to be "normal" I no longer had to carry it alone. I can retreat when I need to now because there are people around me that allow me to do that. Sharing the burden of depression, (or really anything) is key to surviving.