The big ‘D,’ depression. It’s a heavy word. I say heavy because a lot of the times it feels like I have a carrier ship carrying carrier ships to who knows where, but they won’t get off of my chest. And other times it feels like my body is lagging three seconds behind my brain, and my brain doesn’t stop screaming until it’s exhausted and force shuts down my entire body. And after this force shut down, I wake up anywhere between two and ten hours later feeling slightly less tired than before and groggy, but thank God my brain is still rebooting because the numbness is welcome after all that screaming.
Depression makes good people feel like they’re monsters. I can tell you that from experience. Sometimes, one person, you don’t even love, will tell you, ‘you’re a monster,’ and your brain will never let it go. Because deep down, depression is controlling the part of your brain that holds onto things like that and will never let you forget that on Sunday July 27, 2013 it was your best friends 16th birthday, you were told you were on the fast track to Hell, even though you know you were innocent of all accused crimes.
But here I am, almost 4 years later, and I can still see the exact face that told me that lie, that was the mere beginning of a lot of lies I would be told from the same person, but would never forget because how they cut me, and how depression paired with anxiety, superglued them to my innermost thoughts about myself. Depression often makes you think that these things are true, even though, once you get out of that doorway you can see that it’s not true, but it’s always lingering in the window, watching you be happy. Watching you live. And it gets jealous. Then it drags you, kicking and screaming as you may, back into a house that once looked like home, back into a kitchen filled with so many good memories, and back into that bedroom that used to feel so lively painted bright blue but is now the coldest place of all, now all tainted with the awful power that is a bad person, and my own devil in my head.
I’m writing this, fresh out of what I can only describe as an episode, not quite a panic attack, but not nothing. I wanted to be real with all of you, and I want to share this with you so that maybe you can better understand me when it takes a few seconds longer for me to answer you, and so that you can better understand those around you who are going through it too. And if you’re going to be a teacher, it is very important to remember that your students are people too, and you don’t know what’s happening at home. Maybe you will never fully understand, or maybe you completely understand, either way, be gentle to those around you, because you never know what the devil on their shoulder is telling them.