My Struggle

As you probably noticed, I haven’t been blogging much. And so I am here to explain why- I have lost my motivation to blog. Really, I feel I have lost my motivation to do anything in life.

Before, I was a happy person. I learned for the fun of it. I felt smart, I felt confident, and I felt I could achieve anything in life as long as I worked hard and tried. This was the Titus that I was before.

Now, if anything, I wish I never had this happy past. You see it is sadder to see a great man fall then to see a person who has been failed all his life. That is why all tragedies have a tragic hero who experiences a reversal of fortune. And sadly, I feel I am the tragic hero of my own story.

I don’t know what specifically happened. All I know is, for one thing, I became increasingly dumber. I remember how before, I was quick to catch up on things. I learned quick and I loved it. But gradually, I have come to the state where I’m slow now. I can’t seem to think as well, and upon seeing what has happened to me, I am discouraged to think again. I feel as if my IQ decreased, and I can’t do anything to stop this downward trajectory. It’s almost as if I had a curse on my brain.

My love for learning quickly disappeared along with this. Before, I learned because I was passionate about the subjects. But one by one, this passion started disappearing. First, math. Next, science. Even literature, my love in life, I am sad to say it’s slowly dying away, too. And I’m looking at all of this, and it saddens me. It’s as if seeing a bright yellow flower with a potential to bloom suddenly go dark, petals falling off, and then shrivel up and die. Because now, I feel like I’m dragging my way through school everyday. I am only learning so I can get the grades.

Besides all this, I guess the most important thing that changed is my general emotional state. Everyday, I feel tired and sad. I try to be happy, but I just cannot. Because everything reminds me of my downfall. Of my once wonderful past, now doomed present. I wish I can still return to what I used to be, but that’s impossible. I’m stuck with this fate of failure. And I have accepted it.

So now what I live through everyday is this struggle against this fate. To deal with it. It’s hard battling against this dark cloak that seems to swallow up the sun, but nevertheless I try. I try just living through it. Just letting it take away the light from me and not making a big deal of it.

Yet, sadly, I still take it as a big deal, even though I try to let it go. I still feel that society as a whole thinks me a pathetic being who used to be great. And, sadly I am. Maybe I’m imagining things, but this is what I see.

A friend of mine later became sad himself, too, because of my depression. And it makes me depressed that I made him sad. So everyday, another part of my struggle is pretending to be happy. Pretending not to care. But it’s hard masking these feelings that are eating at my soul and heart everyday.

What makes me sadder is this girl. She’s the most beautiful thing or person or entity in this world. She’s like a god. But she’s pushed me back and sees me as a friend, and I know I have to accept that. And it makes me sad that I can never be with her, that I’m not good enough for her. Again, I’ve fallen.

And my family life. I never feel truly happy with my family. But I remember I used to.

Some people have asked me to don’t commit suicide, because I have had these thoughts before a long time ago. And of course I won’t. But I scoff at them, because I am already dead. Inside.

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Holden, Me, And My Depression

Looking back at what has happened so far during my sophomore year at high school, I have realized that I have undergone a major change in my personality and my outlook at life. Or maybe I haven’t; maybe I just affirmed my position in life. Either way, something big happened. And it started with one book. That book is J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher In The Rye.

You see, I started getting depressed last year when I was a freshman in high school. I don’t know how it started; maybe it was a combination of pressures from home and school. But I knew who was giving the pressure- myself. And I couldn’t help it. Sometimes when it was raining I would walk down the hallways thinking of dying or pretending I was drunk so I didn’t have to worry about the world anymore. The point is, however, that I didn’t see what was happening that time as depression; I only saw it as me being negative.

I had this attitude for the rest of my freshman year and during the summer. The thing was, I really couldn’t put into words how I was feeling. Of course, this all changed when I started reading the book.

My first thought when I began reading the book- I hated it. I hated the voice, the language, because Catcher in the ryemaybe it was too different from what I used to read. I was like- why in the world would an English class make students read this jumble of crap? Until I realized- it wasn’t a jumble of crap. It was pure beauty. My English teacher during one class took one tiny passage out of the book, and from that one tiny passage she revealed to us Salinger’s ultimate purpose. By the time she finished, my jaws were so wide and my eyes were so big. I was awestruck at the beauty- how Salinger managed to give a symbolic meaning behind every single detail.

But soon as I read the book more and more, I came upon another beauty. The beauty of being able to relate to the character. The beauty that because of this, I was able to FEEL Holden. And somehow, I came upon the understanding that through Holden, I was able to realize what I was feeling was depression. Holden became a symbol of my depression. He was my depression conceptualized. In a sense, Holden became me and I became Holden. I soon started talking like Holden, using words like “phony,” “sonuvabitch,” etc. I even started feeling like Holden more than ever. Sometimes I even started lapsing into panic attacks. Somehow me and Holden became one.

Perhaps this is the reason why my depression went worse. Because I related too much to him. I remember when I stayed at school late for track tryouts, and when I was walking home alone, it was all dark. And I just started talking to myself, thinking that you know maybe I could wander the streets just like Holden wandered New York. Only if I had the dough.

Just like how Holden ranted, I felt the need to rant to ease my stress. So I ranted when I was talking to my friends, I ranted on Facebook, I ranted and ranted and ranted. And I wasn’t thinking what I was saying, so soon I was letting out so many negative thoughts, so many negative emotions. And the thing is, I guess I scared people. And so my fellow students reported me. And the next thing I knew, my whole world turned upside down.

I remember being dragged out of my math class by the dean. I remember being handcuffed in front of my crying parents. I remember being transported by ambulance to the place where I would live for six days of my life. To a mental hospital. And I remembered how I laughed at myself, thinking that my life is so much like Holden’s. Crying at myself, thinking my future was ruined. Pitying myself.

But maybe it was those six days that perhaps had the most impact on my life. It was during those six days that I contemplated about myself. That mental hospital was the site of my apotheosis. And I also realized- I wasn’t the only one out there. Perhaps more importantly, there were people much much far worse than Holden and I.

I met people who cut themselves. People who do things such as lying out in the middle of the road. People who tried to hang themselves. People who were so depressed they had hallucinations. People who were verbally, emotionally, physically, and sexually abused. People who were mentally retarded. As alien as it seemed to me, however, they and I shared one thing in common- we all felt neglected, and we all supported each other. And I’m glad that I met people like that. I’m glad I met Aidan, my roommate, who I will never forget. Because I felt them, and their experiences became mine.

When I was discharged, I felt I changed. But it was only the next day, when I came back to school, that I truly changed. And somehow, I don’t know why, that very same day I came back to school, it rained. I was in track class that time, and just like Holden, I just stood there, letting the rain soak me. Letting myself be reborn again.

So what happened later? Well right now I’m seeing my psychiatrist weekly. I’m still being watched.

So this is my story. You might ask, why make such a personal story public? Let me tell you- out there in the world, people don’t talk about depression much. But then there are those few people who do. And from their sharing, they have begun a new movement- a movement of making depression aware to the public. And so I would just like to contribute this story to this growing library, this growing movement. My story alone cannot accurately convey my feeling of depression, but a library of these stories collectively can. And besides this, there is one more reason why I want to share this story-

Cause Holden would have wanted me to.