Depression in College: How Taking a Break From the Sport I Love Has Helped Me
“Please. I need someone. Anyone. I need someone to hold me. Tell me everything is going to be OK. Will it be OK? I just don’t know anymore. Embrace me. Hug me. Until this toxin is released from my mind, soul, heart. Cleanse me from this poison. It fills me up more and more every second I’m here. It’s filling fast and I feel myself getting too full. It’s becoming dangerous. Please suck it out of me. I’m drowning from the inside, out.”
This is an excerpt from my journal back in June 2016. I was living with depression, and I didn’t even know it. I knew something was wrong, but I pushed it away in hopes that it got better. It didn’t until I got help.
When some people hear the word “depression” they might not think much of it, they might even roll their eyes. They might think, “It can’t be that big of a deal.” I used to be that person. Before I was diagnosed, I never thought depression was something that could ever happen to me. Throughout my life I always found myself to be a genuinely happy person. I mean, of course, I felt sadness and loneliness like any other person, but I never envisioned my life to be completely enveloped by those two feelings. Someone once said to me, “People with depression and anxiety don’t talk about it if they actually have it. If they do talk about it, they just want attention.” I now realize that this is completely false. When you actually do have depression and anxiety, you do want to talk about it but sometimes you just don’t know how. Because even you don’t understand what is going on. Most of the time you feel so confused and lost. You spend hours sobbing into a pillow, thinking about nothing and everything. You can’t really pinpoint your reasoning for crying other than just existing. You have anxiety attacks when you have to go out into public, especially bigger crowds. You need constant reassurance on your relationships with people. You are in a constant state of loneliness even when you’re around others. You feel so lonely, but you also hate being alone at the same time. You just want to be better, but you don’t know how. You feel like you’re battling the world on your own. Sometimes you wish you weren’t even in this world at all. You pretend your life is amazing when you now you’re not happy. Because it’s easier to fool everyone else than to fool yourself. You cry by yourself because being “weak” just isn’t an option. You don’t let your mom know that your number one fear is disappointing her. Or let yourself sister know that all you want from her is to hug you so tightly until you can’t breathe anymore. How do you explain to others that crying is hard for you and that when you do cry you cry for hours? When you battle with a mental disease by yourself, one day you will crash.
Since the middle of last semester my depression has gotten worse. It was so bad that I had no desire to play golf, and those who know me, know golf is my life. People have been confused on my sudden lack of desire for golf, but it is not so easy to explain. For the past two months I have not even come close to picking up a golf club, and it should make me sad but it doesn’t. These past two months without golf have actually been relaxing, and I have gotten to know what being a “regular” college student feels like. While a break may seem like a scary concept, it can be one of the most important and rewarding parts of your training. The time away from golf has given me the opportunity to reflect on why I even love this game in the first place, but today I have decided that my “vacation” has to now come to a close. I am happy to say I am starting to get in a better place mentally, and I am ready to start practicing and regaining the love and desire that I once had.
If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 741-741.
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Thinkstock photo by Ryan McVay