The problem with depression is that it is a shapeshifter. It can blend in with the normal patterns of a teenager, young adult, or pretty much anyone. On the other hand, though, it can explode, leaving shards of glass disguised as rage at the world, when the real anger is for myself. I’m still not quite sure which one is better, and those two are just the most common for me: the “I am fine” depression and the “I hate the world” depression. The third one pairs with both of the other two: the uncontrollable, sometimes silent sobs that often come from my room at night. Happily ever afters don’t exist in real life. Happy, however, does.
You see, Depression will be the best friend, girlfriend, boyfriend, whoever, that will wrap you in its arms and smother you with a pillow. After a while, you will get so used to it that the thought of pushing the pillow away from your face will scare you. Don’t let it get that far; and, if it does, don’t let it get any farther. The reason that Depression is so intent on continuing to deprive you of the oxygen of working toward happiness is because it knows that, if you try, you will be able to enjoy life.
The truth about Depression is that it knows that if you realize its hold is just as strong on so many other individuals, you will feel less alone. When you realize that you are not alone, you will look to see how other people cope, and then you will cope. If Depression lets you get that far, it loses. It will keep coming back, over and over. But once you understand it, you can grow so much stronger than it will ever be.
Every time I have a really bad day, I start counting good days. I think of swimming in the ocean. I think of the day my friend got me to dance, in public, for the first time. I think of the world, and I picture myself exploring every country there is to explore. I picture myself living. And on the days that are even worse, I ask for help. I’m trying to let people help me, and I’m trying to help myself. That’s how I am defeating my depression.
I remember a particular day a few years back. I had stopped going to school for nearly 7 months. I slept 18 hours a day, didn’t shower, and refused to leave the house. I had pushed away all of my friends and even my family. I was so alone that death seemed like a glorious escape. That day my mom got me to get in the car, and she drove me to the ocean. It was a 40-minute drive, and when we got there, I wouldn’t get out of the car; I was too ashamed of who I had become to even let strangers see me.
Today was a hard day. Today when things got bad, I got myself up, and I went to the ocean. I got out of the car this time, and I went swimming. That’s the difference I’m making for myself. I’m choosing to live my beautiful, painful, joyful, ever-changing life.
Everyone’s depression looks different, and everyone’s depression has a different antidote.
Some things that help me:
- Going on a hike
- Taking a shower
- Drinking tea
- Screaming in the basement
- Sitting somewhere quiet and reading
- Lighting a candle
Jessica Turetsky is a high schooler living in Northern California. Her life has consisted of a roller coaster of moves and inaccurate diagnoses. She spent two and a half years in India due to a particularly unstable period of time with her family. There, she did not go to school but rather learned much more than a classroom education could ever teach. This produced a deep seed of wanderlust that hasn’t gone away since. Her dream is to travel, write, and make art. She loves new experiences and learning about different cultures and ways of life. First and foremost, She is an artist, so she loves sharing art and having art shared with her. She believes that any passion someone may experience and love is a form of art.