Monday, November 14, 2011

Nola's Story

 Happiness is an interesting concept and emotion. What does it take for someone to ‘become’ happy? As a person who has suffered with severe depression for 7 years, I have been in some dark places, longing to experience this ‘happiness’.
 Over this past year, at least I began injuring myself to an extent where scars are left, I have cried often, and I frequently looked like I had just rolled out of bed. I felt miserable. I felt my existence was not needed. At home, I was just an extra mouth to feed, at school, I was just another students paper to grade, and to my friends, I was either invincible and could take care of all their problems for I had no emotions, or I was an overload of emotions. The idea of just ending it all was such a beautiful thought for me. For once, I wouldn’t be just baggage, I would be valued by so many, I would be missed, and I would be wanted. Soon I became convinced that happiness was an elusive utopia in the mental mind, it did not actually exist. It was as unattainable as the stars in the night sky. I had a few plans to just end it. I would make it look like an accident so I wouldn’t cause too much guilt (but just enough so people would regret ignoring me or regret taking me for granted). Most likely though a car accident. That seemed random enough right? I don’t know exactly what triggered all my depression and stuff. Maybe it was the death of friends and family members? Or maybe the breaking up with a boyfriend of two years? Or maybe, just the fact of a chemical in balance in my brain. Whatever had started this- was only worsening with time. It was controlling my life. I sat in my room alone for hours upon hours watching TV. Isolating myself from the world. Break off relationships with people. For if you know no one, you will be hurt by no one. In this time, conflict began with my mother and I. Frustration boiled over and a majority of our relationship was demolished. However, if someone gave me the chance to go back and change everything and live a life free of depression, I would kindly refuse.
 Despite the scars, the emotional and mental pain, and the broken relationships, I have become a strong person. And through all of this, I have met the most amazing people. One person who I have become particularly close with is someone who I have known for a majority of my life, we never really talked. And by never really- well- we just never did talk. There is no way getting around that fact. We were from different sides of the track. She was the take control, and do, as I like; I was the quiet and obedient girl. However, 12 years later, we’re practically at the same place. Sharing a common love of ASL, we would go on adventures, we worked a talent show together, and- then she disappeared. 6 months later, she is back in my life- but has changed immensely. She’s become someone I don’t recognize, but I will never forget or regret the memories and fun we had, even if that’s all. I hope that we fix our relationship and can go back to what it was before she disappeared, but- it will be hard. I’m ready however to work at it. The next relationship that I have made is the polar opposite of me. Yet she has become my best friend. She has taught me many things, exposed me to a different life style, and has shown me such strength and determination through her actions. I would never give up my friendship with her, not for a million dollars. We laugh together, cry, scream, and stalk boyfriends together. She is beautiful on the inside and out, I just wish I could show her how lucky I am to have her. Lastly, there is my guardian angel. This person is difficult for me to talk about and explain fully. I can’t really describe the relationship with words- I can’t even do it with painting. I just- can’t. I wrote thank you letters, random letter, ‘whats-up-I’m-bored” letters, but however many letters I write I can’t seem to- or at least don’t feel that I fully communicate the gratitude I have for this person.  Thank you isn’t big enough. I don’t really think there is a word or phrase, which does. But my guardian angel has set an example for me.  She has shown me that you can find happiness in the darkest of nights; she has taught me that I control my life, not my depression.  I guess I could describe her as- Hm, well, I can’t really. She is someone with strength, courage, and insurmountable kindness. She is a lifesaver, someone who will listen, and the one person I trust explicitly. Without her- I’d be lost. Not only in the directional sort of way trying to find my way to TGI Fridays, but the metaphorical way as well. I would be lost in my life, without a goal, with no direction, and the wrong kind of support. These three people are main reasons I would never change my experiences that I have had so far.
The other reason is more of a personal reason. I have developed into a person with understanding, acceptance, and patience. Even if these traits are not always displayed, they’re there somewhere in me. I have faced challenges only a lucky few have. And when I say lucky few-, I’ve experienced life. I have been with the good and the bad, and from that- I know so much more, I understand people and situations so much better. I’d rather be like this than in the dark and thinking everything is fine and perfect. That people suffering was just over dramatic syndrome. That it really isn’t that big of a deal.
Through my depression, I have been stuck in my own personal hell. To me, happiness was something that was a fleeting moment when someone said something funny. Or when I saw a cute picture, or a good TV show. Worthlessness, upset, miserable, sad, angry, those were the constant emotions pulsating through my body. Happiness was a 10-minute high, which would lead you to crash hard.
However, today, the first day in what feels like a long time, I was happy all day. I have not fallen, I stand tall. Now- maybe it was the power of the heels, or the fact my hair was down. But whatever the reason. I experienced happiness today. I have not felt that in a long time. It felt good. I cannot promise that tomorrow will be the same or that in a week I will still be on this high. However, I can promise you- there is a light. Even if it lasts for a day or 5 years. Do not give up. Life is beautiful.