You will never know when it is going to come to you—and that is the most terrifying thing about depression.
Before I knew I had it, I always thought that everything was going well for me. Of course, some problems might appear here and there, but those things were nothing to worry about. I trusted myself that I could fix them eventually. Feelings of sadness, anxiousness and confusion, were normal—as I once believed. I knew I was strong enough to tackle the hardships which I was about to face, because most people could manage to do so, anyway. Honestly, I couldn’t exactly remember the sequence of events which happened to me, and I couldn’t exactly understand anything that happened either, but at the very least I’m glad to be still alive to tell what I have experienced.
This is quite unlikely, because I have a loving family. I have a father who works really hard, and despite him not being that close to me, not having ordinary conversations or just plain chit-chat—actually quite cold, I knew that he puts all of his love for us on his work. My mom, on the other hand, is the clingy one; our relationship feels like being best friends, talking gossip and sharing secrets. Also, I’m the biggest brother apart from my three siblings, and aside from a few petty fights on some occasions, all of them would really miss me when I’m not home. I wasn’t pressured to do anything big, too. I liked joining lots of science contests when I was in elementary school, and also a few during high school, but no one ever pressured me to get a medal. My grades were decent, and it was enough to let me graduate for college. However, as I look back, I might have pressured myself a little bit because of the people who dote on me when I was still very young.
When I was still a toddler, those who knew me regarded me as an exceptional child, being able to learn basic things really quickly. I would just sit down at libraries and read for hours. My mom would even get mad at me for camping in our house library, as I messed up the books which I painstakingly shoveled from the very back of the bookshelves. I skipped a year of kindergarten, because they said that it was already too easy for me. But most of all, as I grew up, having medals here and there, people were telling me things, like having potential and stuff. I guess, it was ingrained into me that I should be achieving, doing more things than what I was currently doing at that time. I thought—I was underachieving. I guess it was my fault, too. I was pressuring myself, and I wasn’t aware of it. I cried to tears when I got my first substandard grade, and I cried even more after horribly failing my research subject during high school. I would then just douse my stress with video games, playing for hours, days, and weeks, all while seeking achievement in something virtual.
Although, it was nothing detrimental. I thought everything will be fine. I went into college, getting all enthusiastic and excited, not knowing the hell and horrors which entail in the future. Ever since, I was never good at handling with my anxiety. I would just think about it again and again, theorizing on how to fix my damn problems and forming resolutions in my head. It was all okay at first; my mom was there beside me to help me cope with it mentally. However, when I moved into the capital city where my college’s at, I was then all alone. Apart from that, it felt really claustrophobic living in a college dorm. You can’t go out at night, so I really missed doing late-night strolls like I did back home. It’s really noisy for my standards; hundreds of students in a single building, so noise was inevitable. However, what I feared the most, is how I would manage my funds, because living in the city is really expensive. Actually, my family is quite poor. All of my parents’ income are being put into me and my siblings’ education, and thus, we have been living in ‘wooden shacks’ for so long, because we thought that having a good house wasn’t necessary. After my grandparents died, we moved there to live; the place was old, but at least, it’s better than a shack. Only recently that we had a concrete house, after our neighbor helped us with the construction. I never had my own room; I only shared with my siblings, and we would just study and play together in a single room. Food is really cheap in our province, which was totally different from the city. I was struggling with my budget, and I told my dad about it, so he was giving me some extra allowance for my sake. Yet, I couldn’t stop thinking about how much he has been giving me, and I was worried that he might overwork himself just to give me this extra money, and I couldn’t sleep because of that.
As I grew weary from my studies and daily worrying, my dorm bills stacked up, and I have been receiving notes on my door, telling me to pay, whenever I got back from my classes. I didn’t like the dorm’s scheme on food catering, because everyone was forced to pay a monthly due for some shitty food, with meal times at strict schedules. The fact is, my schedule conflicts with the meal schedules, and I would just eat outside every time and spend a whole lot more. Those notes about unpaid dues appear on my door with increasing frequency, and since then, I would feel really scared and anxious every time I go back to my room. Every single time I turn along the boys’ hallway, it feels like checking if there’s a gun ready and pointed at you or not. Months passed and I never got to pay those dues, because I thought didn’t want my parents to overwork—a horrible mistake on my part.
One night, while I was studying, I received a knock on my door. I expected it to be a friend, but it was the dorm manager, calling me to her office. At that moment, I was extremely terrified. I was never good at handling my anxiousness, and my fear levels at that time was beyond measure. She then told me that a letter will been sent to my parents about my bills, if I couldn’t pay it in time. I knew it was the death of me. After I came back to my room, I just lied down on my bed, with my face up, and just stared at the ceiling for hours. Ever since, I was afraid to see that person again. I would cut all my classes, just to avoid going out to the lobby, where her office is located at. I skipped my meals. I locked my door 24/7. I would think about it again and again and again and again, making scenarios on how to pay my bills. I would sometimes cry at night, feeling completely worthless and helpless. I never talked to my parents about it. I was really scared and afraid, yet I told them that everything is okay. Every single day locked up in my room for three months, feeling like a worthless piece of shit, and then—I thought, that I didn’t want to live anymore. I thought that I failed such a petty task; that I failed on something so simple. It wasn’t cancer or anything life-threatening, but I knew I was fucked up and had nowhere to go. And then I did something pretty terrible. I don’t want to speak about it yet; I don’t think I’m ready. But eventually it got paid by my parents, and I went home with more terrible things happening. It was then that my parents found out about my depression, and they haven’t even understood it yet, even after knowing it. Lots of shit happening. I don’t remember most of it anymore, because I become extremely irrational whenever I go down into another episode of depression.
Until now, I’m still suffering from it. I took a break from college, hoping everything will be fine. I got a doctor, and I’m about to undergo therapy and medication.
Before I end this ‘vent’, I’ll make it clear about the point of all of this text I’m writing. Depression is life-threatening. It’s not cancer, it’s not AIDS, or anything close to it, but don’t take depression lightly just because it’s a mental thing.
Depression is a mental disability. It is the lack of will to live. It is the brain going into a depressive train wreck. You don’t know it, but depression makes living a real pain, and it takes an immense amount of willpower to keep on living. However, as a depressed individual, we don’t want you to understand us. You just might end up misunderstanding and doing more harm. Anyway, you don’t have to. We don’t even understand ourselves with it. All we want you to do, is to appreciate us. That’s all I want, really.
As I am typing these final words, I never thought I would shed tears, even though I have Clair de Lune playing as my background music (really). I’m crying because I thought about my parents and siblings who love me very much, and that they would miss me really much and cry a lot if I ended myself. I thought about my teachers who told me to never give up, because I knew that they believed in me. I thought about my best friends, who really helped me when I told them that I had depression, because I knew that they really cared. And last of all, I thought about myself, that it wasn’t really worth it if I ended my life back then, because during when I’m depressed, I could never think about all the good things in life that I failed to notice before, which I would then regret in the afterlife.
I might not be happy now, but at the very least, I’m a little bit happy for all the help that these people gave me. They are the wonderful things in life, I admit. That’s why I hope to live even more, and make them happy, with my own efforts, in return.
Special thanks to Franklin, Ryan, Nikko, and LIM. You, bitches, are the best.