How One Girl Helped Herself Through Depression
It’s 1am on a Tuesday night and I’m scribbling this quote from Tumblr in my little red diary.
I started writing after a series of events occurred in my life and I needed to find a way to cope with them. A few months ago, my world started to collapse. I was always on the verge of breaking down, stressed out, and would frequently lock myself in a bathroom and cry. I didn’t know what was wrong. I just felt like no one loved me, that I was worthless, ugly, and a failure. I didn’t think anything in my life had changed to make me feel terrible all the time. Turns out, I was completely wrong. I just didn’t know it yet.
When people came up to me and asked me what was wrong, I made up lies. I told them I was fine because I thought no one would understand me. I decided I had depression and instead of telling my parents or my friends, I set out to deal with it my own way. I cried myself to sleep each night. I didn’t have the energy to work anymore, so I gave up on all schoolwork and activities. I stopped eating because of anxiety and nausea. I even cut myself because I thought that physical pain could dull the pain I felt inside. I spent many a day pushing thoughts of suicide from my mind.
None of this worked and most made me feel even worse. After about a month, I decided to tell my best friend and my parents. Knowing that someone else knew what I was going through lifted some of the weight off my chest. My parents thought it was just a phase—the typical drama of a 16-year-old teenager in high school—but they still made an appointment for me to see a therapist.
My therapist was a very sweet German lady who offered me a glass of water and candy when I came in. I sat in her office and told her that I felt sad all the time and I didn’t know why. She asked me if there was anything going on in my life that could provoke such feelings. After mulling it over, I realized that there was. I just hadn’t really wanted to admit it. I had a few bad friendships: people who used me, people who never asked me how I felt, egoists who only needed me to help them with their problems. I had issues with bullying, which led to self-loathing. My grades dropped and schoolwork stressed me out. And on top of all that, I didn’t get along with my parents. We were always fighting—that is, when they weren’t fighting with each other.
The therapist ran some tests and told me I had non-clinical depression. She said I could definitely find a way to deal with it. First of all, she suggested I remove all the negative things from my life. “Stop helping those who don’t appreciate you,” she advised me. “Don’t associate with people who make you feel bad about yourself. And lastly, have a serious talk with your parents to sort things out.”
After I followed her advice, I felt better, but it wasn’t enough. There were still times when I felt depressed. Now I knew how to deal with it. I loved music, so I would write songs to sing and play them on my guitar or piano. I sang about how broken I felt inside, or on a happier day about how I knew everything would get better. I also continued to write in my diary, where I’d pour everything that was bothering me out on paper.
While things have improved for me, I know I am not out of the woods yet. But I keep remembering all the good things that I have and all the tools the therapist taught me.
And I keep writing in my little red diary.
Eliana, 17, is a student in Madrid, Spain. If you think you might be depressed, tell someone. Anyone! Your family, your best friend, a teacher, a very sweet German therapist like Eliana's, even a total stranger who can get you professional help, via a crisis text hotline. Also? Get a diary.