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In the beginning, depression can be easy to spot in a person. They haven’t learned how to hide it. You learn very quickly, though, that people don’t want to be around someone who is sad and depressed all the time. This causes you to learn very quickly how to hide it.
I can’t speak to light and moderate forms of depression, but for severe depression, no matter how good you get at hiding it, there are still signs there if you know what to look for.
As high school continued, my depression only got worse. I did pick up on people avoiding me, because I was always in a low mood and didn’t react to things, such as jokes, the way people expected me to.
Learning to Hide the Depression
As a result, I started watching people, picking up on cues when someone thinks something is funny, so I would know when I should start to get ready to give a laugh or give sympathy when a sad story was being told.
I watched for how to hold myself as I moved around, walking straight, making sure I wasn’t hunched over or looking down all the time. Keeping eye contact instead of avoiding it and so on.
It was a way to survive amongst other people. To be able to still be viewed as fitting in, even though everything on the inside was screaming the complete opposite of what I displayed to others.
Over time, I perfected this false personality and became quite good at presenting it when needed. However, it takes an enormous amount of energy to keep up for a long period of time.
I still didn’t know what was wrong with me by the time I entered the 10th grade of high school. I had no idea of who to talk to or even what to say to describe what was going on.
Mental health and mental illness wasn’t something that was ever discussed or brought up in school at that time. So my second cry for help was formulated without me even realizing it at the time.
Poetry As An Outlet for Depressive Emotions
Around this time, I had started getting into poetry. It all started with a chance poem I came across that hit so close to home to how I felt and what I wanted.
I later discovered that the poem I read was only a portion of a much longer poem and put together from different parts of that poem. It fit me perfectly and ended up being a poem I memorized and still repeat to myself in my head to this day. The poem was this:
“Curse thee life
I will live with thee no more
Thou hast mocked me
Beat my body sore
And all for a pledge
That was not pledged by me
And now I go
No threat, nor easy vow
Of tardy kindness
Can avail thee now
With me whence fear and faith alike are flown
Lonely I came
And I depart alone
And know not where
Nor unto whom I go
But that thou canst not follow me
That poem also got me into writing poetry of my own, all centered around depression, and it was an outlet for my depression emotions for a time.
Second Cry for Help
It was during my English class that I made my second cry for help by way of a poem, and when I think about it now, actually twice through poetry.
Anyways, during the English class one day, we were given an in-class assignment to do. After completing the assignment, I wrote a poem on the back about death and killing myself. I’m not sure that I really thought the teacher would read the poem or not.
I remember the next day getting the assignment back in class. On the paper, the teacher had written, in her red editing pen, that it was an excellently written poem and I should think about entering a poetry contest that was going on at the school.
I threw the assignment out on my way out the door.
Again, I had tried to reach out in my own way to get some kind of help and again I had failed.
What did I have to do to get someone to recognize that something was desperately wrong with me? That I desperately needed help and get them to help me?
My heart and depression sank even lower that day, but I continued to push forward. To try and figure things out, to try and continue to live, even though everything inside me was crying out for death.
Not long after my second cry for help, my first suicide attempt would occur and be repeated before my third and final cry for help would be given.
Other links to my story:
- Life With Depression: Onset of the Depression
- Life With Depression: Third Cry for Help
- Life With Depression: Moving Back to Canada
- Life With Depression: First Major Crash
- Life With Depression: The Walls Crumble
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