Recently mental illness has been discussed more frequently however, there is still a negative stigma surrounding mental illness. I’ve struggled with depression for almost 10 years and plagued by anxiety attacks for 7. In the past, I dealt with my depression in a way that no one should ever. I began harming myself every single day. And, there were many nights where I didn’t think I’d see the morning. I was surrounded by people who didn’t understand what I was going through.
There have been two times where my depression and thoughts had consumed me so much that I attempted to end the pain because I didn’t want to fight anymore. After discovering DC Comics I came to realize that the fight never truly ends. These characters inspired me to do better. You see, Barry Allen’s mother was killed and his father was wrongfully accused. Yet, Barry never stopped fighting. Bruce Wayne’s parents were murdered in front of his eyes, and he kept fighting. So I have to keep fighting.
Comic books are a true escape from reality. When you first open up a comic book, it’s almost a rush of adrenaline. You can feel the excitement surfacing when you flip through the pages. That fresh comic book smell, and the crisp, sharpness of the pages as you run your fingers along the edges. And, before you know it you begin falling deeper and deeper into the world you’re reading about. You’re so laser-focused on the story that the rest of the world just melts around you. It’s just you and this entire world that someone magnificent has conjured up for you to read.
We’re just kids at heart diving into our fantasies. You completely lose yourself and it’s beyond therapeutic. It’s an escape from my struggles and my feelings in the real world. Comics aren’t just entertainment they are so much more than that. Where just for a moment in time the world fades away. Somedays I can’t get myself to pick up a comic and other days when I can, it’s the best medicine I can take.
Although our heroes continue to fight despite their childhood traumas, they have battles within themselves as well. These characters aren’t just saving cats from trees. They are humans with raw emotions, which makes them completely relatable. Even those with extraordinary abilities can also feel unbearable pain. We aren’t all perfect, far from it. But as long as we keep fighting, we can be the heroes of our own story.