My father has struggled with depression for as long as I can remember. Several members of my extended family do as well. This year, a classmate confessed to me she has depression. It’s not really so uncommon as most people think.
I’d been starting to feel low a few years ago, but at the start of last year, it got to the point where doing even small things took an incredible amount of effort, doing the things I loved didn’t make me happy anymore and life just didn’t seem wort living. My grades started falling, I started to avoid my friends, and I dreaded going anywhere. All I wanted to do was to sit around and think of ways to kill myself.
Because my grades were dropping, my parents started to put more pressure on me to pull myself together, and my friends started to wonder why I was pulling away from everyone, and finally, finally they got me to realise that something was wrong. I went to see the school counsellor and she said she thought I might have depression. I suppose I should have realised sooner, especially since my father had been going through pretty much the same thing, but it was still hard to accept this. To realise that there was really something wrong. That was kind of scary. But it was also a relief to realise that I was not alone, that what I faced had a name. And to realise that there was hope.
One of the hardest things to do was to decide who to tell and who not to tell. I did tell a couple of close friends, and eventually got up the nerve to tell my parents. That didn’t go so well. “Just snap out of it, you’re doing this to yourself” from my mother. “I know what depression is like, and you clearly don’t have it” from my father. It was hard, not having their support and it hurt even more that they didn’t believe that my problems were real. I even doubted myself.
When my third term grades came out, even worse than before, and when my grades in my favourite subject began to drop, my mother finally was willing to acknowledge that something was wrong and got me professional help outside of school.
I spent a really long time thinking of how to conclude this post. But I honestly don’t know how. The thing is, there isn’t really a conclusion. I’m getting a bit better. Every now and again, I’ll have an easier day, where it feels like the metaphorical sun is still shining and I believe that there’s genuinely something to look forward to in this world. And that’s good. I live for days like that. But on the other days, it’s still hard. And I wonder if I’m ever going to really recover.