I deal/have dealt with depression.
I'm not talking about feeling depressed because of something that happened or those days when it just a bad day. I'm talking about the real mental illness.
When I shared with my life group (Sunday night "church") that I realized I was actually depressed in High School and college, one of the ladies asked what I thought the trigger of it was. I gave her the answer that I thought was right at the time, but, after thinking about it longer, I realized what really triggered it.
I had just moved from a private Christian school to a public elementary school. I had a great teacher, but that was the beginning of the worst three years of my life.
The year before, I had gotten glasses. I didn't need them all the time, but I did need them to see the board. This girl and I sat next to each other and became best friends. We had a good time, but soon she started stealing my glasses out of my desk and hiding them in hers. Later a boy liked me and gave me a beautiful lapel pin when he asked me to be his girlfriend. My mom had told me that I couldn't have a boyfriend and made me give it back. He then turned his liking of me to a disliking of me and began to pick on me. I tried so hard to be friends with him and his friend, but they wouldn't let me be friends with them. It started with pretend fighting, a few of us girls against a few of the boys. It wasn't real fighting. There was no punching or kicking or hurting. That is, until this certain boy pushed me hard to the ground. Later, I was hit in the face with a kickball that he threw, though he kept saying it hit my back. Perhaps he just felt bad for hitting me in the face because it was an accident. It didn't feel like an accident at the time.
Needless to say, things spiraled from there. My supposed best friend kept being my best friend and then lying about me behind my back. The boys kept picking on me, I was called a cry baby at lunch by my "friend' because she hurt me emotionally.
In fifth grade, my grandpa on my dad's side died. It was the first death in our family. I was so hurt because the last time I saw them I had thrown up on their floor. I didn't get to see them very often. I knew my grandma was sick way before that, but I didn't know with what (Alzheimer's disease), so I couldn't spend the night like I used to be able to. I had seen him once in the hospital and I thought he was getting better. What I was too young to know was that he had cancer. I just knew there was something wrong with his kidneys. I told my supposed friend at school during a project that it reminded me of my grandpa and that was why I was sad. She replied with couldn't they just give him a transplant, and when I said no she counteracted with that she had been whipped hard the night before. A year after my grandpa died, my grandma, his wife, passed away as well.
Come to think about it, maybe it was my grandpa's death that triggered my depression. More likely, I think, is that his death was the last straw. With all the pain and torment I suffered with almost everyday from my "friends", loosing my grandpa was probably what struck the final blow.
Throughout High School, I thought it was just all the pressure to be an all A student like my mom and my sister and that no one liked me. Looking back at college I thought it was the continued pressure to have at least a 3.6 GPA to be able to drive my car and the continued fear that no one liked me or wanted to be my friend and the fact that my boyfriend, at the time, stopped talking to me and just played video games while we were on Skype. However, there was a reason I had the insecurities of not thinking people liked me or wanting to be my friend. That came from 3rd thru 5th grade. I know that now. My fear of loosing the people I love spawning from the losses I experience at a young age.
Perhaps those three years were the years when I became the not-so-talkative, withdrawn girl that I was in High School and my year at College. I have made strides in not being that girl, but I still struggle to be the outgoing person I want to be.
During my senior year of high school, there came a point where I decided it all needed to stop. I visited a teacher, who also had a degree in counseling, and asked for help. Of course, it took all the guts I had in me to write the e-mail to ask if I could talk to him and then to actually walk into his classroom. He told me to write out my story because I seemed like a writer, which I am. That lead me to start my blog.
Sometimes I just have to get down what I am feeling. Writing helps me process what I am thinking and feeling into coherence. There is a sense of relief and release when I successfully write something that is what I am thinking and feeling into a coherent series of sentences or paragraphs and post it here, on my blog. This blog has not only helped me therapeutically but it has helped my writing skills as well. And I hope it helps someone else out there who just wants to know that there is another person out there who isn't perfect and knows what they are going through. Because I have been there.
I have been depressed.
Occasionally, I still struggle with it. And it's not just the one day that everything is just going wrong or just a case of the blues.
If you struggle with anything, know that you are not alone. It's okay to be depressed, it's not a sin. Seek the help you need.
Keep on keeping on.