Fighting Depression

That hole in my heart is big.

Sometimes it feels like living a double life. There’s the public face when I’m with other people. She looks normal, and happy,  sociable even, and will just strikes conversations with strangers. And then there’s that private side that cries daily in my room, that feels like she’s wearing a mask when out in public alone.

The single fighter in me is being called back from retirement. And she’s not happy about it.

Life’s a battle.

Today I bought the same body spray that he has, haha, and then I used it as air freshener. At first I was wondering, if it will smell the same. And then…it hit me hard. It smells just like him. It’s a little comforting to smell it again, but mostly heart-wrenching.

Now I’m just waiting until night time, when, presumably some family discussion will take place. I really, really want to go there in December. My mom doesn’t think it’s a good idea, but I kept telling her how much this means to me, in terms of my mental health too. I don’t want to keep crying day after day. I don’t know if I managed to convince her. I have no idea what my dad will say. Asians: You can be 23, but even if you have your own money (and I don’t have much), you still have to consult your parents.

And now I don’t know what I can bring myself to do other than cry until night falls. There’s probably still another 9-10 hours to go. And if it goes badly…I really don’t know what I should do. Maybe I’ll take up the job and push on stubbornly. Nobody can know what I feel other than myself.

I don’t want to go back to that hellhole of a depression. I feel like I’m teetering on the edge, and having a solution in the near future (4 months instead of 7) will be my redemption. I don’t want to go back to thinking about killing myself. Ever. It was in the past, many, many years ago, and it was unpleasant. I feel like I’m headed back there fast. If I’m the only one left that can save myself, I would. I’m never going back there.

Four months is something my brain can comprehend. Any more, and I have a feeling I won’t survive. Or at least a part of me would die.

The big question is, can you ever fully recover from depression? I want to be hopeful and say yes, but I’m not so sure. Of course, instead of the big boulder that was in the way, now there are only pebbles. Sharp ones, and they’re growing bigger everyday, but still not a boulder.

It changes you forever.

Another sucky part about being depressed apart from, well, being depressed, is the stigma attached to it, and the lack of understanding from people. Many don’t think it’s a disease, despite evidence to the contrary. It changes your brain. The brain’s wired differently and the brain’s cocktails are messed up. People who don’t understand give out advice easily: “Take a chill pill,” “Be grateful for what you have,” “Others suffer more than you,” “Pray,” etc. The problem is that it puts the blame on the sufferer. It doesn’t help. It makes the sufferer feels worse about him/herself, and about the advice giver, but mostly about him/herself.

When I talk about my depression, I don’t seek advice. I only wish for a sliver of understanding. Most of the times, I don’t talk about it. It took me many years to tell my mom. In fact, I only managed to explain how I feel about it to her today. Depression’s stigma is all the more in Asian countries, at least that’s how I find it to be. In Germany, people are generally more understanding and accepting of the fact that it is a disease.

Even if we get better, some battle scars are forever. I can’t imagine being happy-go-lucky like I did many years before the onset of my depression. Don’t get me wrong, I did get better. During the first couple of years, I had anxiety of taking on new commitments and new activities. Only this year I try to be less passive and to be braver, because I know I can do more than just studying. I*need* to do more than just studying, that’s how I unwind. But the mood swings, the cryings, had never really gone away.

They found Robin Williams dead today, suspected of suicide, after a long battle with depression and alcohol and drug problems. I don’t really have an alcohol problems, they’re expensive here, and I’m always scared of getting drunk, so I don’t. I don’t have a drug problem, since I don’t even have access to drugs. But depression. It just made me feel sad, thinking about how a great man had lost a battle with depression. It makes me feel sad reading articles about it, thinking about how lonely and how depressed he must have felt, for many, many years, before succumbing to depression.

It makes me wonder, will I be able to avoid a similar fate?

I don’t feel like taking a risk. I want to know I will be really happy at the end of the year. I don’t want my thoughts to get taken over by depression again. I can grow stronger and more independent during the semester, but I need a reprieve too.

Love,
Hope

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