My initial reaction was to say that my depression was a big venomous snake with big fangs and scary looking eyes. But then I thought about it and realised that I was wrong. My depression isn’t something that suddenly appeared in front of me and bit a chunk out of my leg. I think that my depression has existed as long as I have.
I know that being depressed makes it difficult to remember the last time you felt happy, but I can remember. I can remember each and every time that I have actually felt happy and I could count them on one hand. As a child, I was always very aware of the fact that I wasn’t as loud or as playful as the other kids, I always felt like there was something different about me, something that made me think differently from everyone else.
By the time I had started secondary school I was showing symptoms of depression. Of course no one ever noticed, least of all me. When I was 12 years old I started making up excuses so I didn’t have to see my friends outside of school, eventually they gave up and stopped inviting me out. When I was 13, I remember sobbing uncontrollably in to my pillow one night, I felt stupid and worthless, I thought that everyone hated me and that it would be better off if I wasn’t here and I felt guilty, nothing bad had ever happened to me in my life, what right did I have to be sad. My mum then stormed through yelling at me to "shut the **** up and stop making that stupid crying noise" because she had work in the morning. I haven’t really trusted her since, and I will never feel comfortable discussing anything even remotely related to my feelings with her.
I spent the next five years, just existing. I would walk around smiling and laughing and looking normal, but feeling nothing inside. I convinced myself that I was normal. That this was just my personality. After all I had no reason not to be happy.
Then I met my first boyfriend. He was two years older than me and we dated from when I was 16 to just after my 18th birthday. I was completely smitten; we were perfect for each other. During that time occurred 3 of the 5 times that I can remember being happy. But then at the same time I still felt empty. I still felt like I was just existing rather than living. Sad isn’t it. The happiest time of my life so far, and I still barely felt anything.
And then of course he went and broke my heart. He broke the damn, so to speak. That summer I started college, I made new friends, learned new things, and I acted like I loved it. But I didn’t feel anything for it at all. Then by the time Christmas rolled around I was a nervous wreck. I felt completely miserable all the time. Part of me wanted to die. But again a couple of months later and I was back to just existing.
It was this summer that things started getting really bad. I couldn’t leave the house, or even get out of bed. Every single bad thought or feeling that it was ever possible to feel was screaming in my head. I was going to kill myself. Id wrote out a suicide note and was just about to slice my wrists open when my mum came home and shouted for me to come down and help her with her shopping.
I’m 19 now and Shock Horror just as I finally build up the courage to go see a doctor I feel empty again. I have no thought or feelings on anything, no drives or emotions. I don’t seem to have the capacity to care about anything. It’s starting to come back, this is the first time I have stopped crying in days. The thought of going outside is enough to make me want to sleep forever. I can’t speak, I have nothing to say and when I do find something the words get lost in my throat. I have lost all my friends, even the few I made at college last year have all moved on and left me behind. My life has nothing because I feel nothing, except the odd fit of complete despair. I am not alive, just existing.