There was a point in my life. It was my lowest by far. There was no motivation; there was no love, no excitement when there were moments to be excited about. I rolled out of bed and into the day. I did a really great job about being happy in front of my family and friends. I smiled when smiled at, and laughed when there was something funny said. But the truth is, there weren’t any smiles in me. I didn’t think that the joke was funny, although, the usual me would have thought so. This was depression. This was every day for six months. And the worst part was, was that I was in love with a boy at the same time that this was all going on.
We started dating around January two years ago. I was so happy about him, and he filled this little void in me. I didn’t know what that sad part of me was, but I knew that this boy lifted my spirits and gave me something to look forward to. We went on dates, and we laughed about the funny things, and enjoyed the good things. This was new love, this was January, and everything started fresh.
But when we weren’t together, I would fall back in on myself, into that small little dark void. I would think my dark thoughts, and I would spend my nights curled into myself crying, hoping, praying that something could just draw me out of it. I think the hardest part about falling into depression, is that you don’t know that it’s depression. There wasn’t a single event that triggered it.
It was just a small space within the deepest parts of yourself- a place that only you and you alone could draw yourself into. You went there when it was a bad day. Maybe the rain and overcast weather brought it on, and you just let your mind travel into that part of you, and you dwelled there for hours on end. Some days were better than others, when you were surrounded by friends, and they would inundate you with their lives, that you were just able to escape for a little bit, and just immerse yourself in their world, with their worries, and you didn’t have to think about your own problems.
The sad part about being depressed is that if you’ve never met anyone who has confided in you about depression, you become ashamed of it; almost to a point where you were in denial that you were depressed. You would Google “depression” but the symptoms and people you read about, you would tell yourself “this isn’t me.” So you closed the window, cleared the search history, and just called it another day. When it was one of those bad days, I would tell myself that it was just a funk, and that tomorrow would be different- but it never was. The days rolled into each other, but when you’re young, you get really good at faking a day to day routine. So I let this happen for six months. And I dragged this boy that I could have loved effortlessly through the mud with me. I cried, blamed myself, and gave myself an emotional beating for everything that was wrong. My parents and teachers started to notice, and it took its toll; everything was a struggle, everything was a trigger to cry. I was my own worst enemy.
So for six months, I dealt with this. I would love this boy, and I would hate myself. Looking back on it, it was the worst and the best six months. Because he loved me at a time when I couldn’t love myself, he saved me from myself. But as we continued on, I would start to pick fights, all small things. I would cry over the phone, I would be this unrecognizable girl, not the girl who he took on dates in January, I was this ‘six month of emotional roller coaster girl’. And I think the emotional toll of trying to love someone when you’re depressed eventually took its turn; I never told him how I was for those six months, I wanted to be the girl that had fun, and laughed at the funny things; he never knew that I was this way, and maybe he’ll read this and put together the pieces. But once we broke up, I had to stand on two feet, with no crutch to fall back on, and learn why this life was not worth being sad over anymore.
Fast forward almost three years; I’m now at a point in my life where I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. Every glimpse and remnant of that person I was for those six months has faded; I’ve filled myself up to the brim with love and hopes, dreams for the present and future.
For the first time, I am finally talking about it. I am finally accepting. That may have been the person I was two years ago, but it’s not the person I am today. More importantly, I now know that my depression doesn’t define me. Overcoming my struggle speaks more than those six months ever could.
So, if you’re battling with depression, reach out. Find someone to talk to. Remind yourself of the reasons why you’re loved. And know that every cliché about “it gets better” is every part true.
Most of all your depression doesn’t define you; instead, moving past it will be the thing that sets you free.
Much Love, Miranda