Depression Lies, My Story

I was a freshman in high school when I considered killing myself. I thought about it multiple times every day. How I would do it. Where I would do it. How would it affect the people in my life. That’s the one that always stopped me. For me, living with the pain of daily life was better than hurting the people I loved. But just by a little.

In the 80s people didn’t talk about depression. There were no pills you could take to adjust the chemicals in your brain. Suck it up. Pull yourself together. How? How are you supposed to do that when the weight of the world crashes in on you like a tidal wave? How do you pull your head above water when you are holding onto hurt that is so heavy it cripples you? How do you swim when your feet are encased in concrete formed from anger that is so strong it makes it impossible for you to move?

I didn’t tell anyone. Who was I supposed to tell? Freshman year found me in flux. My best friend for years was moving on and pulling away from our friendship. My mother was working constantly to try to earn enough money to keep us alive. My dad was not around. I was alone. At least… I felt alone. No one cared about my problems, and even if they did, I wouldn’t burden anyone with what was going on inside my mind, inside my heart.

One day I sat in English class and wrote a poem. “Little angel soft and pure, little angel so demure…” I didn’t realize it, but the words I poured out on that piece of notebook paper were a direct reflection of what was happening inside me. I passed it over to my friend to read. I don’t know what made me do that. I do know it saved my life.

She did not say anything to me. But she did say something to her mother. She went home that day and told her mother she was worried about me. She told her about the poem. Her mother called mine. Mine dropped everything and got me to a psychologist as fast as she could. She told me she loved me. She told me it would be okay. She told me we would figure it out together. She never once told me to snap out of it, to pull myself together, or anything else along those lines.

I got the help I needed. I got better.

I’ve traveled the depression highway since then, but it has never been as bad. But still, I remember that dark place. I remember that hopelessness. I remember the nothing. I remember that depression lies.

Depression Lies - This is my story.

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Depression, sadness, anger, nothingness, feeling overwhelmed… None of those are reasons to feel ashamed. Here are resources for those who need help:

Major signs of depression
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255

Do you know someone who may be going through something? Read this post, How to Help and Support a Depressed Friend. Reach out. If you don’t feel like it is your place, then find someone whose it is.

Comments

  1. You are so right, no body talked about depression much in the 80s or early 90s. Watching my mother suffer back then, we had no idea what was going on. I’m so glad you got the help you needed. Thank you for sharing your powerful story and helping others feel more comfortable to share theirs and to get help if they need it.
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  2. I could write something similar. That time in my life was hard in ways that only I knew as well. I’m so glad people were looking out for you and loving you when you needed it most.
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  3. I am so glad that your friend saw that you were struggling. I’m glad you got and accepted the help. I’m glad you’re still here.
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  4. My psychiatrist and I were discussing just this issue in my last visit. Even ten years ago there weren’t near the medications and resources for someone suffering from a mental illness. Now there are so many places to turn and so many meds to try and if people could only feel more comfortable talking about it and not be judged as broken or weak; so much more could be done to help people live better lives.

    Dang that stupid “cool box”. I always forget to check it. And bowties are cooler than boxes.

  5. This is what got me and brought me to tears: “But she did say something to her mother.” Sometimes, that’s all it takes to keep us here just another day.
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  6. I want to hug that girl, that friend of yours for saying something, for helping to keep you here by speaking up and speaking out.

    I know that the darkness can be lit and the sadness can be overcome as long as we keep talking about it, as long as we’re not ashamed by it but rather we fight together against it.

    I’m just so glad you’re in my world. Always. xo
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  7. That image you shared, and those words… YES.
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  8. Sometimes it takes just one small, smidgen of attention.

    There’s nothing worse than having to say, “I wish I would have” or “Why didn’t I?”

    Good for your friend for being mature enough and kind enough and loving enough to not just shrug it off. The world needs more people in it that don’t just look out for themselves.
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  9. I suffered depression two times in my life: once, when I went through my divorce. The second time, when I had my son and fought PPA. The darkness is real. I’m so glad you shared that poem and that you’re here. The world would not be as good without you. xo
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  10. I am so glad you shared your poem and that your friend took action. Thank you for sharing your powerful story.
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  11. This post moves me very deeply. I just wanted to tell you that. The poem, your mom’s reaction, the fact that I never knew you struggled this way …
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  12. I’m so glad your friend had the wisdom and foresight to share that poem with her mom and that you were able to get the help you needed and deserved. No one should have to suffer like that.
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