I started off with wanting to tell some sort of back story to give you an idea of a setting, but I thought, scrap that. No one cares.
What I want to say though is that I think generally, people have always thought me as a smart, sensible kind of girl. Well, I gave them good evidence to believe so. I have always minded my P’s and Q’s and never wanted to cause trouble. But they didn’t know that keeping up such expectations, trying to be better than I was before, trying to be perfect, took a toll on me mentally.
Because of circumstances, I became reclusive. I moved inwards into my own darkness. I did not seek help because I thought everyone was fine without me. No one needed me, why should I need them. I felt that I would only contaminate their lives with my presence. Besides, I did not know how to ask for help. I did not know I needed help.
I did not now I was in Depression.
Studies have shown that Depression is one of the symptoms of a smaller frontal lobe. Or maybe the cause. In any case, Depression is linked to a smaller frontal lobe. The frontal lobe plays a role in higher mental functions such as motivation, planning, social behaviour and speech production [Wikipedia]. All of those I gradually lacked as years passed and my relationship with Depression grew stronger.
I lost motivation; I could not study well and that reflected in my results albeit not very severely at first. I never had a personal daily schedule, only the timetable set by an academic institution. I just went with the flow, but most of the time I was actually in limbo. And it was pretty obvious I engaged very little in social matters and that certainly did not help in improving my speech.
I curse Depression so much that I often find myself to be frustrated. The sad thing is I cannot be frustrated at anyone but myself. Depression is not tangible. It might as well be something made up in my mind. Nevertheless, it is a ghost. Nothing I do affects it. Everything I do—or it does—affects me.
And so now I feel nothing but remorse. I pity myself and what I have become. Without much of a brain scan, I’m pretty sure that my frontal lobe is not as developed as an average person’s. I’m at uni and I struggle even to stay focused on one task. I struggle to carry out plans that I have written quite clearly. I struggle to articulate opinions critically on paper, never mind with real people. The symptoms are obvious. Should I accept it?
At least, I know I am better than before. Because compared to, say, last year, I have now understood this disease. I can identify my problems and I know how to solve it. But the situation I’m in does not seem to allow me time to do so—to solve my problems. It takes a bloody long time to heal. Or maybe I just don’t have the right resources to help me heal just yet.
If only I was not impaired by Depression. My learning experience at uni could’ve been much more stimulating. Alas, I don’t think I’ve learnt much except trying to control my anxieties that I did not acknowledge at first. Eventually, they succeeded in getting my attention. Consequently, I forgot why I came to uni and it reflected on my performance. I wasn’t that smart, sensible girl everyone thinks anymore.
But if I was not plagued by Depression, I wouldn’t have come to know who I truly am, what I truly need and what I wish to contribute in this Life. I wouldn’t have understood empathy. I wouldn’t have shed the fear of Death and recognised the value of Life. I would’ve continued to be blinded by the lies created by groups of greedy people fuelled by the mainstream media. And I would definitely not have tasted some inner peace.
I pledge to myself that I would not be bound by anything or anyone unwillingly once I am released from this stifling institution, even if it means going through unconventional paths. Even if it means upsetting the social expectation. This is simply because I do not wish to be shackled again. I’ve tasted a tiny bit of freedom, and now I’m hungry for more.
Now that I’ve said that, I can expect that some might think I’m ungrateful, especially knowing how relatively luxuriously I’ve been brought up. True, I have not had certain difficulties that others faced, but why should a mental difficulty be any different? From personal experience, living in a comfortable house and basically being born with a silver spoon in my mouth does not necessarily guarantee a continuously happy life. The silver spoon might drop out. Shit happens.
I might not seem as grateful as you think I should be, but trust me, I am grateful. I understand that life is not perfect. You may have a good relationship with your family but you might be in a financially poor situation. Or you may be living in a 5-storey house but feel as empty as the big house itself because your parents work tirelessly every day to get back all the money they spent on all those things just so that you are comfortable, and that they could drive nice cars to work to get money to pay back the car loans… you get the idea.
All I ask is that you don’t judge me, or anyone else for that matter, before thoroughly knowing and understanding what they’ve been through. And know that everyone has their struggle, not just yourself. So if you are having a conversation with another being, why not ask them how they are feeling? Don’t just go on a long narrative of your exciting midnight excursions. Have some care, for once.
In the meantime, I shall try to get back to reality and not think too much.