If depression was a person, I’d probably punch it. I can’t pinpoint when exactly I started feeling this sadness, but I know it’s been with me for too many years. I’ve grown accustomed to the feeling, to the point I think it’s okay to feel like this, that I deserve to feel like this. It’s been about ten years since my parents divorced, and although it affected a lot of dynamics in my family, it’s probably the reason why I am in this bad position.
As a preteen growing into a teenager, I was pretty oblivious of the world. I woke up, went to school, came home, sleep, and repeat. I didn’t feel any type of purpose for a while but to go to school because my parents wanted me to. I felt like I did have some type of purpose whenever my youngest brother was born I guess. This was the beginning of the downfall of my mother’s mental state. Things got too overwhelming for her to take care of four kids, especially since she was coping with how my dad left her. When food was scarce and the house wasn’t being cleaned, I slowly got the idea that I had to step up somehow. I made sure as my little brothers grow older, I needed to be there for them. Not only as an older sister, but as a caretaker of them as well. We were all in that spot where we had to provide food for ourselves because we were so used to having one of our parents cook for us, we realized that we would starve if we don’t do it ourselves. I continued this role up until last year.
My older brother left for college hours away, so the responisbility was left for me. I thought I had a hold on things pretty well for a while, but I soon realize it was slowly eating me alive. I held myself accountable for the outcome of my little brothers’ lives. At the same time, I wanted to please my dad too. I wanted to show him that I was strong and was on the road of success, but in an Asian culture, people rarely show their affection. With that being said, I felt like all of my effects went to nothing. I felt like he only cared about my older brother since he was the first born, and I was just a daughter who needed to do what a daughter needed to do. Regardless, I kept pushing through, hoping that this hard work I’m doing can set an example for my little brothers. I only cared for their happiness. To be honest, I cared about everyone else’s happiness and needs. I wanted my parents, brothers, significant other, workers, and friends to be happy. Because in my head, I felt like I would be content with my life if everyone else’s needs were met. Reality kicked me in the ass with that.
Still at this point, I didn’t know what was going on with myself. I thought I was going through pubescent angst. It wasn’t until I started college and was on birth control that things got out of hand. The birth control gave me anxiety and increased the heck out of my depression. I thought all of it was in my head. But I found myself crawling into a ball in the bathroom, crying, ignoring the world too much that I realized that there was something wrong with me. Most of everyone around me thought I was just overreacting. Which, by the way, if any of your friends or significant other say that to you, do not tolerate it. I let their words get in my head and make me really believe I was crazy, but it’s not. I tried explaining it, giving them a chance to understand, but I didn’t even know exactly how I felt, so it was like talking empty words. I was living with my significant other, but I found myself hiding out in the bathroom, crying on the ground. I’d skip class and hide out in the library, wondering why I felt so empty and lost. I don’t even want to mention talking about it with my family. They’d think I was being young and emotional and lazy. I didn’t see any point in confiding with people who wouldn’t even understand.
After a long time of living in such negativity, I knew I needed to do something. I found myself thinking about killing myself too often, thinking that the world doesn’t need a waste of a person living on this earth. But as my little brothers grew older, I realize they need me more than ever. My 18 year old brother is facing the same depression and anxiety I felt when I lived with my mom, and I understand exactly how he feels. I don’t want to leave him knowing that he probably feels as alone as I do. I came to the realization that I had depression, just like my mom. I never wanted to admit it because the last thing I wanted to be, was my mom. I took time to google about depression, learning why people have it and how it’s caused, and the how to treat it. I was really anxious about it, since society characterize depression as something that’s unreal or just in someone’s head, but at that point, it didn’t hurt to try to figure out if I truly had depression. I forgot where it was, but I saw a post about the psychological clinic at my college, and that it was offering free screening for depression.
That was when I met Matt. We hit it off pretty well when we met. I didn’t think I’d be okay expressing my thoughts and opinions to someone I just met, but he made me feel comfortable. He had a sense of understanding. He gave me what I’ve been lacking with most people in my life. Out of everyone, he was the only one who truly understood me. He probably knows me more than I know myself, and that’s super scary. He helped me understand my depression and anxiety, and how to deal with it. He taught me how to stop hating myself, and how to start putting myself first before everyone else. Because of therapy, I was able to decide on taking a break from college and was able to tell my family about that. I was able to accept the promotion at work to become a shift supervisor. I got tattoos that I never thought I would get. I was able to tell my significant other that I needed a break to find and love myself. I was able to do so much new things I’ve never done before, and most importantly, becaue I wanted to. I owe so much of my growth and improvement to Matt, but we did find a point where I was very reliant on him. When I was stressed or in a bad situation, I NEEDED to see/talk to Matt, because I know he would help me. Therapy was like a drug for my depression. But therapy is not forever. He reminded me that therapy was soon ending. He was a graduate student so he wasn’t going to stay at the clinic forever.
After two years and 80+ sessions, it took a lot of convincing to myself that I’d be okay without him, but in July, it’s really happening. When people I cared about was leaving my life, he broke the news to me that he was moving in July because of a job offer. I am more than estactic for him, but I felt a sense of sadness. I won’t ever see him again, and that hurts me. I felt like I was in a decent spot last year. I wasn’t in a self harming place, and I was just living. I didn’t crave for progress with my life or anything, I just wanted to live. But realisitically, I knew I needed to do something. Everyone in my life is moving on. Most of them are graduating college or finding better jobs, and here I am, working at Starbucks. No shade towards Starbucks, but it isn’t paying enough for me to get a better, reliable car. I feel like I’m at the bottom of the ladder, when everyone is constantly climbing, and that is so discouraging. Now I find myself back in that place.
So now, I can feel the depression creeping back on me. I’m losing my therapist, living alone, and feeling lost with my life. I haven’t written in months because I feel like everything I write is literal shit. I have aspiration of becoming a writer, but I’m so empty. I find myself laying in bed, feeling nothing with no energy and then hating myself for being so lazy. I haven’t seen my brothers in a month, and all I feel is guilt. Working feels like a meaningless routine to me. I have no idea what makes me happy anymore. I don’t know what my desires and needs consist of. I just know that I am breathing, and I’m doing what I can. I can go on and on about how much this is fucking me up, but it’ll just send me in a crippling panic attack.
Although things feel hopeless and unfixable right now, I know deep inside things will get better. At this very second, I feel so negative, but I overcame this depression once, so I don’t think it’s impossible to do it again. Now I know how to cope and know that there are people who can understand out there. People who are just like me. Hopefully I won’t disappear on this blog like I did again, but thank you for whoever’s reading this. I’m going to share what my little brother said to me the other day; he told me don’t forget to smile; because I have a great smile. Even though I feel all of this mental exhaustion, I’ll probably will still plaster a smile on my face to mask it all.