I was very young when I moved out of my parents place. I finally had the time and space to process the things that had happened for the past couple of years. I could finally be free from the shackles of the past and although it might sound very cliché, I finally had the opportunity to do some soul-searching. I enjoyed my new-found freedom and dived into the world. I absorbed everything I saw and experienced, enjoyed everything new and did new and exciting stuff I had never considered before. After all those years I finally felt truly free.
But I would also often find myself lonely in bed with a mind full of thoughts in my too small and too expensive student room. My school attendance became less and less , I slept in more and more and sometimes I wouldn’t wake up before early in the evening. As a consequence it became harder and harder to fall asleep at night and my sleep rhythm got worse and worse. I really considered ending it all but my fear of God and hell prevented me from doing this. And all the time, I told myself: tomorrow is going to be different! Tomorrow I’ll get up on time! Tomorrow I’ll go to school! Tomorrow it’s going to be alright!
I became more and more depressed and felt really shitty. I got panic attacks and eventually started using antidepressants. Unfortunately I needed more and more of them, which made me gain a lot of weight. I became very unhappy about myself.
I had to repeat the second year of my study because I had failed a lot of subjects. I moved to another place where I started living with five roommates, which was much more intense than before. This was a very nice place to live. My roommates sometimes forced me to get out of bed. That way I would manage to carry on with my day, although I would still wear my sweatpants instead of dressing myself properly. And still I would keep thinking: tomorrow it’s going to be different!
During this time I got professional help, which was very helpful. I did the study Social Work in which the first year was mostly dedicated to the questions “Who am I?” and “Where am I coming from?”. There was a lot of synergy going on between thinking about these questions and the professional help I received to deal with my depression. I always felt about my school as a safe, trusted space where I would find a sense of belonging and security. But although I really had people close to me, I still felt lonely and didn’t think anyone really knew how I was feeling. Either that or they wouldn’t know how to deal with me.
Slowly I was able to shake off my depression. I went to school more often, went outside more and stopped using antidepressants. Looking back at this period of my life it seems like there was a haze hanging over my life. It’s only looking back that I can really identify this time as a very bad time for me. I left this period in my life behind me and am able to enjoy life again, maybe even more because I still remember the times when I wasn’t able to do so. I am more aware of signals telling me I’m not doing fine at the moment so I know to take care of myself. In hindsight this time feels ‘necessary’, as I became stronger because of it. I’m happy with the chance to change myself, with who I am and that I’m able to be myself.
I think depression is being underestimated by many. It’s very fierce and intense and it’s really completely different from the sentences you often hear like “I also have days I’m feeling a bit down” or “Be more positive”. Those people have a completely wrong image of depression in my eyes. I really hope that in the future there is more attention for depressed people and that this website can help people to find the proper professional help they need.