Yes, I Have Depression, No, I'm Not Depressed

Yes, I Have Depression, No, I'm Not Depressed

I live for myself now, and I won't let depression get in my way anymore.
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You hear a lot of talk about depression, but if you haven’t had this awful disease, then you don’t completely understand it.

I wish I was one of those people who didn’t understand what it was like to go through it, but I am. It is truly the worst thing I have had to deal with, and I struggled with it for six years. It may be something I wish I never had to go through but it has taught me to really enjoy the life I have and to not take it for granted. I still have my battles, yes, but it’s not constant anymore.

It started when I was a freshman in high school. And, of course, a lot of it stemmed from this certain boy, although that’s not the only reason. I went through freshman year like a zombie. I really didn’t care about anything. I went from an honor student to failing classes. The only class I actually did good in was geography because I’m a history nerd. I played volleyball but that’s only because I had to force myself to do it. But at the same time, I lost the love and interest I had for it, just like I did everything else. After freshman year, I came out to be homeschooled, thinking maybe that will help. It did, but not enough.

Staying home every day, doing the same thing over and over again, only gave me more time to sit and think about things that had never crossed my mind before. I got distant, I stopped hanging with friends, and I did nothing. I finally came to the point where I knew I had to get out, so I got a job working at the local library. For two and a half hours of the day, I was a busybody.

Two and a half hours of nothing but working, and that certainly helped, for that little bit of time.

A couple years pass and I’m finally a senior. Applying to colleges, working my butt off, saving money(sort of). And then I finally find someone who I thought I was going to spend a fairly good amount of time with. But we all have those thoughts when we meet someone, right? In my case, that didn’t go the way I planned.

The whole time, there was nothing but drama, and lies, and him running around on me. Which ultimately led to the worst day of my life. December 14th, 2016, I hit my all time low. And I won’t get graphic, but there was self-harm involved, something I never thought I would get to. But it happened, and I can’t take it back. It was the worst day, but a learning lesson, too. From that day on, I vowed to myself, that I would NEVER let someone get me that low again.

Months pass, and here I am, at college. I am finally living now. And I say that with complete honesty. I have a good group of friends, and I’m finally on the road to be a teacher, which is what I’ve always dreamed about. I wrote this article to say that it does get better. In time, you will be living your best life again. I did this by myself, but you don’t have to. If you are struggling, there is no shame in asking for help.

And I still have my days, everyone does. But there’s not a constant dark cloud looming over my head now. I can go out and have fun with my friends and not have to fake it anymore. I have everything to live for. I have the cutest nephew in the world, I have real friends, and I'm working towards getting my degree.

So yes, I have depression, but at the same time, I'm not depressed. I’m genuinely happy for the first time in six years and I’m not letting depression take that away from me again.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black and white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble; and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time, until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling; whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die," or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you, you are not alone.

If you're thinking about hurting yourself please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionhotline.org to live chat with someone. Help it out there and you are not alone.


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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Girls, Your Happiness Shouldn't Be Determined By Your Looks Or Weight On A Scale

I am quite disappointed that a person with that level of intelligence and wisdom was unable to comprehend that my life is centered around much more than just continually worrying about what I weigh or how I look.

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I've been trying to think about what I should write about, and I thought back to what pushed me to speak out about fatphobia in the first place. Last year for my high school senior project I was told that I could choose any topic of my choice. I thought about what topic I was interested in enough to research about for months. While the idea of fat-phobia did come to mind at moments, I was hesitant to choose that as a topic. I didn't know if I had it within me to talk about my biggest obstacle in front of all my classmates. But this instance was what pushed me over that edge and motivated me to speak out, and for that, I am eternally grateful.

It was December of my senior year that I went to visit my doctor. About halfway into the appointment, we started talking about my weight. That was not unexpected. I was at the doctor's after all. But what was surprising was a question that she had asked me. While talking about my weight, my doctor had asked me, "Lasya, tell me, are you really happy with yourself." Under the impression that she was asking me about how I was feeling about myself in general, I was about to start talking about how I could've started college apps way before instead of procrastinating. It then hit me that she wasn't asking me about whether I was happy about the whole me, but that she was just asking about the part that she could see, whether I was truly happy being a fat girl. At the moment I felt flustered and shocked. I couldn't even piece together any response. After I came home, I realized that she was under the impression that as a teenage girl my happiness is mainly derived from my looks or my weight, but she was wrong.

My happiness is not derived by some number on a scale that fluctuates on a daily basis. My happiness is derived from the quality of the relationships that I have with the people in my life. My happiness is derived from seeing the people I love smile and laugh. My happiness is derived from writing with new fountain pens or finishing another episode of Criminal Minds. My happiness is derived from completing a piece of crochet work or typing a sentence on my typewriter. My happiness is derived from all these things, but it is most definitely not derived from some number on a scale. And to be honest, I am quite disappointed that a person with that level of intelligence and wisdom was unable to comprehend that my life is centered around much more than just continually worrying about what I weigh or how I look.

To be clear, this post is not about me bashing on my doctor for what she said. This post is about me talking about her statement and what was wrong with it so that we can all learn from it. This post is about learning that happiness cannot, and should not, be based on superficial things like looks and weight. If it were, we could never be happy or at peace with our selves. It is even possible that my doctor did not mean to say the statement in this context. She could have meant to say something that had a completely different message but was unable to communicate it with me properly. Anything could have been possible, and we will never know unless I confront her about this. But I cannot because I am too much of a coward to ask her about this in person.

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