Honestly, when I walked across the stage I believed what everyone was telling me; that my whole life was ahead of me, that things were going to be so much better than they’d been before.
Then I went to college, to the university in my home town. I don’t know what went wrong exactly. I was isolated, mostly by my own choices. I was so afraid, all the time. If someone stared at me in the dining hall or class, or whispered to their friend while looking at me, I worried what they were thinking/ saying. I stopped going to class, stopped going out except when absolutely necessary. I ate at times I knew the dining halls would be deserted.
I tried different schools, but could never figure out who I wanted to be, what life to choose. My therapist tells me this is because I suffer from clinical depression, and that eats away at your ability to function even in the least stressful environment.
I’m still recovering from depression. It’s something that’s been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. The best guess I have for when it started initially was when I began cutting when I was thirteen. But even years before that, I remember obsessing over death, what it meant and would it be better than life. I questioned why I had friends, why anyone would want to be around me until I decided that no one knew me, and that’s why they were my friends.
Therapists always want to find a defining moment, one thing that makes you ‘depressed’. Because if they can find that, then they can cure you. Maybe it all started when my parents began arguing more than they had normal conversation, or when they got divorced, or when my birth mom left. Blame it on genetics or whatever you want, but to me, the cause is so insignificant compared to how it’s affected my life.
The thing is depression isn’t what hurts me the most. It’s how everyone, my friends, family, and therapists, all want me to change, to be someone I’m not. And even if I’m complete shit, I would hope that the people who love me would still rather have me be me than someone else.
They don’t understand, depression is part of who I am, as much as it hurts sometimes or hinders me, I don’t think I can live without it. maybe that sounds fucked up, but what people don’t see is that maybe somedays are horrible but there are other days, days that I’m so happy and alive and truly aware of all that’s good. It’s not like I’m just moping around, unable to enjoy anything. I know it’s that way for some people, but not me. Depression is the flip side for all the beauty I’m lucky enough to be able to see in the world, in my life.
Three years ago I graduated from high school. And it’s taken me pretty much that long to realize who I want to be.
Myself; with all the problems, insecurities, and sorrow that comes with being me, there’s also so much joy and beauty. And love.