I’m back, my dear readers, and today I would like to share with you how this all began.
Looking back, I can’t pinpoint a day or even month in which I started this journey. I can recall back as far as the seventh or eighth grade having these feelings, just not on such a large scale.
I think that depression isn’t something that just happens one day. It’s not like a heart attack, or like a case of the stomach flu. There isn’t one definitive way of knowing. On the contrary, it builds up over time. You start noticing things here and there, and you think “it can’t be. I can’t have depression. I’m normal. I don’t wanna cut myself or die”. As true as that may be, listen to the warning signs.
The day I decided to see a doctor was a big day for me. A large step in the healing process. I had held back for so long, afraid of telling anyone, and afraid of being judged. I wasn’t one of those girls who cut, or wrote sad poetry, or wore all black. I wasn’t tragic or lonely. I had friends and a family who cared about me. I thought that since I didn’t fit into any of the book or movie or television stereotypes that I had to hide it.
I beg of you, dear readers, if you feel like this, please don’t hide it from anyone.
The first person I told was my boyfriend. He notices everything about me, and he could tell when I was having one of my off days. Those days where no matter what I accomplished, how much he told me he loved me, or how much outward fun I had, I was still feeling hopelessly empty inside. Even knowing that he knew, it was still a hard conversation. He eventually convinced me that I should talk to my doctor, if not for me then for him.
You see, that’s one of the things about depression. You never do stuff for yourself, because you just don’t deserve it. I mean, you do, but you don’t think that you do. But I knew I had to do it for him. He deserved everything that I could give him. So I called the doctor and made an appointment.
I was numb for most of the appointment, and numb while picking up my prescription from the pharmacy, all I could think of was “why me. Am I broken? What’s wrong with me”. Later that night, I drove an hour to sit down and tell my parents. This, my dear readers, was the hardest part of the whole journey so far.
The second the word depression left my mouth, my own mother held up a hand and told me that she didn’t believe it. Before the rest of my sentence was finished, she told me that I had friends, I had a loving family, I had a great education, a great boyfriend, and was getting everything I wanted in life. I let her finish her bit, and then I told her. I told her that I knew all of that, and that was precisely why I was seeking help. Because no matter how much good there was in my life, I was still just an empty husk of a person. And even after I acknowledged how happy anyone else in my shoes would be, I still didn’t feel happy. That moment dear readers, was so liberating.
With my parents and my boyfriend in the loop, and my medication in my pocket, I headed back home hoping that the next day would be a fresh start. And it was, in more ways than one.