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The Depression This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   There has never been one particular moment of crisis in my life. There have been moments when things looked more bleak than imaginable, but never any all-out crisis. I've never realized that my whole life is without meaning. I've never lost all my winnings in a single game of pitch-and-toss. I've never gotten so lost in the Paris metro system that I found myself on a train to Cannes. My whole life has been rather tranquil.

There was, however, one period in my life when it looked like all doors were closed to me, that I had no true friends, and that there was no one to accompany me on this long road through life. This happened about three years ago and lasted a good nine months - or a bad nine months, to be more accurate. I never did figure exactly what pulled me out of my depression, as I call it, or for that matter, what originally sent me spiraling into it.

I had always been a social outcast. I'd like to think that it was because I was so much more advanced than the other children. In retrospect, I know that was not the case. Intellectually, I continue to be far ahead of my peers, as I was then. Socially, however, I was probably years behind the others. I had learned to share, to behave, to be nice. I had not, however, learned the dynamics of a healthy social circle, and because I could not play by the proper rules, I was not allowed to play at all. I was utterly and completely without a social circle; no one to lean on in times of need. After years of standing up straight and ignoring the laughter behind my back, something happened.

This is the fuzzy thing that I can't define. It was probably a cocktail of adolescent hormones, maladjustment to my best friend moving away, family ties, and other issues that I've since blocked out. Whatever it was, it absolutely sent me careening over the edge. I started spending a lot of time in my room. I never went out, except to see a movie alone or walk the anonymous mall by myself. My head was so full of different issues that fuzzed in and out of focus. Sometimes things would blow themselves completely out of proportion, and crush me under their imagined weight and gravity. Fortunately, these issues have since faded into insignificance. What I needed in order to work through and process all these affairs was time.

The depression left as mysteriously as it had come. Suddenly, things didn't seem so bad. I cleared away most of my mental baggage. My adolescent hormones were coming under control. I started to value myself as a human being again. People started to appreciate me more. I was advancing socially and the masses were learning to value me as a person. I realized somehow that I did love my family, and that they loved me back.

My tale hardly compares to being pinned under a fruit cart, or a chandelier crashing down into a crowded opera house, but it's been the one big crisis in my life. I liken it to a sort of Middle Ages. It bridges the time when I was a social outcast who sneered at the rest of society and was vaguely content doing it, and the time when I found my niche, and started being happy again. c


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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