Prof L. Miller
That awful, hazy state that never seems to lift. It's welcoming the darkness of a five-hour nap just to escape the world for a little longer. It's cutting ties with all your friends and letting all of your grades slip. Depression doesn't always necessarily feel like sadness. Sometimes, it feels like absolutely nothing—nothing but clouded apathy. When I was in high school, depression stole everything from me. It took away my friends, chipped away at my GPA, isolated me from my family and friends, and changed who I was forever.
Depression is crippling, and it can creep up on you even when everything seems to be perfect. Nothing warrants your depression; you don’t need to have a catastrophic life changing experience to become lodged in depression’s grip. An imbalance of serotonin in the brain may be all that is required to send you spiraling into a depressive state. There are little things that add up to make me feel the way I feel. I become distant from those around me, I no longer want to be around people. I go into a hole, a hole that I am unable to come out of. The tears that run down my face aren’t always triggered by one specific thing; it can be multiple things that cause me to just want to scream.
Depression is different for each and every person, and each person copes with it in a different way. Depression can be staying in bed for hours at a time and feeling numb to emotions around you. Lying to everyone you know and yourself, telling them you’re fine; when you know that deep inside you aren’t. Depression for me is a constant battle within my mind. It’s an effort for me to do anything, and it feels like a constant weight on my chest that no matter how hard I try; the weight always keeps me down. Every breath I take feels forced, the weight doesn’t go away, it’s just there. It doesn’t mean I want to die; I just want to learn to live my life without the constant weight.
People assume that if you’re always laughing, making jokes or smiling that you can’t have depression. That is far from the truth, I use those as coping mechanisms so that the people around me don’t know how I truly feel. How I look on the outside, doesn’t match how I feel eon the inside; it just means that I know how to function with my feelings. Telling people how I feel means that I have to come to terms with those emotions. When the emotions take over your everyday life and force you to stop being who you are, it’s hard to admit to those around you. It’s easier to lock myself in a room and not to my friends, then tell them because sometimes I don’t even know how I feel.
It’s easy to put a smile and pretend to be happy, and I always thought that if I did that enough times, I would truly be happy. In the past, I’ve always compared myself and my life to others and labelled it as inferior there thereby minimizing my experiences. By being present, I have recognized the value in fighting my insecurities, fears, and shame in order to fully experience the joy in living my life. Life is so much more colorful and freer when I’m not spending every waking moment feeling guilty and shameful. We very easily fantasize about what the future may bring instead of just living in the moment. This allows me to let my thoughts control me and allow me to not live my life to its fullest.
In the society that we live in, saying that we are depressing isn’t allowed; people havej udgements. “You can’t be depressed; you live such a great life.” “What are you sad about? You have everything you could ever want and more.” I am thankful for the life that was given to me, but that doesn’t mean that I am not allowed to feel sadness There are other things that factor into my feelings; not just the items that I own. Depression has the stigma of being suicidal and overly sad, but in reality, I just want to survive like any “normal” person. The silent pleas that no one seems to nice, the pleas of telling someone that the weight is too much; but they just ignore it because it’s too hard of them. It is tiring living a life where you constantly have a weight bringing you down. I am tired of living, but at the same time I don’t want to die.