I was sitting outside of my house, hunched over hiding by a bush. I couldn’t have started kindergarten yet. My young mind consumed with wanting to die; I just wanted everything to end. I couldn’t have been more than six! I am not even sure how I understood life or death, but the level of comprehension at that time still stands vivid in my mind; why I would want the latter so badly was overwhelmingly frightening to say the least.
Junior High led me into more of a peer-comparison depression. My life at home was… isolated, and I kept away anyone who would want to come over. The one time the joking from my junior high bully pushed me to tears, I was sent to the counselor. I refused to talk to them because having to see a counselor meant something was wrong with me.
High school I transitioned roles. I was much more aggressive. I stood up for others being bullied, but I also allowed a bitterness in me that kept me from showing compassion to anyone else, almost turning me into a bully of sorts. (It is still a harbored personality trait)
My struggle with depression became exhausting. My committed relationship, if anything, was a sign for my need for acceptance but also of low self esteem. I allowed myself to be treated in ways that no self respecting woman would permit, all in the false name of love. I found more life in sleeping, and did everything I could to sleep for 12-18 hours a day. (Oversleeping is a pattern I still struggle with.)
I write this, and feel ashamed, not for feeling depressed, but for feeling like my level of depression isn’t good enough to talk about. It is this weight I have allowed society to place on my shoulders.
I write with hope that maybe knowing that despite my outward appearance of having it “all together” if you needed to hear this then know that you are not alone.
Sometimes there is no amount of hand washing, flu shots, or vitamin C you can take to keep you from getting that cold.
If only we, as a society, understood, talked openly about, and respected depression the same way as the common cold.
There is someone there to help you. There is so much to life. You are loved.