When I was eighteen I practically slept the entire summer away June, July and August, I remember sleeping all through the day and all through the night. My parents were away that summer and the only human contact I had from what I can remember, was my neighbor whom my mom had sent to check on me from time to time.
Other then that, I went no where nor spoke with anyone. I only got up to eat, drink, some days to bathe and then right back to bed. Still, there were times I wondered "why I couldn't get up," I would even have moments when I would ask myself “ why am I so tired? ” but, I just kept on sleeping.
It was a weird kind of deep sleep, a desire-less sense of being, sometimes I would hear my phone ring but somehow I could not seem to get up and answer. Eventually I found out the calls were from mom because when she got home early that September from her trip, she was very upset that I did not pick up the phone, luckily the neighbor would inform her that I was fine, but I really wasn't. It was only years later that I realize it was depression.
I don’t know about you, but I have not met many eighteen year old girls that don’t have a social life, are chatting up a storm on the phone with their friends, dating, planning for college, shopping for clothes, going to parties, movies, beach, etc. They are not sleeping their whole summer away.
Sure, I had my fun as a young adult, but clearly there were times in my life where it was not hard to see that something was not right. Well, no one saw, and it was not until years later that I begun to see and understand it myself.
I was displaying at a very early age even earlier than eighteen, many of the symptoms associated with depression, lost of interest, fatigued, sadness and isolation.
It has taken so long to get to where we are in raising awareness and education to the public on mental illness related issues such as depression and we have so much more to go. As far as the stigma attached to it well; in my opinion we have just begun to scratch the surface.
It all leaves me to wonder if there would have been more awareness about depression in the public, media, home and communities back then, if someone would have noticed what I was experiencing and intervened, and not only during that particular time but many others in my life.
The way I felt that summer when I was eighteen was just the tip of the iceberg of things that were to come in my life as a result of untreated clinical depression and social, generalized anxiety.
Many of those things I should have never experienced and many of those tears should not have been shed, but they were, and I can only continue to fuel my strength from thoughts of them. I don’t wish to shut the door on my past because it is through those experiences that I am able to have the love, compassion and understanding that I have for others today.
This post will be the first of a series of post that I intend on sharing on about my past, pain, sufferings and triumphs. Although, sharing about them will not be easy, it will be, I hope, a gateway toward more knowledge and less stigmatization of mental illness related issues.