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Depression is a funny thing.

It comes out of nowhere and strikes like a viper on the prowl. One minute, I’m enjoying school and the next my entire mood changes just because a professor didn’t like the structure of my research paper. Suddenly, I’m holding back the tears and panic that are raging inside me, just wanting to be released. But no, I can’t, not in school, not in a classroom of my peers. However, as soon as I get in my car, I let it all out. As I drive down Morris Ave., tears rush down my cheeks as I try to continue breathing between sobs. I get home and no one is there. Part of me is relieved as I climb up the stairs to my bedroom. There, in those four walls, I am completely myself, a side no one gets to see. I let out every emotion until there is nothing left to give. Then, although I have so much homework and reading to do that it makes me nervous to just think about it, I just lay in bed. I pride myself on my 4.0 GPA, but I can’t bring myself to concentrate. My mind is too broken down that it can’t work properly to write my short story or do my math homework. I fear I am entering the “Dark Times,” as I call my depression/anxiety filled episodes. Last time, it was so bad, my parents begged me to drop out of college because they felt “no degree was worth losing your sanity.” I have to agree with them, but I decided to stick with it and power through. However, now I’m not so sure. Maybe my mental obstacles are too much for me to overcome and ultimately they will win.

One thing I know for sure, they have won today.

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About woodh2013

I'm the girl that's named after the famous city of lights and cameras, but am too shy to talk to the kid sitting next to me in class. I'm the girl that blasts opera while I commute to and from school, but is in the crowds of rock shows on Friday nights. I'm the girl who can't draw to save her life, but takes beautiful pictures. I'm the girl who worries about everything, even when things aren't so bad. I can't be put in a box, so you want to know more? Read my work.

4 responses to “Depression is a funny thing.

  1. Oh Holly. Do you know they have councilors right here on campus for free? I go every Thursday after class, and it really isn’t as intimidating as it seems. My therapist Felice has really helped me gain strength and resolve–and a wonderful thing called medication. No so much for the depression, but man, anxiety is the worst! It is so damn debilitating. The medication really helped with that immensely. It is so much better for your work if you aren’t on edge all the time.

    But I am glad you are posting it here! I always have a policy about being open in my life, because really, what is there to hide? A lot of people go through depression, and I think the more people openly talk about it, the more we can loosen the stigma against treatment.

    I know seeking help seems like giving up. It is so scary thinking about it. But doing it anyway is so, so goddamned brave. You may lose your familiar crutches in the process but I promise you, I promise you, you will gain brand new legs to walk on.

    • woodh2013

      Mackenzie! This was so sweet of you! I literally wrote this because I was so upset that I just needed an outlet. The funny thing is I do use the counseling center on campus, I don’t like to admit it to people, but your openess seems to be contagious. It has helped me immensely! If you would had seen me last Fall semester, oh my, it would have been a completely different impression. Back then, my anxiety was so bad, I would cry in school. I’m trying to get past it, but with anxiety and depression, I feel it is a daily struggle that you can’t get past, but learn to deal with. It’s been a journey, but I’m proud of how far I’ve come. That being said, I still have my bad days, where no matter what, I just wake up and the day seems lost, but as is life I suppose! Thank you very much for your comment it was nice of you to be so open and offering help. I really appreciate it. 🙂

  2. Holly, I think it takes a tremendous amount of courage to express in writing the kinds of feelings that you just described. I can say in total honesty that I have been exactly in that spot…many many times…and not once did I have the mental strength to sit down and express those demons in writing, let alone in writing for a class of my peers. I think that is so incredibly brave. Also, can we just talk a minute about your 4.0 GPA?! That is friggen awesome! Ok, I’ll calm down now- I just get really excited by academic achievement. My gpa is slightly less impressive, but it’s still something that I care deeply about spend a lot of energy maintaining. And so, believe me when I tell you I’ve SO been there- a test score in a single class can literally make or break my week, and sometimes the pressure and anxiety and self-doubt of it all can reach densities of cataclysmic proportion. I too have considered throwing up my hands and dropping everything that I’ve worked so hard to attain; in those times it has felt like none of it really matters as much as just getting my panicking heart to stop racing ten million miles a minute and being able to breathe one good, calm breath of air . I’ve come VERY close to doing just that- throwing my hands up and walking away- quite a few times. I actually took a semester off during my second year at Kean, fleeing to a Buddhist ashram in West Virginia and staying there for 3 weeks in the last of a series of ditch-efforts to screw my head back on straight…but that’s a story for a different time. Anyway, my point is, what I see when I see you is a wellspring of strength, passion, and determination- just listening to you read your short story out-loud for the first time in class when we all barely knew each other is proof of that! Furthermore, if I can hold it together and get through overcoming my mental obstacles (and believe me, I have A LOT of them) with each new day that passes, then you sure as hell can, too! 😉

    • woodh2013

      Oh man Nina, the feels, you got me right in the feels! Your comment, I don’t even know what to say. You say you haven’t written out your emotions of when you go through an “episode” as I say, but this comment was so open. It makes me feel so much less insane that other people feel the way I do. I don’t talk about it often, most of my closest friends do not know, but my depression and anxiety really plague a lot of my days, mostly in school, a somehow main trigger. I was always like a nervous person, but once I got to college and was away from my small town and tight-knit class of 73 students in high school, it was like my mental capacity just imploded. For a while, things were really bad. I can’t even bring myself to write about it because just even mentioning it is tough. However, I’ve been trying to work through it with the counseling center on campus, and I have gotten so much help and worked my way up from where I was. Everyday is a struggle, but some days are worse than others and this was a particularly bad day. Thank you for your complimenting my GPA 🙂 I guess a plus you can say of my anxiety is that I have a really irrational fear of getting bad grades. . . so it causes me to be like crazy XD. Thank you for also being so open. Again, it helps so much that I’m not the only one with these feelings! The last thing I want to say is I don’t know how you deal with your emotions now, but if you ever want a place to turn, the counseling center is really good. Everyone is very sweet and everything is completely confidential. Honestly, if it wasn’t on campus, I probably wouldn’t be in college anymore! I just want to say thank you one more time because your comment was very sweet 🙂

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