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The Small Act That Made Me Realize I Was Healing From Depression

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If you walked past me on the street, you probably wouldn’t think I’ve battled and beaten depression and that I’m still fighting anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder today. I mean, I’m 17. People don’t always think kids my age could ever deal with all those mental illnesses. But yes, we do. Honestly, it’s a constant, daily and never-ending battle with these daunting voices in my head and it’s quite exhausting.

About eight months ago, my world came crashing down. Everything I thought was once enjoyable just seemed like an insurmountable obstacle placed in front of me. I didn’t see any light at the end of anything, let alone that metaphorical tunnel that people just assume is so easy to walk through. I was stuck.

One thing I noticed about myself is that I wasn’t singing in the shower anymore. I usually plug in my portable speaker and place it on the toilet lid and blast my lovely playlist created by yours truly while scrubbing myself from all the day’s impurities hoping it could magically wash away anxiety. It never does… I used to sing along to my favorite songs regardless if my parents were somewhere in the house and if I was singing loud enough (involuntarily) for them to hear.

During this time, I started college. A completely new experience for me. None of my friends from high school were going where I was. I had to make new friends, while battling depression and anxiety.  I managed, barely. I juggled soccer, making new friends, studying, yoga (when I was up to it) and maintaining some sort of a social life. There was a lot of crying. A lot. But I made amazing friends I hope I stay friends with for the rest of my life. Of those friends I lost a couple, but the ones I have now are the ones who matter most. Those are the ones who deserve to see me at my best because thankfully they were there at my worst.

Yet, I was struggling to see progress. I searched far and wide for what ended up being dead ends. I wanted to get better, but I couldn’t. I desperately tried. I saw one psychologist, it didn’t work out so well. I saw another one maybe a little over a month later, and as soon as they opened the door inviting me into their office, I knew they were the one.

And for the first time, almost two months later, I took my shower. I plugged in my music, set the speaker on the toilet lid, blasted my fabulous playlist. Then, I started to sing. I heard myself. And for the first time I saw progress. I was singing in the shower. I did it. After eight months. I texted my two best friends from college on our group chat and told them. They were so happy for me. A lot of heart and kiss emoji were involved.

It took me eight months to realize it does get better. It took me eight months to figure that out. I just don’t think I ever took the time to value that. It’s a small victory, a small step for others, but a giant step for me.

For the first time in a while, I saw progress. I sang along to my music. Something I haven’t done for what seemed to be ages just felt like I was OK. I am healing.

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Thinkstock photo via esp2k

Originally published: July 11, 2017
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