CRIER NARRATIVE: Wait a little longer

Alison Lee, Copy Editor

March 4, 2020. I looked forward to going to my first choir trip to Nashville, attend DECA Internationals and study abroad at Spain. I didn’t really think anything would interfere with that. Then the choir trip was cancelled. IUHPFL was cancelled. DECA Internationals was cancelled. We found out my grandma had come in contact with patient zero in South Korea. Then a week later, we got the announcement that school was shutting down for two weeks. It felt like my world was ripping apart at the seams. 

As I sat home alone, isolation caught up to me. I lost motivation to exercise, go outside, do something creative. YouTube, TikTok and Instagram sucked me in, and my eyes rarely left a glowing blue screen. My eyes were glued to the news of Asian Americans being attacked, my heart was filled with fear for my mom every time she went to the grocery store and my body ached from the hard reality of racism. The Black Lives Matter movement truly opened my eyes, and it was a hard process to admit my own shortcomings and reeducate myself. 

Having all this time to myself brought up many things I never addressed. What do I really want to do with my life; am I enjoying what I’m doing in school; how am I fulfilling myself? The thoughts I always pushed to the back of my mind came crawling forward, and I drowned in them. 

Junior year of high school is an extremely important year, since it’s the year before submitting college applications. I aimed to be the best student possible, get good grades and truly show what I am capable of. However, I never accounted for my depression.

If you’ve never had depression before, you won’t know what it’s like. To attempt to put it into perspective, I cried at least five times every day and had a mental breakdown at least once a week. My thoughts run 24/7 with degrading, hopeless thoughts. I haven’t been able to get a therapist, so I always told myself to show up with a smile, and wait a little longer. 

As I waited, I saw my grades slip letter by letter, my screen time tick up by the hour, and my thoughts were soon filled with horrible thoughts of worthlessness. I felt horribly trapped, and lost all hope. 

It’s getting better, and I’m learning to be more kind to myself. I’m learning to let myself cry, and to be proud of myself once in a while. I’m learning to take breaks, and I’m still fighting. I wish I could give a happy ending, but this part of my story isn’t over yet. Many people’s depression doesn’t end in a poof. It does get better, but healing isn’t linear. So I encourage you, if you know someone suffering from depression, check up on them everyday, even if it’s for the next five years, and realize that one good day isn’t a guarantee of more good days to come.