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I have waited a while to write this because I knew that when I finally did, I wanted it to be done well. I wanted to find the perfect words to relate to others like me–those who struggle like me. I wanted them know that they are not alone. However, I do not think perfect words exist when it comes to this topic. I do not think it is possible to write about it beautifully because it is so evil. This is my candid story about my life with depression, and, I promise, it is anything but beautiful.


Growing up, I was the happy girl who never saw the world for how dark it could be. I was constantly smiling, and my goal was to always make others laugh. I think about that time in my life a lot. Especially when I need hope through the dark days. They remind me that happiness was in my life before, and there will be days that it will return again.


I was 15 when I began to notice a change. This was about the time my parents were going through a divorce. I remember telling my cousin, “The only time I’m not hurting is when I’m sleeping.” So, as you probably guessed, I spent most of the next years doing just that. I thought this sadness was my way of grieving my parents’ divorce, and I chose to believe that for many years following. I do not know if I was oblivious to what was happening or if I was just pretending that it was not something deeper.

Image via Aubrey Marcus Blog


Depression presents itself in many ways, and it has taken different forms in my life- the sleeping, the anger, the crying and the numbness. For my 16th birthday, my dad wrote me a letter saying he admires how happy I always am and how that is what people love about me. I found that letter this weekend, and it allowed me to relive that day. I remember just smiling and hugging him, telling him thank you for everything. How do you look your parents in the eyes and tell them that it is all a show? How do you tell them that you have take a deep breath before you walk into a room and “turn it on” when you see them, knowing they will not understand? I was not happy, but I had become an expert at hiding it.


Relationships have been, perhaps, the most difficult for me. I have been in ones that were nothing but toxic and harmful to my mental health, but I have also been in an amazing one. It is hard for me to explain to the person I love, to any of the people I love, that some days it is a little harder for me to love myself. It is hard to tell my boyfriend what my mind is saying, even when he insists that he can help. He does not understand, and I guess I am thankful for that because no person should have to know what it is like to live with this, but so many people do.


What I want others like me to understand is that you are not alone. You will have some days that feel like you will never be your old self again, but you will be. You will be happy again. You must cling to those around you that make you feel loved and important, and step away from those that do not. Your life is valuable even when the world makes you feel like it is not. We may never be healed, but we can make a choice every day to fight like hell for the life we deserve. Remember, you can not appreciate the light without spending some time in the dark. So, be strong. One day you will look around you and be thankful that you fought it long enough to see yourself truly be happy.


Addison Kliewer

Oklahoma '20

Journalism senior at the University of Oklahoma. Lover of all things pumpkin, coffee, books, new friends and expressing opinions through subpar writing.
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