In the past several years, I have developed depression. You don’t plan to become depressed, and it’s not something that gets better overnight. A lifetime of ableism has led to depression, and feeling unworthy of living life. I never thought I’d develop depression. I thought depression only happened to people who came from unstable homes or trauma victims. I learned the hard way that depression can affect anybody.
Thankfully, with the help of my incredible family, friends, medicine, and weekly therapy, I am slowly getting better. Depression is a challenging condition to deal with. Depression can make getting through the day seem impossible.
During the height of my depression, I felt like I had very little control over my emotions. I would become angry and sad at the slightest mistake or argument. I have always been a perfectionist, but this was different. There were nights when I would cry myself to sleep. I would delete my friends on social media. Thankfully, my friends understood my struggles and stuck by me when I needed them. One morning I was so upset that I knocked over a bowl of cereal while crying hysterically. I was doing things that I wouldn’t do if I weren’t depressed.
If all had gone according to plan, I’d be finishing my senior year of college right now and graduating with a BA in communication. Life gets in the way of the most well-laid plans, which is okay. Now, I’m on a journey to find out what other paths might be available to me, such as community college courses or employment. I have filled out numerous job applications and have applied to the local technical college.
Depression made me not find joy in anything anymore, which is definitely the most challenging part of depression for me. There were days when I just wanted to sleep all day and didn’t want to eat. I didn’t find joy in doing schoolwork anymore which was a sign that I needed help managing my depression. The shift to online learning certainly didn’t help with getting that joy back. I missed eating lunch in the dining hall and staying after school to work on the college newspaper or in the library. Unsupportive faculty also made the college experience frustrating and led to my depression and anxiety worsening.
In 2020, due to the pandemic, I also missed seeing my extended family and going out. Almost two years later, going out in public still feels uncomfortable. I continue to wear a mask in public and avoid crowds. Depression might have forced me to change my path right now, but it’s okay. I’m living one day at a time. If I feel relaxed and calm at the end of the day, it’s been a good day.
I’m 22-years-old and working on becoming a better writer and advocate for disabled people. My dream is to become a writer and share stories with the world through writing and poetry. I see myself working in public speaking, journalism or freelancing. Changing paths in life doesn’t make somebody worthless. Life is a journey for all of us, and we are all only human.