I Thought My Depression Would Just Go Away
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I Thought My Depression Would Just Go Away

After years, it continues to be a recurring struggle.

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I Thought My Depression Would Just Go Away
Chloe McElmury

While many of you are probably unaware (those that know me anyway) junior year of high school was a tough one for me. While looking back on it now it’s silly, but when my first “relationship” with a boy ended, I was devastated. All of my 16-year-old life, I had been wanting a boyfriend. Someone to love me, care about me- pretty much everything I read in books or saw in movies- I wanted.

During my ordeals with thyroid cancer, I worried I would die without a first kiss or first boyfriend. Luckily for me, shortly after junior year began, I got my first boyfriend. Things were okay for a while: I got my first kiss, we would play videogames together and enjoyed hanging out with each other. However, I started realizing we were different people. He was very outgoing and I was an unpopular teenage girl scared and embarrassed by everything and anything.

You might be thinking, “Chloe, what does this have to do with depression?”

Well, reader, just keep on reading.

During our relationship, I constantly craved validation about the way he felt about me. I wanted to know he cared when something made me cry or that he thought I was pretty. When he told me once, “You cry too much,” I was very upset. (Although I totally do cry too much, that’s not the point!) I just knew he didn’t completely understand me. When we split, my self-confidence was at an all time low. I thought I was nothing. I forgot all of the really great things about myself. I was worried I would never get a boyfriend again. I had my one shot at love and I had totally, completely blew it. I thought I was worthless.

The next few months, I’d cry at school in the bathroom on occasion (such a cliche, I know). I’d skip meals. I thought my future was hopeless. I discovered a depression test called the Goldberg depression test. It seemed official and a good measure of if I could actually be depressed or not. I took it and it told me I possibly had moderate to severe depression. I was confused and didn’t know what to do. I was too scared to tell a doctor or a therapist. I couldn’t even tell my parents. I had a terrible outlook on life. My brain only saw the negative. Even when something good happened, I was worried because I knew it meant something bad was coming for me.

A few months of this later, I started dating my current boyfriend of almost three years. If you’re reading this, dear, you’re my stability when things get rocky and I love you to pieces. I owe a lot to him in my recovery, but when we separated for a few weeks, I learned I couldn’t depend on him to make me better. I had to not only want to get better, but make myself better for me. Not for him or anyone else. I realized maybe I wasn’t as “okay” as I thought.

Feelings of depression creep up on me from time to time, usually piling onto my conscience when it seems nothing is going right for me. I get (what I assume) are anxiety attacks. I get severely sad and I feel like I’m trapped in this dark pit of despair again. I worry I won’t be able to crawl out, again. How many times can you keep doing it again and again?

Starting my sophomore year at Hamline, these feelings have started showing themselves again, little by little. I fear I’ll just trap myself in my room and not tell anyone how much I am hurting. I love helping people work through their problems, whether about relationships or mental health issues or anything at all, but I am the worst at helping myself.

I make life so damn hard on myself. Constantly saying I am not good enough, smart enough, good-looking enough, etc. I’m trying to work on that, but there’s so many other things and people I am trying to be, like a good daughter, a good girlfriend, a good friend (long distance and to my Hamline classmates), good student, good worker, good writer… the list goes on and on. I want to work on my speech-giving skills, approaching strangers or even just learning how to make small talk, in addition to my academic and career goals! How do you balance all of that? I have so many goals, but will they ever all be accomplished? I thought these feelings would just go away, but like anything worth having, it takes hard work to get there.

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This was a really hard piece for me to publish. I don’t want to make it seem like I’m craving attention or sympathy. It’s quite the opposite, actually. If anyone else feels this way, I want you to know you’re not suffering alone. If my friends wonder why I’m locked in my room on a Friday night crying, I want them to know. I don’t want to pretend my life is easy or glamorous. While I always try to look put together (and I usually do a damn good job of it) I don’t always feel put together with my emotions.

Some days are harder than others, but I will always go to bed and hope for a better tomorrow.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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