May is Mental Health Awareness Month. I am one of the millions of Americans who live with depression. Depression is much more than just sadness. The inability to experience pleasure has been the most debilitating symptom of depression. During my hardest days, I just wanted to sleep all day long. When you want to sleep all day, it’s impossible to enjoy life.
The most challenging element of depression for me was that it caused me to lose interest in everything. There were times when I didn’t want to eat and just wanted to sleep. My appetite is still not what it used to be before I developed depression. Typically, I don’t eat full meals anymore. Instead, I eat small amounts throughout the day. I’m not as hungry as I used to be. Some days I have to remind myself that I need to eat.
Currently, the symptoms of my depression are less severe but are present. I still don’t enjoy many activities like I used to, but blogging has given me an interest to enjoy again. I also enjoy using social media to connect with people.
The COVID-19 pandemic also affected my mental health. In 2020, I missed seeing my friends and family more than anything. It saddened me that I couldn’t see my aunts, uncles, and cousins for Christmas. Christmas wasn’t the same without seeing everyone. I always look forward to our annual Christmas gathering. I even missed going Christmas shopping at the mall.
COVID-19 has also limited my ability to go out. Before the pandemic, I enjoyed going out to the movie theater and restaurants. In the past two years, I’ve only been to the movie theater twice, and I rarely eat in restaurants anymore.
I hope that I get to enjoy my education more this fall as well. Remote learning doesn’t work well for me. I missed eating lunch in the dining hall and studying in the library. I couldn’t connect with my peers as much on Zoom either. Doing group projects over Zoom proved to be very difficult. It was also hard to focus on my coursework remotely. My peers were very distracting too.
I plan to attend the local community college and major in English this fall. I hope that transferring to the community college will help me enjoy school more. Logistical challenges at my first university were very stressful for me.
Depression is challenging to live with. I am living life one day at a time right now. Everybody goes through tough times in their life. Life is a journey for all of us, and we are all only human. I am lucky to be surrounded by a loving family and my best friends, who make every day easier for me.
Bousquet, Carol. “May Is Mental Health Awareness Month.” Maine Public Radio, Maine Public Radio, 8 May 2022, https://www.mainepublic.org/health/2022-05-08/may-is-mental-health-awareness-month.