Alone For a Moment

November 8, 2007
By Nikita Maxam, Fredericksburg, VA

When a person hears the fact that almost every individual has met someone that was depressed, and did not even realize it, I would have to agree. Emotional depression is a serious matter in these days, and is a lot more common than people would normally expect. Suicide is a way a lot of depressed people find a “way out,” and even though it sounds like a complete irrational decision, this solution may be the only thing that the person thinks is right. I simply know this, not because someone had to tell me, but because I know numerous people that are depressed, or at one point were. When you overhear that depression is something that occurs to people when they give up and abruptly tell themselves they can not go on, you are dearly mistaken. What I have come to find out, from a first hand experience, is that everyone has a breaking point. No matter who you are, regardless of what anyone says, you are going to break one day. I can recall certain times that I hit my breaking point pretty hard. It felt as if I hit a wall while I was running at it; full speed.

The first time I realized I was depressed was my sophomore year in high school. I always felt down, and nothing could cheer me up. At first, I tried to hide it and avoid it by all means; in turn it actually whiplashed, and hit me in the face. I did not want people to know what I was going through or how I was feeling. I assumed that if anyone found out they would think less of me, that I could not handle problems that society goes through everyday in life. Before I experienced being depressed I saw movies and shows on television, or watched the news that would talk about suicide and how another person took their own life. I used to think, “Wow, how could anyone do that? How could someone take their own life and be okay with it? They missed out on the rest of their life.” Thinking this, I came to a conclusion that people who committed such a crime were simply weak and could not handle the pressure that people deal with everyday. Boy was I wrong. But on top of that, if my parents were to find out how I was feeling…that would have been horrible. Not because they would know; because I was afraid of letting them down. Then there comes a time and point at which each depressed person breaks and can not handle anymore. I got to a point where I convinced myself that everything and everyone around me was horrible. I did not want anything to do with anyone.

I remember coming home one day and just breaking down. I did not know what to do. I tried telling myself that I had nothing to cry about; that there were other people out there in the world that had far less than anything I had; I should be grateful. I did not care about all of the things I possessed. I would try to talk to a friend about being depressed, but she would simply respond with “But how can you feel so depressed when your parents buy you everything you could possibly want?” I could not bring myself to words to explain all the anger and emotions I had felt inside. I was like a ticking time bomb. School seemed to be something to get me through the day, but nothing to look forward to. Life seemed so bland; all I had on a normal day’s schedule was school, and swimming. With swimming I felt like I was at a stand still; none of my times were improving, and whenever I went to practice I did not even attempt to try. It seemed un-necessary and something I did just to waste time. So I told myself, those nine years I threw away my social life for the pool-- had come back to haunt me. And need I remind you, I was about fourteen or so at this time, and everything that got thrown at me seemed to be chaotic. But do not get me wrong, I am not saying I was over reacting; because I definitely had a reason for feeling the way I did. School was boring and it seemed as if I had no “real” friends. I kept telling myself “Sure these people call themselves my friends, but do they really know anything about me at all?” If I told them how I felt, they would say something along the lines of “Gee, are you okay?” and pretend to actually have an understanding of what I was going through. Swimming- something that I once loved; turned into my enemy. I was fighting with myself everyday at practice, and I think once it gets to that point you need a break. My parents and I would fight over the dumbest things and seemed to be at war every time we spoke. I felt like the only way out was locking myself in a room and secluding myself. That was the day I had the “bright” idea of taking a handful of pain killers. I had no idea what the consequences could have been; I just took a deep breath, and swallowed them. I remember freaking out a bit afterwards when I realized everything seemed to be a blur to me. I called the only person I thought I could trust- my friend, Caitlyn. I told her what I had done and how scared I was. She assured me I would be okay as long as I ate, drank water, and stayed awake. So I did just that, all while I was crying my heart out on the phone with her. And, reaching out to her was a good decision. Without talking to someone about it, I could have harmed myself even more. I told myself I was done feeling remorse for myself and I needed to suck up whatever life threw at me.

So, great idea pushing all my feelings to the side, right? Nope. Ever since then, I have always felt a little depressed from time to time; nothing ever to big to worry about. But again, in my junior year, I had another break down. A pretty bad one at that. I remember coming home one day and arguing with my mom; for once I actually told her how I felt- pitiful. I guess really letting her know my true feelings hurt her; all she could do was cry and tell herself how she failed at being a good mother. This was not something I wanted to hear, and it was exactly why I did not tell her earlier. What I thought would happen, happened. I felt like I let her down and seeing her cry and in pain, just made me feel less of myself. I ran up to my bathroom, shut the door, turned off the light, sat there and cried. I do not know how long I was up there, but all I did was tell myself how useless I was and how bad of a person I became. I was tired of everything going on, nothing seemed to make me smile. While I was crying, my mom felt the need to call one of my best friends because she obviously could not get through to me. The next thing I knew, a good friend of mine was calling me on my cell worried about me. I told her everything. How I felt, why I felt that way, and how I just wanted to be left alone. She informed me that being left alone is not always the best idea. Talking about it with someone who would just listen gave me a feeling of relief; some people I tried to go to for advice before, acted as if they did not want to hear it. Taking for instance, my dad. Whenever I tried to tell him, he would blow it off. Not because he did not care; I think he just did not want to hear it. Who would want to hear their daughter talking about how they hated life anyways?

Who am I to blame? There really is not one person I can pin-point it on. It is a hard time in life that more people than you would expect go through each and every day. If you ever feel like you or someone you know is depressed, find help. Do not put it aside and assume it will go away, because in some cases they get worse. You can visit, or call this suicidal hotline at 1-800-784-2433. Depression is like a lethal spider bite. You might feel it coming on when you first get bit, but not doing anything for the wound just makes it worse.

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