It took me years to figure it out. It took even more years to even open my mouth about it to another person. The struggle and pain of my depression has definitely left an impact on my life and some of the choices I’ve made…or didn’t make. I was around about 14 when I started to think something was wrong with me. Of course I tried to chalk it down to the fact that I was going through puberty and my teenage years but I always knew, something wasn’t right. It was draining and I never felt “normal”. My “home” life definitely didn’t make matters better, just worse. I realized I was falling deeper but still I kept thinking it would be over soon I just needed to give it time. I was obviously wrong. But at the time of those teenage years I didn’t even know what depression really was and didn’t hear about it much. It was a time of confusion and immaturity.
Years passed, and with them too many horrid days and nights to keep track. I thought it would be never ending. And eventually tried to end it myself on a few occasions. I thought hurting myself would help too but that only left scars.
I was constantly living in these dark days behind closed doors. But I was fortunate to have a ray of light that unknowingly helped to brighten quite a bit of my days. I became really close with someone who is still my best friend to this day. She opened my eyes to a different world and her family opened their hearts and arms and always made me feel like I belonged. Something I never felt at “home”. Something I never knew. Something I never thought I’d get to experience. For that, I’m forever grateful.
Through those experiences and that friendship I realized the differences in people’s lives. And I realized I was really battling with something I felt was bigger than me.
Life after high school wasn’t any better but I definitely got a bit wiser and around my second to third semester of college I started to actually ponder on the thought that I was battling with depression. For quite some while I didn’t want to admit it. I figured to admit it was to throw a label on myself. And I thought if I was to tell anyone and get help then not only would it be me putting the label on myself but everyone else as well. I was embarrassed. I told no one. I felt I could tell no one. Until one day I tried. I spoke to my doctor briefly about it. I can remember vividly that day how scared I was and how much I rehearsed what I would say to her. And how I might finally get some help after suffering for what felt like an eternity. Well like I said we kept it brief and she gave me a number to a place where I could get help. I never went.
Not too shortly after that my grandpa passed away and I felt like my life and my mental state took an even further nose dive. My gpa dropped and I was put on academic probation, so I decided to leave school. I felt like I could control nothing.
It’s weird what death can make a person realize. I felt like not only my eyes but my mind opened up after that. I started viewing things differently and I started talking to myself a lot more and coming to realizations I never knew I’d come to. I’ve always been a deep thinker but this was on another level. This is when I started thinking and trying to deal with my depression. Instead of denying it like I had done too many times before I embraced it so I could deal with it. First step of fixing a problem is admitting you have one, right?
I won’t really touch on my thought processes of those times but I will bring you to my now. I’m 24 years old and yes I still suffer from depression. I realize this is something I’ll probably re encounter throughout my life but I also found I’m able to realize when I’m starting to feel like I’m getting to my “bad space”, and for some reason that tends to help sometimes. I also know I can’t let this stop me from my dreams and goals I want to achieve. I know I’m stronger than this illness and I know I have so much life to live and I won’t let it deter me from that. I may struggle but through all these years the most important thing I’ve come to realize is how much of a fighter I was, am, and always will be.
I share this to not only to speak on the illness of depression but to be open about my life. I know someone can relate. I know someone is or has gone through similar events. The best part of all this is knowing you aren’t alone.