It was at the age of 9 I told my mother I was depressed. Her response “You don’t even know what that is”, but I did. See , I cried myself to sleep every night. Some nights I didn’t sleep at (and still don’t). My depression began at a very young age. After moving to Arizona I was no longer in a position where my abuser could get to me, I was free. Well I thought I was. Although physically he could no longer touch me, in my head he was coming in my room. When the lights went out and everyone was asleep I was up staring at the ceiling asking God “why me?” My body had adjusted to being woken up throughout the night. So every night from childhood til now I have woken up or haven’t gotten a full nights rest. When asked if I slept okay?, I always say “what’s sleep”. A joke to those greeted with my answer, but to me it’s a real question. Sleep is something I have never gotten the ability to enjoy. Sleep deprivation is like my best friend next to insomnia, and I really wish we could go our separate ways!After that occurrence of being told I wasn’t depressed due to being so young , I never brought it up anymore. I am one of those people if you don’t believe me the first time you wont believe me the second. If something so real wasn’t taken serious when I spoke on it then there was no need for me to press the issue.
As a result at the age I began doing things which put me in unsafe situations. It was a moment in which I was tired of crying and worrying. No one believed me or would. Suicidal thoughts began for me during my adolescence. At one moment I remember playing with knives and my older brother caught me. We are 4 years apart so he couldn’t help me. He told my mother and grandfather whom we lived with at the time. I remember them sitting me down and telling me no to play with knives. I don’t believe anyone knew the severity of my situation back then.
Being someone dealing with depression you never feel happy. In the moments that you want to feel and show emotion it’s as if you can’t. My dad and stepmother flew out to Arizona to spend time with me and my brother when I was in elementary school. I hadn’t seen him in years and I’m definitely a Daddy’s girl. That week they spent there would’ve been one of happiest moments as a child but, it wasn’t. I spent the week going to the zoo, the mall, movies out to eat ; getting out of school early. Things every young child loves, but I couldn’t enjoy myself, not like a child should. To me depression mentally hinders emotion. I can say in my 22 years of life I’ve never been able to truly express myself how I’d like.
Growing up like every other issue in my life I never discussed my depression with anyone. Over the years I learned to adapt. When things went wrong in my life I just prepared myself to sink within the Deep D. In 2011 my Grandmother “B” passed away from a diabetic stroke. My grandmother was my favorite person out of everyone in the world, because she never changed who she was. You walk into her home and she always greeted you with a huge hug, smile and asked how her “bugaboo” was doing, and then proceeded to tell you to fix you a plate. My grandmother wasn’t rich she was very far from it, but no matter what she always made sure me and my little brother were okay. Maybe cliché, but my dream growing up was to make it so that I could take care of her like she did me. I saw her as my second mother. So, losing her hurt very deeply, and to this day still does. I lost my Great Grandmother in march of 2011, and then my Grandmother in July of 2011. I was 15 at the time but felt as if I had lost everything. I sunk into a terrible depression that year. I didn’t have anyone to talk to, so I bottled it up.I tried telling myself that everything would be okay, but it wasn’t. At the time I was living in a broken home. As a result, I began searching for love and attention in all the wrong places and people.
In 2014, I joined the Army! In 2015 I was discharged from the army. This was something I prided myself in, something I wanted and loved. I was proud o be the 1% and having that taken away was devastating. After returning home, I put myself into a bubble. The person who left in 2014 wasn’t the same person in 2015. My depression became more severe, and the suicidal thoughts became more constant. I slept almost all day long, I didn’t want to go out and do anything with anyone(family included). I had shut myself out from the world. Again when reaching out for help, I was shot down. I tried talking about how I felt concerning my military discharge but no-one was listening. Here was when I learned that no-one had me like I did them.At this point, I stopped and began to write.
In 2015, I discussed with my doctor my habits and thoughts and feelings. As a result, she diagnosed me with Depression. This never came as a surprise to me because, I knew long ago. Each time something terrible has happened to me I haven’t spoken on it, I’ve kept it locked inside. Each time I sunk lower and lower. Every depressive episode from childhood until now has progressed from small and controlled to edgy and dangerous. I say I have grown in depression because from adolescence up until now depression has stuck with me, whether I wanted it to or not. I have learned to adapt to my depressive episodes. I used to search in the wrong places as an outlet to ease the process.Now, I search for a positive release. In my years of living with the “Big D’ I’ve learned that holding things in doesn’t help the cause. Also, that depression isn’t going anywhere. I can’t get rid of it because, it’s a part of me. It has been here with me through the good and the bad, all I can do is adapt. I’ve learned to turn my bad situations into positive vibes, and energy. When I feel the “Big D” closing in on me I do the opposite of what I’m feeling. I get up, I go out and I talk. I talk to anyone I know will listen. Depression is where I do most of my deep thinking and brainstorming. I can’t change my diagnosis but I can change how I approach it! How do you deal with your depression?