I’m depressed and I can’t stop talking about it. When I was 19 and in my first semester of my sophomore year, my mother was arrested right in front of me. Instead of telling the people around me what happened, I kept quiet.
I pretended. Social media became a place of solace for me, a place where I could take the best parts of my life and put them out for the world to see. Online, I could be the person I wanted to be, the person who didn’t cry herself to sleep every night, who didn’t have panic attacks in the school bathroom. I was ashamed of who I’d become. I was afraid of being pitied. The people who knew always gave me this look —widened eyes and sadness.
It was a look that said, “poor thing,” a look that said, “I’m so glad that’s not me.” By that point, I’d gotten quite good at pretending.In 2016, I left my life in New York City behind in search of something better. Something more. I always joke that living in New York was kind of like being in a cult. You’re blinded by its flaws until you’re not and then that’s all you see.
Regardless of all the pain I’d gone through, I can’t for the life of me remember the day I knew I had to leave. I suppose it was instantaneous. I suppose it was because I couldn’t hide from the facts anymore. I have depression and New York wasn’t helping. After a particularly hard month, I went home and booked a flight to Zurich.
I thought that I’d go on a trip for two weeks and then I’d come back, cured.What was supposed to be two weeks turned into two years. I’m still suffering from depression but I no longer suffer in silence. I had this realization that if I truly wanted to be loved and love myself, I had to tell people what was going on with me. When I told my boyfriend that I have depression, he didn’t give me the look.
Instead, he said: ‘So do I. We can get through this together.’And we do, every single day. As millenials, we try to be open about ourselves but there’s a sense of perfection that we try to convey on our social media platforms. We need to rid ourselves of that burden of perfection; we need to be open and honest—real. It’s the only way to stop the stigma, the only way to heal.
I don’t act like living in a new country has cured me or try to convince myself that, somehow, New York City was all to blame. I let the sadness wax and wane. I lean into it, take the hits as they come. I’m depressed and that’s okay.
Depression was the wave that almost broke me. It didn’t succeed And it won’t. So, I’m depressed and I can’t stop talking about it.