“I didn’t know what to do for you”, my old roommate said, when we were catching up during our fifth semester of college. She was referring to being roommates during our third semester. She was one of my favorite roommates in college, we were friends as well as roommates, a rarity for me.
The semester that we were roommates, I lived very simply. I went to classes, went to work, or stayed in my room. I worked as much as possible, because work offered something for me to do, to be good at, a place to be needed.
Aside from two events, I don’t remember making much of an effort to do anything fun that semester, or make any friends. The first, was when he came to visit. That guy, the one who was just a friend but was more than a friend, but was just a friend. The weekend he visited was a highlight. I left my dorm room, I did fun things, I laughed (a lot), and allowed someone to be part of my life. Ah, the things that love friendship does to the brain.
The second, was the annual Christmas party, hosted by the guy’s dorm. A friend (thankfully, I did have a few of those), asked if I was going and when I hesitated, he encouraged, “you can’t live in your room for the rest of your life”.
Someone noticed! So I went. Unfortunately, it was the last month of the semester and I had spent an entire semester isolating myself from everyone possible, so it wasn’t the most fun Christmas party I’ve ever attended.
I spent the following semester in my hometown, studying at a community college, trying to figure out why I was so damn miserable.
My parents thought it was my boyfriend’s fault. In some ways, it was, but that wasn’t something that he could control or honestly had anything to do with. It was more my doing, because I was dating the wrong guy!
Oh, and I was deeply depressed.
Depression sneaks in, the way day disappears into night. Our eyes slowly adjust to the changing light, and then we’re trapped in the darkness without so much as a candle to guide us home safely.
Hundreds of thousands of people know what this feels like. They struggle to remember that sunshine exists on the other side of the dark. This is why my friend, Alise Wright, has brought together writers from all walks of life, to share their stories like the one you just read.
The story I shared today is a bonus, it’s not in the book, but I do share another piece in the book for you to read. I hope that through it, and through the many other stories like mine, you’ll find a reminder that darkness can never mask the sunshine forever.
If you’ve never experienced depression, I promise you that someone in your life has, and you either already know or they aren’t telling you. I like to place books like these in view in my living room, in hopes that someone will read one story while they’re visiting. What are you going to do with your copy?