I don’t think it’s that weird to write about my depression because I don’t think depression is weird. Every gets depressed sometimes, and we shouldn’t shame people who have depression into thinking that they’re “different,” or else they might never get help. So, this isn’t an attempt to brag about how messed up I am, because I’m not ashamed or embarrassed or proud of being on medication for depression, it just happens to be a fact of my life right now.
This semester has been sloppy, to say the least. My sleep schedule is irregular but my intoxication has been regular and my schoolwork, in general, has suffered. I am taking two 100-level classes this semester: Introduction to American Government and Politics and Introduction to Cultural Anthropology. Both are borderline insufferable—the assignments and the people, especially. Despite the amazing professors, I skip class regularly because I have difficulty sleeping, difficulty waking up, and care very little about my GPA. I don’t really like leaving my room, and I only really socialize with the same six or seven people. I drink at least five nights a week, at least three of those nights to excess. Before this semester, I never puked once from drinking. I puked last weekend and this weekend. I forget to take my medication all the time, and feel a lot less stable for it. I am in the library a lot less, light hurts my eyes, and my right shoulder is bruised from recently passing out in a place that was not a bed.
I am graduating from college in about two weeks. If my recent actions are my symptoms, I’m still not quite sure what the problem is. I have gone through months of depression before, but it has never been detrimental to my body like this. In the past, my depression was like starting the day with a punch to the face and never quite recovering. When I’m depressed, I walk with my head down, I bounce my knee constantly, I think at ten thousand miles per hour, and my body feels gigantic. My sleep schedule suffers, but I still do all my work. Even during severe bouts of depression, I still accomplished things. I found solace in good grades and a pat on the head from a teacher. Compliments from professors are one of the only things that make me feel better instantly. I think to myself, well, you can’t get out of bed on time, you haven’t called your mother in three weeks, you weight 400 pounds, but at least your thesis statement is great. Usually, that’s enough. I keep one part of my life together and the rest being out of whack isn't so bad.
But I’ve been accomplishing a lot less this semester. I only put 100 percent effort into the things that I really want to do. I want to write for the newspaper. I want to write poems about Presidents. Those things still seem easy (or, challenging in a good way) to me, but everything else is hard. Everything. The differences between my last bout of depression and this time are my age and my stress level; I can change one of those two things.
I’ll still be at Beloit from January to May, but under different circumstances—a tuition-free semester to work on a special project. I’ll have an apartment and a cat and, hopefully, a subscription to a newspaper. I plan to get obnoxiously good at crossword puzzles. I will live without senioritis, and get even better at learning to live with my depression.
For now, I'm listening to "Lately I've Let Things Slide" by Nick Lowe on repeat, and taking solace in the fact that my hair is finally growing out.