In the article “Be a pillar of strength” I shared a short story of my friend who suffered depression. Like I stated in that article, Depression is a sensitive topic to me but I have decided to share my little experience.
It was my first year at the university, I struggled so hard with my studies as I moved to a new country, Canada, to study. I had issues adjusting to the system of education, it was more hands-on, I needed to learn pretty fast.
I must say, this strongly affected my self-esteem. I became less confident in myself, my abilities and my capabilities. I got sensitive to petty things. It was a hard phase for me.
Pretending was my way around things. I would smile and act happy around people, so no one could tell what I was going through. Then, when I get home I would cry myself to bed in the shields of my blanket. I was so bitter in my soul.
I couldn’t tell my parents or anyone what I was going through at that time, and this was because I didn’t know how to explain my situation. I decided to carry my cross alone, genuinely it only caused more pain. The worse of it, I fell so ill. I broke down.
I scheduled an appointment to see a doctor at the school clinic on a cold Friday, 22th of Nov. 2015 at about 9:30 am. I walked in and behold the doctor was seated as he was waiting for me and you know what, I was his first patient for the day. With a huge smile, he said “hi”. I got seated and then, he said to me, “I looked through your file already, let’s get you feeling better”. That made me smile, he made me feel hopeful.
We started talking and he became a little more concern about my studies and background. Genuinely, at this point, my burden felt too heavy to carry. I needed to pour it all out to someone, and he seemed to be the perfect person. He let me cry out my eyes and pour out my pain. I must say, he is a good listener.
When I was done talking he looked at me and said: “Mandy, this might not be what you expect to hear but I think you are depressed.” Immediately I burst into laughter and tears, such a confused state to be in. It was at this point I understood a quote from Laurell K. Hamilton’s book, Mistral’s kiss, “There are wounds that never show on the body that is deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.”
He held my hand and said, “I am here to help and support you, see me as a friend, a good friend.” He made me understand that I wasn’t the only one going through this phase. He taught me to cope with my struggles and to embrace courage.
Getting support was an essential step I took to overcoming depression, on your own can be very difficult. Keep in mind that reaching out for support and help isn’t weak but brave.
Also, studying became a part of my lifestyle. Moreso, I also learned to take time out for myself, this is needed for sanity. Keeping track of important deadlines and dates helped me handle stress. Even more, I learned to prioritize my obligations.
Note, depression drains your energy, hope and drive but taking steps will help make you or anyone going through this phase feel better. I am now psychologically, physically, mentally, emotionally, and even academically better.
Overcoming depression isn’t easy but certainly not impossible.