For the longest time I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I would randomly scream out in frustration, unable to hold it in, until my throat was sore. I would cry when nothing was wrong. I would have days where people breathing made me irritated. I would feel numb and be unable to react to what was going on around me. I didn’t feel alright, but I couldn’t describe to anyone why or how. And the worst part was that I would be fine one second, then I would turn around and everything would go wrong without anything changing.
Then I went to a therapist and was diagnosed with depression. The therapist said a lot of things I don’t remember. But what I do remember is being told that it wasn’t my fault. That, with certain techniques, I could keep it under control, but it would probably never completely go away. I was asked if I wanted to go on medicine, and I didn’t. I wanted to get over it on my own. I didn’t want to be weak. I felt like I could not control my own life.
Over time, however, I did my best to deal with the depression. Most days were good days. Some were okay days. Only a few were bad days.
I dream of being a college professor. I have plans to go to graduate school. It is my passion, the one thing in the world that will make me happy.
I am about to start my senior year in undergrad. It means perfecting a writing sample; it means hours and hours of research; it means a senior thesis. It means a lot of work. And I’m willing to do it all because it will get me to where I want to be.
But depression makes it that much harder.
The bad days are the worse, but the okay days are still hard. There are days where I can’t motivate myself. Days where all I can do is lay around trying to feel something. Days where I pick up books to read and the only thing I can think of is how miserable I am. Days where I feel so overwhelmed that I do nothing but cry and scream.
There are times when I question everything. I start to rethink whether or not I am capable of pursuing my dream.
Depression makes me feel like it is impossible for me to do anything I want to do. Makes me feel like I am controlled by something I can’t see. Something I can’t control. Something I can’t get rid of.
I push through, but there are some days when I feel like I will never feel good again. But in the academic world, I feel like my depression stifles me. I can’t call my professors and say, “I can’t come in today because I feel numb.” I can’t push back deadlines because I spent the whole day crying and hearing a voice in my head telling me I’m ugly, not worth anything, fat, stupid, and so many other names that I wish I never called myself.
The depression controls me in ways that I wish it didn’t. But every day I push forward regardless of it is a day that I prove to myself that I am more than depression. And I always will be.