My Experience With Depression Growing up I was always a happy child. Or at least, I didn’t have too many worries, and I was impossibly optimistic. I’ve always had a natural inclination to sarcasm, but that didn’t affect my life. If anything, it just made life funnier.
Then, around college, I started feeling…off. I was constantly stressed out, and unhappy with my life. I had just come to terms with my sexuality, which was a big enough stressor. Thankfully almost everyone around me was supportive. But I was very lonely. At that age I was ready for my first relationship, but women weren’t ever into me “that way.” Not even the other gay ones. There was one girl in particular that I was madly in love with, but she barely knew I existed. While studying abroad, I became so stressed and despondent that I actually tried to kill myself. I only vaguely remember it, and no one knew it had happened since…nothing happened. But the intent had been there. It scared the crud out of me, and I returned to the states knowing that I had achieved the bottom of despair.
What had happened to me? Why had it happened? I have no idea. Things happened so gradually that I never saw it coming until it was too late. My friends were no help. In fact, they were the opposite. I started getting the “Why can’t you just be happy?” comments that are anything but helpful. Against my better judgment, I entered an extremely abusive relationship with my best friend, a man, my senior year. All the while my self-esteem continued to plummet and I started failing all my classes. I was called into offices I had never heard of and was called “lazy” and “irresponsible” by complete strangers who didn’t know who I was or what my circumstances were.
No one helped me. They thought they were, which made things worse. More asinine comments like, “Well, you should just get over it,” and more strangers making themselves feel better by telling authorities that I was “a risk.” Everyone made my own serious depression out to be my own fault and my own problem. They would only help me if it meant a pat on the back for them.
Long story short, I tried killing myself again. I can remember that this time. I just wanted it to end. My depression had consumed me so much that I truly could not see how life could ever get better, that I would ever meet people who would treat me like a human being. I once again did not succeed, obviously. In fact only one person knows about that night.
These days, I am in a much better place. What helped me was having actual people who care. These were people who would listen to my issues without offering empty advice. People who said, “I am here for you.” The support I finally found helped me considerably. But there is something about that deep, bottomless pit of depression. Once you’ve been there, you know you can fall again. “Up” may be the only way left, but you know you can slip and fall again. I will never be that happy person again. But I will be a stronger person who knows how to watch her step and survive.