Depression's Sorrow And Hope

Depression's Sorrow And Hope

There is hope in the darkness.

There are a lot of things to joke about, but depression is not one of them.

Being a person who suffers from depression has a deeper mean on your life than what most people think. People who are depressed are trapped in a world unlike the world that anyone else is perceiving. To them, the world is dark, hopeless, has no meaning…

And it never gets any better.

Imagine waking up on the day after a breakup. Life now seems impossible. The world is dark. You seem to have no hope. What are you going to do with yourself? You look at your phone and know there is no good morning text from the significant other. There is a feeling of despair deep in your stomach. In your mind, you don’t know how anything could ever be good again.

Imagine this feeling being what you experience every day. Every morning. Every night. Despair. Hopelessness. Loneliness. And the feeling that it will never improve.

A lot of people describe depression as a feeling of drowning. I can personally say that this is the most accurate physical description I have ever seen. Depression is falling into the deep end with no hope of getting out.

Depression is losing hope.

Depression is darkness.

Depression is suffocation.

If you have never experienced this emotion, you may not understand how truly oppressive it is. But it crushes the soul and mind. It forces a person into isolation. It brings out insecurities that will not cease to punish your ego.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 40 million adults (meaning a person that is eighteen years of age or older) suffer from depression. In total, that is 18% of our population.

I am one of those.

For multiple years, I spent day after day drowning in a sea of emotion that I could not control. It was a time in my life where reflection is a time of despair. Most of the time, I spent my afternoons in the dark, in bed, and alone.

The thing I want to let everyone know about depression is that it is not hopeless. There is a light at the end of every tunnel.

Experiencing depression may suffocate you for a time being, but it is not the end of the world. When someone is depressed, it is important for them to not lose hope. To not drown. To not become trapped in their emotional devastation.

If you are depressed, reach out for help. Saying that you are in the deep is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, addressing your emotional state is one of the greatest signs of strength that a person can show. There is never a time that saying you need a helping hand to pull you out of the deep will be a burden.

I believe that one of the greatest stigmas about depression in society is that it is a sign of weakness. Living with depression is a sign of strength. Living a life of sadness is a battle that you have no hope in winning and if you continue the battle, you are a real warrior.

One of the greatest choices that I made was to reach out for help. Opening up about the emotional state that I was in at the time when my depression was at its darkest point saved me from ultimately drowning in the water.

There are a plenty of people in the world who are ready to help. Even though depression feels like a state of being alone, it is not. There is a community of people ready to surround you and help you out.

One of the problems everyone with depression has to face is that it never permanently goes away. Depression is a lifelong battle. Even after you find a way out of the deepest parts of despair, there is always another day to tackle. This is part of what makes those with depression true warriors.

The hope for depression is that you are never alone. No matter how dark it may seem, there are always people in your life who want to help you.

I learned through my experience with depression that my mother was always wanting to reach out and help me. There was never a moment in my life when she did not want to support me. I had not realized that when I was drowning in my emotions. I was lost in emotions that made it unbearable to consider the fact that someone could care about what I was going through.

My mother has been my support through each wave of depression since I have started treatment. She understands that it is important to have the unconditional support and love in my life to help realize that the feelings I experience do not have to define my day to day life. She has helped me to realize that despite the emotional turmoil that I go through, I am able to live a happy and successful life.

Living with depression, I have the ability to tell you that there is hope of living a happy life. As I have gone through my first month of college, I have learned that happiness is just around the corner in life. Even though I experienced a variety of negative emotion in high school, now that I am in college I see that there is happiness all around me.

There is always a way to happiness in your life. What you must remember is to find your own happiness. Let it absorb the water that is drowning you and soak up the sunshine in life.

Cover Image Credit: Therese Borchard

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College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.

The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:

“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:


When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:

"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

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I Never Thought I'd Have To Attend A Classmate's Funeral Two Weeks Before He Was Supposed To Graduate

Teen suicide is a taboo topic where I'm from, even if we have lost two members of the community to it in the past two years.


One of the hardest experiences of my life happened just this week, at the funeral of a boy I barely even knew. I had gone to school with him since kindergarten but hadn't had a class with him since fifth grade, and I don't think we had talked since then. All I had ever thought of doing with my classmates two weeks before graduation was complaining about finals and maybe going to a few graduation parties.

Instead, we all left school midday to head to the largest Baptist church in town. I sat in the middle of a row of pews, surrounded by two hundred or more people that I had either gone to school with my whole life or had gone to school with at some point in the past thirteen years.

There was not a single one of them that did not have tears in their eyes. We listened to the pastor share memories of our classmate that had been shared online, and some of us even got up to share our own and to thank his parents for raising such a kind and caring, young man.

He was the type of guy to invite you to go out to eat, even if he knew you had to work, just because he didn't want you to feel forgotten about. Every single person who spoke said, "There wasn't a single thing I didn't like about this kid." They spoke those words in full truth.

The senior class was named in the obituary as honorary pallbearers. We followed the eight football players and the rest of the football team and our classmate's closest friends to a hearse waiting outside. I watched as the hearse pulled away, and I believe that is when it truly hit everyone.

He was gone, and he wasn't coming back. As the hearse pulled away, all I could see on the other side were tears streaming down the faces of some of the toughest guys I know.

We called the football team the Thunder House. The phrase "Thunder House" went from something normally said with a smile or a chuckle to something said with a melancholy tone. No one cheered when it was said anymore, they only gave sad nods and tight, depressing smiles.

Teen suicide is a taboo topic where I'm from, even if we have lost two members of the community to it in the past two years. In 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published an article stating that Americans in rural areas are more likely to die by suicide, also stating that suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States.

The week before we lost our classmate, there was a walk at the school on a Saturday to raise awareness for teen suicide and depression. I only heard one teacher say anything about it beforehand. There were no signs around the school. There was no mention of it on the morning announcements. There was not a post on the school's website inviting members of the community to join us.

I truly believe that more could have been done that could have possibly prevented the heartache that has impacted a school, a family, and a community. Reach out to those you feel may be in need, and even those that you do not feel may be in need because you never know what someone is going through.

Articles on suicide prevention or recount stories of suicide or suicidal thoughts should end with the following message, written in regular weight font, styled in italics:

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

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