Before we start off this journey there are a few things we need to clarify behind the misconceptions of mental illness. There is a difference between being depressed and having depression. You could have just went through hell in your life financially, went through a break up, had a death in the family, maybe lost some friends; there are plenty of reasons you could relate to things on this site. This does not mean you have a mental illness.
Everyone, at some point in their life, experiences a little glimpse into the struggle of someone with depression. Sometimes something happens in your life that throws you into a whirlwind of sadness. Sometimes you just completely lose interest in things. This is not depression. This is life.
If you have depression your life is completely turned upside down for absolutely no reason.
Your life could be at a point that things are perfect from the outside, but it feels like you’re walking around with a cloud over your head. Every day you keep thinking to your self, “why am I sad?”, “why do I feel like I could break down and cry at any point?”, “is this normal?”, “is something wrong with me?”
Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn’t worth living.
I can still remember the day that changed me. The day that triggered it all. My mom was 7 and a half months pregnant. I had gotten home sick at my best friends cabin for the 4th of July because I had this overwhelming feeling that something was wrong with my mom. The next day I got home and my mom had a check up. When her and my dad got home from the appointment I knew something was wrong. It was written all over their faces. They couldn’t find the heartbeat. My mom was induced the next day and after hours of suffering through labor we knew was going to end in even worse pain, the pain of losing a child, I had myself a sister. We named her Hope.
Part of me died on July 9th. I don’t think I ever fully recovered from losing the sister I was never going to get to know. Never going to share clothes with, or teach how to put make up on, or save from boys. I stopped caring about everyone else because I wanted everyone to hurt as much as I did.
I guess losing Hope really started my journey. It made me realize how much the little things matter. Even then, as a fourth grader, I wanted to use my story to help people. Hope changed me. I was breaking on the inside but hard as granite on the outside.
Junior high for me was so much fun but so very dark. I thought that I was the coolest thing to walk the earth. I didn’t care about anybody but myself and boys. I was at the stage of my life where depression was creeping into my veins, into my mind, and into my heart.
Guys were my crutch. Rumors started nasty, vulgar, rumors. Rumors I have yet to live down, all starting because of some boy I apparently “stole”. I became a target so I started acting out in school. One moment I would be happy and the next I would be crying. Everyone thought it was for attention but I was literally breaking inside. Nobody understood what I was going through, but I did what I thought was best, I hid behind guys and relationships.
My freshman year I and my mom’s relationship were horrible. All we did was fight and it was making me even more depressed. I felt like nobody was ever going to love me, even my family. One fight my mom told me that my family didn’t love me. Deep down I knew they were just words she was saying out of anger but it was enough to make me want to take a handful of pills and slip away from everything, forever.
I could never have told my mom what was going on but a poem I wrote saved my life that day. My mom came into my room after listening to me cry for hours finding a notebook on my bed. Without thinking I let her pick it up and read it. It was a poem I had written that day about how I wanted to “end the pain”. She was shocked and started crying, she probably thought she had done something wrong, but it wasn’t her, it was just me lost in my head.
After that I was medicated for depression, but this was only the beginning of my battle with mental illness.