While at dinner with friends last night, Aaron Swartz came up. I won’t go into detail about his life. You can Google him and you can learn much about his life. I did not know him personally but knew of him. Part of me envied him, we are roughly the same age and yet he had done more by the time he was 14 that I have done to this day. He will be missed. But something was amiss. These friends aren’t really internet type people, or even the social justice people… something was up.
The conversation turned to suicide. There were signs that Aaron was depressed and then the guilt that some people feel because hindsight is always 20/20.
Then it happened. I was asked point blank about my depression.
It’s odd. I mentioned a few times taking Prozac but never shared my depression when I was depressed. It started after my soccer injury and I quit cold turkey my last semester at University. I took a small does once more in June of 2008 and then stopped in three weeks later. I wasn’t cured, it didn’t go away. I just dealt with things differently. I aspired to do things.
So when people ask me about it, It’s really difficult to explain. Words fail me to describe what was happening in my life, in my head, how I felt towards the world. It’s odd I attended university for 3.5 years… and in that time frame no one knew I was on anti-depressant. It wasn’t until after, when I was going through withdrawals, that one a handful of close people notice.
For me the way of dealing with it was keep it to myself. I did not talk about it… just like I don’t talk about a lot of things. I had a good therapist that I attended regularly and the counselor at my University did an adequate job. I was also fortunate to afford good mental healthcare. When I was younger under my parents insurance, and when I was no longer under their care I sought out my own health insurance to continue taking medication for this illness. I was described medication that kept me functional until I stopped taking them. I made the decision that it had been enough time to adjust, so came the time to deal with “real” life. This came after failing to raise enough capital for a venture that I wanted to start that summer. A month later I was informed that I had been kicked out of school due to poor grades. A month after that I started a consulting job for Capitol Records. I just dealt with things, and you know what… things turned out ok.
Do I still feel like used to?
No. But it’s different. I really can’t remember that last time I felt depressed. I’ve been bummed, sad… but not distraught or unconsolable. It seems like me not giving many fucks on how other perceive me was my way out. Having goals, and reaching some of them helped me out of that phase.
This is how I “beat” depression. I am not saying that this how everyone should. I am just sharing my little experience. Will my depression return? Maybe. Am I genetically susceptible to depression? Yes, a little bit. Do I really give any fucks… no, not really.
Comments will be close on this post. As I stated before, I do not talk about my depression. That’s not what helped me. But you are suffering from depression and need someone to talk to, call Depression Hotline: 1-630-482-9696 or Suicide Hotline: 1-800-784-8433.