Tuesday 13 September 2016

How I Overcame Depression and Discovered My Talents

Mary writes about how she solved the cause of her depression during her university studies and how that helped to define her talents.
- Mary Kleim

You know those people who choose the wrong major at college and have bitter regrets? Well, I’m one of them. I couldn’t bear the pressure of the choice, so I just decided to make my parents happy. They were happy all right, but I got depressed.

I found the strength to get through that period of my life. It wasn’t easy, but I made it through, and I want to tell you something: depression has a purpose. It’s meant to make you aware. When you’re in a bad place because of your own choices, your sub consciousness finds ways to hit you right in the face. Once I realised that was where my depression was coming from, I started digging deep enough to find out exactly what I wanted to do.

My parents have always expected too much from me. My father is a gambler, who brought the entire family into one disaster after another. My mother is a nurse. She faces the struggles of other people every single day, so I understand why she’s so frustrated when she gets home.

Me… I was always the perfect child. I was the light in their lives. I always did great at school. I was smart, well-mannered, humble, and kind.

My mother always told me: “You’re the one who’ll get us back up. You’re the only hope I have. You’re everything to me.” If I got a B at school, she was disappointed.

The expectations increased when I went to college. Since all I ever did was with the purpose of making my parents happy, I didn’t know what I wanted. My own feelings and desires were buried so deeply that I couldn’t recognize them anymore.

When it came down to choosing a major, I faced the greatest challenge in my life. I knew this decision was going to trace my future. I had no idea what I wanted, so I chose what my parents expected: business management. That’s where the money was. Since my family was always in financial struggles, they wished a life full of luxury for me.

I got very depressed during my first year at college. I didn’t want to make friends. I was always alone, unwilling to discover the city, unwilling to go to parties, unwilling to do anything. When my parents asked how everything was, I lied.

At one point, I got so low that there was no other way to go but to pull myself up. I had a really nice roommate who understood what I was going through. She’s the most compassionate, intuitive, and kind person I know. She suggested a method: “If you don’t know what you feel, write. Your thoughts get clearer when you put them on paper.”

I began to write a private online diary. The process was meditative: I used to stare at the blank page for a minute, and then words just started pouring out. I felt like I was revealing my soul to that diary… layer by layer.

My mind got more focused throughout the writing process, and my feelings got clearer. Now, I was the one who was disappointed. I realised that from then on, it was time to start making my own choices.

After a long time of consideration, I decided to stick with that major, but I found a way to combine it with something I loved: writing. Now, I have my own online writing business and it’s doing great.

The period of depression is behind me now, but the experience serves as a reminder that I’m my own person, responsible for my own choices and actions. I don’t know where the future will take me, but I find relief in the fact that I’m the one who’s building it.

For more information on finding support with depression, click here.         

For more information on how to support a friend going through depression, click here.

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