I live with my parents, because it’s what I need to do.
My mother has been the most understanding, sweetest woman in the world her entire life, and now that I’m 23 living at home, with depression and anxiety, and sitting at rock bottom like it’s my new mansion, she is still the sweetest, most understanding woman ever.
I told her a few days ago that I was sad, like I was getting depressed again for no reason, (because as we all know, depression doesn’t need a reason to loom over you) and she said she wanted to help me. That I could talk to her about anything. If this woman doesn’t die a saint, I will be so disappointed.
At nineteen, the optimism in me had died. I woke up every day with an anchor on my chest. I went from a solid A student to barely passing. I wouldn’t go out with friends, because suddenly they were branching out, meeting new people, and I didn’t know how to handle that. When you flinch every time a boy moves his hand too quickly, or find it nearly impossible to look them in the eye without wanting to throw up, you don’t get asked out much. My roommate didn’t know what to do with me, spending all day locked in my room after work.
She would ask me to hangout. Party? Fuck no, man. I could barely get my ass out of bed as a basic daily requirement for continuing my education.
Twenty-one was… different. Good and bad. I had woken up from the dead, but it’s not like these things just go away. I started doing well in school again. I even started hanging out with friends sometimes. But things were not great internally. I gave myself over to some extremely unhealthy behaviour, which went completely unnoticed.
Whatever, it’s still kind of a blur to me. What could I say? I’m barely an adult. I’m allowed to not have everything figured out.
And then, like a rising sun, twenty-three happened. I worked harder. I had a goal, and I was rising to the challenge. I actually made plans for my future. I knew what I was going to do, and I did more than just going through the motions of life to make my parents happy. Each day I become more and more like the person I want to be, for myself. It’s hard to love yourself when you’re constantly at war with the voices in your head, but the love and support of family is louder than any pressures to be perfect.
So, it’s time to get real about depression.
Depression is not Lana del Ray music.
It is not what you feel when the person you love the most doesn’t text you back. Summertime Sadness? As if. Not grunge. Not hip. Depression isn’t sadness, crying, or dressing in black.
Depression is the constant feeling of being numb.
Being numb to emotions, being numb to life. You wake up in the morning just to go back to bed again. Days aren’t days. They are just annoying obstacles that need to be faced. And how do we face them?
Through medication? Through drinking, and smoking, and drugs, and cutting?
Depression is disgusting. It is being unable to clean anything. It is sitting in the bathtub for hours, letting the hot water run down your body, unable to turn it off. Depression is the feeling you get when you enter school and your mind is already set – “Why would I care about my grades when I don’t even care about being alive? My future? What future?”
It is the raw feeling of emptiness. The one that eats you from the inside and leaves you nothing more than a walking skeleton. Not being able to feel anything. Depression is the deepest hole you could possibly imagine. It is being not only unable, but unwilling, to help yourself up.
Depression is not rain. It is being unable to see the sun, even after the rain has passed. I suffer from severe depression, and there’s nothing poetic about it.
Stop romanticizing depression.