Jayden Jones: Beating depression one day at a time


Jayden Jones, Guest Writer

 I’m lying in bed, it’s 4:00 a.m and only two hours remain until I have to prepare for school. Yet sleep is the last thing on my mind. The night is when my thoughts become the most rampant, as if the darkness compels them to seep into my mind. And in this mind of mine, I question almost every part of me and the meaning behind every thought and every feeling and every action so far. Why can’t I shed a tear even when I need it the most? Is it because of my daily dosage of antidepressants? Furthermore, why do I even wanna cry, yet desire to cease it by ending my own life? It couldn’t just be due to an unfortunate break-up. People go through break-ups month after month (trust me, I’m one to know). It had to be something else, something dormant, suppressed, that’s been triggered by the end of the relationship. Was it the abusive relationship that made up my earliest childhood memories? Was it the sudden collapse of my family life, resulting in the loss of my mother’s side? Maybe it really was the relationship. Or maybe the most likely of answer, is D: All the above.

    It’s been four months since I first started dealing with and suffering from the mental chaos known as depression. After a much-cherished relationship ended, right before the school year ended last year, I was left alone to drown in my own thoughts for the entire summer break, and the depression began to manifest itself. I started to cry day-in and day-out, and often caught myself zoning out of my current environment, as if I was experiencing a sort of out-of-body experience. As my body stayed dormant and immobile, my mind envisioned a perfectly clear image of myself and where I was, observing and questioning everything that was happening around me.  I began to ask myself, “Why do I exist? What’s my purpose in being alive?” —questions that I am still seeking answers to. As the questions grew louder and louder, muting the other voices in my head and dictating my feelings and actions, it evolved to the point where I would use my phone to look up every painless way to end my life and impressed a knife blade across my forearm. I decided on a painless route due to my fear of pain. I hated the pain I was in. I feared the pain I was in. I wanted to end the pain I both hated and feared. However, I wanted to end it in a way that I would never feel its presence again. I wanted to live, but I didn’t want to feel the pain again. In this dire battle of mental warfare, I turned to the one person I could trust with my emotions and thoughts, my best friend. I told her about everything: my unstable spectrum of emotions, my dark suicidal thoughts, and my grim research history that would make any sane person fear the worse. I wanted to be saved. I was drowning in my own sorrow, and I wanted her to hold me as she carried both of us to the surface. I thought very little of how my confession would affect her, how my burden would be shared amongst the both of us, how I could’ve drowned the only person who I wanted to save me. My friend advised me to tell someone before my depression became worse and ensured me everything would get better for everyone. “What an absolutist statement”,  I thought in my head. “What makes you so sure I’ll get better just because I get help.” We can never control the future and the ensurity seemed nothing less than foolish to me. Nonetheless, I listened to their advice and I told my mother of my suicidal thoughts, but left out the specifics. My mother was well-aware that something was wrong with me, After my mother and I discussed our next course of action, I called my friend once again, ensuring her I would be getting help. This would be the last time I would speak to her.

    It got to the point where I was unable to properly function in everyday life. In the privacy of my own home, I lay in bed, doing nothing but watching Snapchat stories and Youtube. I used to play video games extensively, and for years, I used it as an outlet for any struggle life threw at me. However, it soon enough lost its allure, as I realized it had only suppressed the pain temporarily, and had the pain only hurt more so after a several-hour session of playing became a several-hour waste of my life to me. In the end, that’s all I was doing: wasting every hour of my so-called precious life on distractive games, wasting every minute of my so-called precious time on this earth on marathons of youtube to the point of repetitiveness, and wasting every 6-seconds of my so-called precious existence on watching my friends’ active, day-to-day lives with a spectatorial attitude as I lay dormant in my bed.

    In public, I was a different person. I was quiet and respectful, but I was unresponsive and distant as well. Altogether, I wasn’t the same me, but instead a sort of ghost in a shell of my former-self. I often caught myself either doing one of two things in public events such as parties, quinceaneras, and even simple errands such as grocery shopping: spacing out to the point of obliviousness to what’s happening to the world around me, or having a sudden, unexpected mental breakdown that was followed by a panic attack or crying (sometimes both). In short, I was a complete, utter mess.

    The ever-impending school year was soon to start, which I knew would only cause my depression to increase ten-fold. The constant barrage of work from my three AP classes, the anxiety of having to socialize with my peers when I felt no desire to do so, the struggle of juggling sports and clubs, and the deathly despair that would ensue every time I would see my ex-friend/partner were all issues that I would soon have to handle. It can easily be assumed that when school did start I didn’t do well, and you would be right in assuming so as I nearly broke down in every class, had my head down thinking, or slept to avoid the first option (or possibly because it was the first day and I was tired after a sleep-schedule more in common to that of an owl). I tried everything in my power to resume life as if I were fine, but my cover would soon enough be blown by my concerned teacher who was aware of the break-up and asked if anything was wrong. I, of course, nonchalantly kept my cool, and immediately replied “No,” after which I bawled my eyes out and spilled my guts to her. At the moment, I had a support group with an astounding number of one, my mother, whom I am completely distant and uncommunicative with despite her later efforts. My mother was struggling to get professional help from a therapist due to our insurance and available therapist, creating a dogging fiasco to get me help. However, with the addition of my teacher, my support group had doubled! Not only this, but she had also planned to talk to a school counselor for further help as well. I would soon enough have my five-man roster: my mother, teacher, counselor, therapist, and psychiatrist — the Dream Team — who were destined to disappoint and fail in my mind. This team, however, would be formed a little too late with the school counselor being unable to see me for nearly two weeks due to the woefully high student-counselor ratio (543-1), and the struggle of finding a therapist for nearly a month, and having a mother who I still, to this day, seem to be incapable of talking to. I practically had only my teacher, and I relied on her every day. She wouldn’t be enough. With the lack of support at that time, my depression only deepened and was being transferred to the one person I expressed it to. I found my next victim of dependency.

    During this idle period, my energy and spirit drained gradually with every passing hour, leaving my body as nothing more than an empty vessel. The first thing to flow and overtake this empty vessels were A.N.Ts (Automatic Negative Thoughts), though they might as well have been actual ants, swarming and clouding my thoughts, encompassing my brain as they took bits of my rationality and psyche to their queen: Suicide. Eventually, I was able to see my counselor, and I was for the most part withdrawn from the conversation, with mere one word responses or the silent nod. The A.N.Ts had taken over my being, filling the empty husk with depression and blocking out almost any positive thoughts or reasons to live. Everyday my will to live diminished. I thought of my death all too often, but any motive to do so was hindered by a single image, an image that has meaning to only myself. What I can say is that this image may have as well kept me alive due to my desire to have that image I cherished to remain constant.

    It was becoming increasingly difficult to function properly in the class environment, and on the spiritual aspect, difficult in keeping faith in God. During the following weeks I became even more despondent, losing faith in my recovery as the days darkened. I’ve always been interested in religion possibly due to my inability to truly practice it for my whole life, causing me to have a loosely tied belief in God. This loose connection between myself and faith helped create a sort of “toxic” relationship with God, only calling on him when I needed him. Whenever I was faced with an obstacle, I called on the lord’s assistance, misusing the power of prayer in order to fit whatever selfish task I required from him. However, I never spoke of him once when life was prosperous and perhaps this is my punishment for my selfishness, as remains deaf to my pleads of help now. The longer I suffered, the more proof I needed of his existence. This eventually lead to my new belief-system that complimented my condition quite well. I called it Neo-Nihilism: The belief that life is meaningless and the requirement of proof from God of his existence, thus beginning my last crusade. From that point on, I questions had dissipated as if I knew the truth, adopting a much more absolutist stance. What was this truth I speak of? I believed life had no meaning, our disappearance would not tip one side on the grand scale of life, and our impact on the world was miniscule at best. If I were so important and life did have meaning behind it, let God strike me down now, at least then will I believe! I formulated my plan, a brilliant plan that would force God to prove himself to be real or let me die. I put almost every situation into consideration, what I would do and when I would do it and where I would do it and how I would do it and  why I did it. It was almost perfect, in all aspects. However, this almost, this flaw, this important factor that I hadn’t even considered was Reality. In reality, my plan was all but improbable because reality is not as idealistic as everyone wishes it was. I was 17, no job, no car, and in short, no way to support my plans. It was devastating revelation, and the only reason why I procrastinated in proceeding with my plans.

    It was nearing the end of August and I was able to score two appointments with two different therapists. I would soon enough learn that there are two type of therapist from what I’ve experienced: The uncomfortably aggressive ones that try to rip out your deepest darkest secrets, and the friendly one that focuses on being your best buddy more than helping improve your condition. The first therapist I met was of the first category. The environment was anything but professional in my own opinion, and her methods of extracting information made me have a sense of further hatred for myself than previously established, and dissected and questioned every little bit of information I provided. As she asked superficial questions as though it was some survey, It felt as though I was not of person receiving help, but instead a generic number that had no importance. After leaving the appointment, I had the deepest desire to never return. The next appointment would go much better, as I felt I both comfortable and intune with my therapist. His name was Dr. Timothy Miller, and I highly recommend for any who may be suffering to go to him. His most favorable trait was the fact that he didn’t treat me like a number, but instead a friend and person. Dr. Miller created a place for intelligent conversations, a platform to speak about yourself and what may be troubling you, all while being down-to-earth and realistic. I still speak and have weekly appointments with him currently and I feel a sense of relief after. However, you shouldn’t use a therapist only as a way to release some steam, as they become nothing more than living and breathing tissue. Even though I would feel a short sense of relief after our sessions, those released emotions slowly crept back into my mind as I slept and haunting my dreams. I was stuck in a vicious cycle from which I couldn’t seem to escape.

    It was September now, and nothing got better. Nearly every day at school, I was spending more and more time inside my counselor’s office, becoming less attentive in class, and having emotional breakdowns or panic attacks nearly 3 times a week. I spent almost every day speaking with either my teacher or my counselor, speaking with them in hopes of getting getting guidance and finding a reasoning in my existence. It was hopeless, and they both came to the point of being unsure on what to say anymore; they didn’t have the answers. No one did. At home, I spent the rest of my day inside the darkness of my room. I usually have a strong distaste for the dark, but now I did nothing  but welcome it. As I laid still in my bed, this same darkness would speak to me in rhythm and rhymes. Eventually I began writing down every word it said to me, and found pleasure in realizing I had written a song with the aid of darkness. It was dark in subject, but true to who I am. As I read it again and again the more I came to understand myself and what I wanted. This song sparked my love for writing music, a hobby I developed but was never able to master. I began writing more music of similar subject, finding beats and music to go with them, and practicing and cleaning up any flaws. I wanted to make amends with those I loved and wish the best for them before anything were to happen to me, and my music reflected the very concept. My music was my thoughts transformed into sheets of paper with lyrics scribbled across. I wanted the world to hear me, I wanted the world to understand me, and I wanted the world to forgive me.

    It was about halfway through the month when I finally broke.I was in class and was being a class-clown to both cheer myself up and those around me, something I did all too often, as my mood for the rest of the day was primarily based on this essential time period. However, things went awry when the teacher hadn’t understood my answers and moved on. I felt shunned, brushed off, and unimportant, all of which made me snap. In mere seconds my depression took over, I became unresponsive to my fellow classmates, almost breaking down and having a panic attack in front of class as ran out of the classroom with haste. That was the marking point in which things escalated drastically. Alongside my already reigning sadness, I formed a much more frightening emotion that I had even less control over: anger. My mother was most often the victim of my anger, even though she did nothing wrong. I lashed out at her much more with fits of rage, often bringing her to tears. My behavior did nothing but make me hate myself more as I began to perceive myself as an uncontrollable monster. However, as I began to hate myself more, the angrier I became, creating a positive feedback which I hoped to avoid. I never wanted to hurt anyone, and the thought that there was even the slightest chance of it frightened me. I would rather die than hurt anyone, and thus became a justification to end my life.

   The next time I saw Dr. Miller, I expressed this fear and anger. By the end of the session, I broke my deal with the doctor, a deal I had kept since I first met with him: I had to promise him that I would not kill myself before I saw him again. My refusal was of course alarming, and he pulled my father who was waiting in the lobby aside to explain to him what had happened. While they spoke, I had went to the bathroom and let loose my anger. I kicked and punched anything and everything to the point of numbness. Afterwards I would yell in pain and cry out of fear of what I was becoming. At school, I found myself becoming worse as I became more unresponsive, unable to function, to the point of breaking every period, and often enter a backroom just to ball up and cry to my heart’s content. I had created a bubble between me and the rest of the world, a bubble where I lived in isolation. At the rambunctious rallies, in the classrooms, and at my table filled with friends, I was alone in my own world, the world of existence with no reason. When this bubble of fresh air was popped, the pain would rush in and begin to drown me in my own despair.

    All of this would compound together and cause the events of Friday, the climax and peak of my depression. I was in my fifth period class and was despondent as always, but after a unexpected trigger occurred, I was on the brink of both anger and sadness. I needed to leave and I did so in the matter of seconds. I had a panic attack on my way to the counseling office, but it slowly transformed into muteness. By the time I had reached the office, I was sitting down, had my head laid on the wall, and scrunched up to make myself as small as possible. When I was finally able to talk with my counselor, I told him of my appointment with my therapist, and showed him the extent of my anger first hand. I cried only moments after realizing how uncontrolled my emotions had become. My counselor would suggest I needed further help in order to get better. By further help, he meant to send me to a mental health center. He called my parents and advised them on what to do next, giving them multiple options of mental health centers and all the information they asked for.

    The rest of the day was quiet except for the occasional “Everything gonna be okay.” or “We’re going to get through this.”, from both of my parents. Although they sounded so sincere when they said it, it felt like nothing more than a blatant lie, an unclaimable wish that everybody wanted except myself.

    The next day, I would shove all of my belongings: long-sleeve shirts, sweater, Joggers and shorts, which had to have their strings removed so I or anyone else at the center couldn’t use them, a pair of slides; a journal depicting my life from the beginning to my hopeful end, and two books I had decided to bring in order keep up with the rest of my English while I was absent. I was finally ready to join the ranks of the supposed crazies and loonies that hear voices in their head and the druggies that shoot-up heroin and snort crushed-up pills and the suicidal who try to find any means to end their lives despite the pain they may suffer during the process.

    For an hour my mother and her partner, and my father drove up to Sacramento, the location of a well-established mental center. It was quiet in the car just as it had been the day before, or maybe I just simply filtered out anything said. When we arrived at the center, I thought of all of the horrors that would wait for me: the aforementioned mentally sick and drug abusers, and the harsh treatment I would receive by the staff everyday I would be there. Those horrors never came.

    Instead, I was greeted to a kind nurse who evaluated me and carried on an intelligent conversation. After giving my evaluation to a psychiatrist at the center, I would learn that my answers did satisfy the qualification to enter- lucky me. I reluctantly agreed to all the health center’s terms and conditions, and walked towards my soon-to-be “prison.” The kind nurse led my family and me into a waiting room; however, I was soon pulled out in order to be body-checked and having my blood pressure taken. I stepped inside the section in which I would be held in and was shocked to see that the facility was nothing like I expected. It had decent carpeted floors and was quiet except for the nurses’ the constant typing. It seemed more like an office than a place to stick crazies. Nonetheless, I still didn’t like it just for the mere fact that I was there. I was guided by a male nurse named Nate that did however, fit my previous expectations: expressionless face, monotone voice indicating a lack of compassion, and fit with intimidating muscles used only to keep patients in check. He walked me to a chair in front of the desk where the other nurses had been working and where he would take my blood pressure. There was very little sound from the workers and not another single patient in sight. There was a media room with a table with stacks of papers and a cup filled with pencils, and heavy-set chairs that seemed near impossible to pick-up let alone move, and an abysmal television set.

    After taking my blood pressure, Nate walked me into a doctor’s office where he body-checked me. As I put my clothes back on, the male nurse said, “Remember, you’re only here for yourself.” I compliantly agreed. Afterwards I was introduced to another nurse who asks several questions nearly-identical to those the kind nurse I had mentioned earlier had asked. One prominent question was “Do you have a plan and what is it if you do?” I told her I did indeed have a suicide plan, but I chose to not say how as it destroyed the purpose of the plan to come to fruition. I digressed from the topic respectfully, and went to the lobby room in which my parents had patiently been waiting inside. They were to leave soon and I would be expected to stay here. As I hugged everyone goodbye, they held the hugs as if I were to never leave and I simply let them hold me while my arms laid limp at my side. However, the hardest goodbye was definitely between my phone and me. In order to keep everything confidential, we were not allowed to use any sort of electronical device. I had become extremely dependent on my music to regulate my emotions and abrupt disconnection would leave me little less than functional. After five-minutes, my parents had left, promising to return for another visit the following day, and then they were gone. I was alone.

    I went to my assigned room and set out all that I would need for my stay, walked out to the main room of the building and sat in the chair, and began to read. Moments later, I was interrupted by several patients bursting into the building, coming from the cafeteria. I was the new kid on the block but also the oldest one as well. A few of them tried making small talk with me, which I shrugged off or disregarded, remembering what Nate had said earlier. However, Nate’s words would slowly seep out of my mind as boredom soon took a severe toll on my usually extroverted personality. After an hour, I would go to my room to put my book back, and walk in the main room and sit amongst the other patients. They were interesting and different than the average person, but overall very open and friendly. They weren’t the psychos I expected; instead, I was greeted by a colorful spectrum of personalities who were struggling or troubled, but they were just as human as anybody.

   After half-an-hour of introductions and talking, I soon got the gist of how the place worked from my peers. We had a set schedule that had multiple activities and groups to “help us.” They also told me of the prescribed anti-depressant most commonly used at the center: the despised Zoloft. As someone who was already hesitant to use anti-depressants, The other patients’ negative reviews of the drugs only reinforced my resistance to use these drugs. Furthermore, I lacked any interest in participating in any activities and groups, and decided to sleep instead of going to the first group of the day. I would eventually wake up and be asked by a nurse who administered the prescribed drugs if I would take the Zoloft, to which I replied with a solid “No.” I knew they couldn’t force it on me and so I snarkily declined their suggestions to take the medicine. I believed that I was in control of everything that I did, but in reality I was still a patient stuck in a mental health institute.

    The next day, I was much more active in group meetings and activities. But still, I absorbed little if whatever thing said, and instead messed around. Perhaps I just felt as though this was all pointless and useless, so I chose to not care to keep the illusion that I was still in control. However, this illusion would soon be crushed as the prescription nurse once again asked me if I would take the Zoloft, to which I once again responded with a solid “No.” She left, to only be replaced by my assigned psychiatrist who pulled me out of group to talk to me. The two of us sat across one another in my assigned room, and discussed my resistance to take the medication. He asked me why I was so hesitant to take it and listed off multiple reasoning such as the following: I felt as though the medication would affect who I am (mentally and physically) based on the effects the medication had on my brother, I did not want to become dependent on a drug for me to be happy, I was skeptical of its effectiveness based on the negative responses the drug received by other patients, and I just didn’t want anything to do with it in the first place. The psychiatrist provided valid counter arguments stating the differences between my brother and other patients and dependency on the drug was near-nonexistent. Still, I insisted on not taking the drug. He then told me how not taking the medication “could” prolong my stay since I wasn’t getting the care I needed. It was at this point that I realized I was not in control at all, but instead only a puppet in my family and psychiatrist’s plot to make me “better.” I was pissed and felt cheated even more. However, I kept these thoughts to myself and agreed to take the Zoloft. I would walk back into group, angry and frustrated, and only moments later to have the prescription nurse come in once again with pill and cup in hand. She brought the medication to me and I reluctantly swallowed the pill, but was still forced to open my mouth and lift my tongue as if the nurse believed I merely swallowed air and kept the real pill in my handy cheek pouch like a chipmunk; it was demoralizing. This anger would only worsen with every day I stayed and my desire to escape would become greater. My mother learned and suffered from my anger first hand. When she came back to visit me, I lashed out at her for keeping me there, both pleading and commanding her to remove me from the health center before I pleaded for insanity. I wasn’t getting better, only worse the longer I stayed. Not only that, but I was also missing everything from schoolwork to practices during that time period. The whole place was like a hyperbolic time chamber, where time stayed in place as the rest of the world moved in constant motion as it’s done for billions of years.  The only thing my complaining and tantrum accomplished however, was making my mother cry all while still having to stay for five days. After my family left, I had talked to a nurse who advised me to listen and just follow rules so I could get out faster; in simpler terms “fake it til I make it.” I called my mother later that night and left a voicemail in which I apologised and I told her I loved her.

It was the beginning of a new week, and we were forced to go to “school” in addition to our regular activities. I say school in the loosest form as it had almost nothing to do with school. All we did was charcoal drawings and Ted talk problem solvings. I understand that the curriculum had to be broad so it could apply to patients of every grade, but for a junior in high school, it was nothing more than a waste of time. Nonetheless I participated in the dull session of school and group meetings. I become the obedient dog that they had wanted me to be.

   Soon enough the program became repetitive altogether, except for the gradual releasing of all other patients besides a girl that I remained in contact with even after we were both released. Even though I did keep in contact with some of these fellow victims of depression, I later regretted the decisions as their continuing issues were pressed upon myself and increased my own burden. The workers and nurse were probably the most enjoyable part of the whole experience as they became much more lively the longer I stayed and couldn’t get enough of my outgoing nature and compatible sense of humor. Even the stone-faced Nate had softened up and became quite the jokester himself. With my condition seemingly getting better and better and as I followed directions and participated, I had hope that I would be released soon. That same my psychiatrist called me into his office and he discussed my likely release on thursday. In my mind, I screamed yes and cheered ecstatically, but was only able let out soft “Okay.”

    On my final day at the mental facility, I was all over the place and certainly satisfied with my marvelous performance that led to my release. I said my parting goodbyes to all of the workers and friend, and even felt slightly sad to leave. I bagged up all my clothes and belongings and I was ready to be on my way. By the time my parents arrived to pick me up, I was already scratching at the door that separated me from the outside world. After a quick summary and final check-up on my condition, and filling out my release form, I was free. I hurdled over any physical obstacle that would have hindered my escape and made a full-sprint for the finish line: The car. Once inside the car,  I thought of nothing more but the impending pleasure that would come from being at home at last. This pleasure didn’t last long.

    That very night I gorged myself with anything absent at my stay at the mental facility and slept, or at least tried to. Although I had missed so much work, all I did was lie in bed and do nothing. I suffered from idleness and I barely recognized anything as it was. My house, my family, and my friends were not the same as I had left them and neither was I.

    Over the next few days as I returned to school, a sense of change surged through the campus and I felt even more disassociated from whatever my life had been previously. I was completely quiet and never acted out in any of my classes as I did before, and my classmates and teachers seemed unfamiliar to me as if I was the new kid at school who recently transferred districts half-way through the year. To make things worse, It was nearing the last weeks of the first quarter and I had several assignments and tests that I was tasked to finish on time with the rest of the class. What a shock it was then that my anxiety had come back and my burden was even heavier with the addition of school work on top of my already-existing state. I became extremely irritable and frustrated trying to keep up in class and felt neglected by some teachers. After not being able to handle the stress and anxiety the piles of work was causing, I went to my counselor and begged for some kind of leniency for my absence and to have my load lightened for my own mental health. My counselor did indeed help me out by helping me break up the work as well as emailing all my teachers to excuse and/or extend assignments. I was soon able to get all of my work completed. Looking forward to the break, I was happy to be done with school and relax all by myself; however, I was worried about that exact thing: being by myself.

    I was now on break and alone, but maybe I was too used to it, as I wasn’t angry or sad that I was, but instead felt nothing. I often walked around my house with no objective or reason. My mother would always come home and ask for a hug, and I would hug her without question, and as I held her, my face was expressionless and dull and pale as if all emotion had been drained from my usually vibrant face. This lack of expression carried out throughout the whole break and worsened with every dull day I spent alone doing nothing. I had no friends to go out and spend time with, I had no plans or events set for the break, and I had no drive to make plans of my own. Instead, I often found myself lying in bed, wanting to only cry or yell out of frustration, but having not a single tear flow down my face and not the slightest whimper could be heard from my lips. I was changing, and not in a good way. I felt as though I lost the ability to cry and be angry as if I had run out of tears from the months of downpours of tears, and accepted that it was meaningless to be angry anymore. My prime suspect for the change was the anti-depressants, which only increased my hatred for the medication. I came to the conclusion that my belief that the medication would change my behavior and personality before I even took it manifested itself into an actual side effect; a Placebo effect if you will. I wanted to fix myself, not take some anti-depressants that boost the production of serotonin — a hormone that control positive emotions such as joy — to fix me. The medication that was supposed to fix me was only breaking me down and cutting off my only way of outwardly expressing my sorrow and frustration. I was a bottle of wine, shaken to death, but unable to get out of the bottle because of a cork called Zoloft.

    When I returned to school, everything was still new to me as it had been when I returned from the hospital. I was much more active in all of my classes and even had some teachers remark how they’d seen my progress even though I was blind to it. My mother followed their footsteps as well, believing how much better I was since I hadn’t cried or gotten mad since I’d returned. However, when I got home and closed my door, turned the lights off and had the darkness shroud me once more, nothing was different. I was myself, with the same thoughts, but without expression. At this point, life wasn’t worth living because I lacked any reason even more so than previously. I even told my teacher about my dreams and my fantasies in which I had finally committed to my plans to end my suffering. She asked if I even thought about how this would affect my family and friends, but for one exception, I didn’t care. To me, everybody who cared about me and wanted me to live had become a burden. It was unfair that I was forced to live in order to keep those who cared about me fully functional. Although I was tired and wanted to stop and sleep for once,  I stayed awake in the hope that things would get better.

    After speaking with my teacher, I went to my bed, but did not sleep. I couldn’t sleep even if I wanted to. Instead I thought of why I was even sad,  why I had become depressed in the first place, and if there was any reason or hope in living.. These thoughts turned to questions, and I searched for answers for hours. It was 4:58 a.m. and for a while, still nothing came to mind. Then it hit me. It was a single image and motivation to continue, my purpose. It was 5:00 a.m and my alarm clock rings obnoxiously and the image faded. I got up and wanted nothing more but to see myself in that image, smiling, once again.