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

   It is amazing how much we can hide from other ipeople. Our secrets, our desires, our loves and our feelings. I think this as I walk down the hall at school. I say "Hi" to some familiar faces and stop to talk with those I'm close to. I have a lot of good friends, all of whom I can trust, but only those friends I've had since junior high really know me. There are only two friends who know I have a "disease" called depression.

I guess it started in junior high - hiding my feelings, that is. The "experts" have many names for what was a way of life to me. I remember going to school every day and telling my friends about the fight I had had with my stepfather the night before. See, my stepfather used to hit me a lot and say some pretty bad stuff to me. And for those years that my mom and I lived with him, I would just shove down my thoughts and feelings. How could I tell someone about all of the pain, hate and anger I had inside me? I figured it would be easier if I kept it to myself and my friends.

I don't know what I would have done without my friends. They would listen to me and say how much they didn't like my stepfather. Then we would talk about beating him up. They saw how sad I was and would try to cheer me up. Only I didn't have the heart to tell them that I still hurt deep inside.

I remember at the eighth grade graduation cookout, a teacher approached me. He asked my why I always had a sad look on my face. I didn't know what to say. I wanted so badly to tell him what was happening at home, but I couldn't. Instead I laughed it off and joked around with him.

Now, it's two years since I've lived with my stepfather and I'm still depressed. It's hard to describe what it feels like. Sure, I can have a good time and be happy sometimes - usually when I'm with my best friend. But sometimes I fake it. I smile and pretend everything is OK. It's hard, but I've gotten used to it. Most of the time it feels like there is a black pit in my stomach. There are days when I feel like crying all the time.

I have tried to commit suicide because I saw no end to the pain I felt inside. I thought as soon as I got away from him everything would be OK. But that's not how it is. It's taking a long time to work through the self-doubt and the blame I placed on myself. I don't think about suicide as much as I used to; I don't want to use it as an escape.

I know that the majority of people I know think I'm just a normal kid. They don't know what goes on in my head, or in my home. They have no idea how much I've gone through and how much sadness I can feel in one day.

This depression has made my life very difficult at times. Because of it, I was kicked out of school last year. I've had to quit my job and I've gone through some pretty rough times. But it's also made me more understanding of people and a more experienced person as far as life goes. I've found the help I need through counseling and I'm faithful to Alateen. So if you hear of someone with my problem, don't cast them out; there's probably more to them than meets the eye. n

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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Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
yesterday at 4:07 pm
i love this so much!
WriterGeek<3 said...
Jan. 8, 2011 at 5:41 pm
Sorry I didn't finish my last comment. Good for you that you are trying your best to get out of depression. I know how hard it is. But one day, you should be able to wake up and smile. Try to see that life CAN be beautiful.
WriterGeek<3 said...
Jan. 8, 2011 at 5:38 pm
Note to author: I know that you are going through a tough time. But know this: You WILL make it. Everything will be ok. Stay strong. Show yourself that you can be there for yourself. There is hope, please do your best to find it.
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