One does not simply exit the velvet covered lockers of high school and enter the fiery pits of
After knowing that I had enrolled into college, and that I would be living at home for at least the next two years, I decided to adapt to my surroundings and settle in. I got a job (remember this piece?) and started to have a little more cash in my pocket. I tried to go out more with friends, whether it was at someones house party, or if we wanted to go to downtown Richmond Row and enjoy our youth, but found myself coming home from those nights feeling shallow and pedantic. I started Facebook messaging old friends, hoping to grab a drink or a bite to eat with people I hadn't seen in at least a year, but most were off busy doing whatever their own lives required them to do.
What was wrong with me? I wasn't feeling myself anymore. I wasn't in the same happy-go-lucky mindset that those around me had grown accustomed to. I had days where I didn't want to talk to anyone, and would rather have stayed in bed till the evening. I had moments where I hated every single person around me, and made me wish that I had my own universal remote that I could mute and tune out others with. I had days where I just felt sad, and didn't know why. Was I depressed?
I had wondered for the past few months if I was actually "depressed". It's something that I've dealt with for a while, and only recently have told others about, hoping to get better. Normally, whenever I had these moments of feeling down or blue, I would just watch a bunch of stand-up comedy clips on YouTube to help take my mind off of it. George Carlin, Dave Chappelle, Louis C.K., Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, etc. These were my antidepressants. These were my "happy pills". But one day, I stumbled upon (Hey, you know what? I wonder if anyone has ever put "stumble" and "upon" together and made a new social-networking site? Ca-ching!) a clip of Jim Jefferies doing a bit on his own personal demons...
The clip is meant to poke fun at a serious topic, and help Jim bring comedy to a subject that makes many people feel uncomfortable talking about. After watching it, I always felt a little bit better about myself, being reminded that I have so much to be thankful for: Two beautiful younger siblings, a stable group of friends, two parents who love me, a promising future with a college diploma in the works, and a passion for writing that could help influence what I do for the rest of my life.
But even the drunken ramblings of a comedic genius weren't enough to stop me from having these stretches of time where I felt confused and uninspired. It wasn't even the same type of lazy-stigma that has followed teenagers for generations; it was the "what's the point?" attitude that follows troubled souls. I would begin writing a column that focused on hockey or football, and lose complete interest midway through. I would read the first few chapters of a book and think "screw it, what do I care?". I was losing interest in the things that, before, had brought me happiness and joy. Now, they were just bumps in the road that I was doing my best in avoiding.
Summer came to an end, and I was now preparing for the beginning of college. Sometimes, I would tell myself that the fall would be a fresh start, that I would get to meet a whole new group of people, and that I would change the person that I was, to whatever I wanted to be. But for some reason, I didn't want too.
If you're a person who is close to my age and reading this, I am sure you are aware of all the Facebook statuses and tweets that are laced with "peeeaaacceeee out London!" or "officially a university student!". And for the majority of you, you were apart of that. You had that feeling of excitement and anxiousness now that you were attending a new school, where you got to live on your own, make new friends, and get the full student experience. For me, it was another reminder of how much of a loser I was becoming, and how much I would miss my friends who were leaving the Forest City and moving on to a campus residence.
Now listen: I don't hold that against you. In fact, I am very proud of most of you. The ability to get into university is incredibly difficult, and I had a first-hand witness account of some of my best friends work their asses off to get into their desired programs. But please try to understand that when your entire timeline is filled with self-praise for accomplishing ones goal, it can take a toll. Good? Good.
I was beginning to question whether the past five years had been a waste of time, and that it was all merely a set-up for mediocrity for the rest of my life. The constant reminders from teachers, counselors, and parents that university wasn't everything, it was the only thing, didn't help matters. I had spent the two months of summer wallowing in my own self-pity, wondering if I was going to spend the rest of my life working 9 to 5, or if I was even going to be able to have a career that involved the very act that I find myself doing at this moment!
I had to snap out of it. I was in a funk that was destroying my psyche. The mask that I found myself wearing everyday was cracking, and I was beginning to get the feeling that others could see it. I decided to talk to my parents and tell them how I was doing. At first, I thought they would just shrug it off as "part of growing up" and "you'll get over it", but they were much more sympathetic to my situation. My mother, being the nurse that she is, told me that she would do whatever was needed to help me, and that she loved me. My father, who is the #1 figure in my life, was incredibly helpful, and told me that I could talk to him whenever I needed to.
This story doesn't have a happy ending, simply because there is no ending yet. I still have moments where I hate life and wonder when it's going to get better; I have my days where everything feels like a punch to the gut, and all I can do is smile and take it. Maybe that's due to the severity of depression. Maybe that's a symptom of a mental disorder that I should have investigated. Maybe I should seek professional help.
Or maybe it is just apart of growing up. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it.