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The Life I Lost

By , Ardsley, NY

I remember those days when I was so innocent.  I could smile just because I wanted to, without having a reason to.  I didn’t have to worry about my future -- I could live in the present.  Now, all of that is gone.  I am a teenager now, and am forever being told that I need to “up my game”.  I am self-conscious about my body and believe I am fat, though my doctor says otherwise.  I hate my dad and cannot trust him.  For the past few years, this has all lead to one major trauma in my life. 
   

For two years now, I have suffered from depression.  I have yet to tell anybody and I refuse to get help.  Sure, battling depression all by myself is tough, but I’ve kept it to myself in fear of being called “weak”.
   

Here’s the thing.  We depressed teens are like rocks.  It’s as if we aren’t even alive.  Everyone goes on enjoying themselves -- gossiping, dating, hanging out with friends.  Meanwhile, we’re just left in the dust.
   

Those two years have been the worst two years of my life.  I would cry myself to sleep and have the worst nightmares.  My life was like something out of a horror movie.  One where the main character is swept into an eternal tornado of misery and fear that she can’t escape.  Plus, she’s in it alone. 

 

One night, I was sitting at my desk, silently crying.  I looked outside the window, and there was rain and thunder.  Lightning struck every few seconds.  I remembered how when I was younger, the bright bolts of lightning scared me so much.  I would run to my parents’ room, crying “Mommy!  Mommy!”.  My mom would take me into her warm arms and tell me not to worry -- that God was mad, and he was crying. 
   

As I looked back at this memory which seemed so long ago, I thought, “I’m an atheist”.  Suddenly, a bolt of lightning struck, and I snapped back into reality. 
   

With me, everything seems like a metaphor.  To me, at that moment, lightning became a metaphor for independence.  With little kids, thunder may scare them, but the lightning is what really gets to them.  The lightning’s what really gets them running to their “mommies”. 


In the same way, therapists and meds for depression are like thunder to kids.  They may help for some people, but for people like me who don’t even have the guts to reach out to a therapist, neither therapy nor meds help.


I represent the lightning.  Just like lightning makes all the difference in scaring kids, I make all the difference to myself.  See, I’ve realized that I am the only person able to stop myself from continuing to be depressed, and the only person who can stop myself from committing suicide.  If you’re depressed, it’s all just in your mind -- everyone has at least one thing that they can’t deny loving.  Whether it’s a person you love being with or a hobby you have… as long as you just keep being with that person or doing that hobby, I’m convinced that you’ll be okay.

 

In the long run, depression is a scar for anyone who experiences it.  You feel like everything is lost forever. 
This summer, I have been working to pick up the long-lost pieces of my life. After ditching a prestigious academic camp, I have chosen to stay on the path I love most -- music. My summer days are now spent at a music camp where I am doing what I love with the people that I love. 
       

Anyone may feel lost, but that does not mean you must be lost forever.  Though you may have lost hold of the great things that were in your life, retrace your steps, and you will find that those missing passions have not truly disappeared -- there is always a chance to get them back.
    

Just remember that as long as you keep believing that you are not depressed, you are not.  You’ve accomplished so much in your life -- it would be a shame to lose all of that, wouldn’t it?




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