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By: Hannah Zhang

The pillow was wet with tears. She felt that she didn’t exactly know how to cry if she ever needed to learn. It was her first time, after all. She came home one day after school, in a low mood. She felt dismissed and like no one cared for her. That day was the start of it all.

Adolescence. She felt blamed for everything, although perhaps to a larger magnitude than one her age should. She had scored her own goal in a game by accident, and her teammates had looked at her, exasperated. She had felt a wave of something she had felt two times before, something she might describe as depression during this period. The first time one of these chapters hit her was on a hot day in April. She had forgotten all about it, for it wasn’t something one would worry much about. It wasn’t until the following school year, that she had one of these episodes, once again.

The second one was in September, at an assembly at her school. Her friends had been poking her from behind, and she had told them to stop multiple times. She felt as if she didn’t exist, that maybe her friends didn’t care about her. As she got home that day, she kept thinking back to the incident. She had an instinct to want to kill them. She felt anger that completely took over her, and all that was on her mind was to take a knife and stab it through her friends’ conscience.

After that, the feelings came much more often. Anger, sadness, and disappointment were magnified. She wallowed in self-pity, having breakdowns easily. She made herself feel like she worried for others more than they deserved, and she made herself feel like she was the scapegoat everyone took their anger out on. She felt that she was on a whole different level, mentally than other people, and that no one would ever understand her. She felt that she had more empathy than others and that she knew much more than one her age would. She had also reached out to other people for help just to make them feel sorry for her, and when they didn’t, she was too ashamed to say that she was unsatisfied. She had insincere thoughts of suicide. She convinced herself she had depression. She frequently found this feeling exhausting; sometimes it would go away once she tried to let go of it. She felt shameful thinking about this, as sometimes she wondered, embarrassed, if she was bringing this upon herself, only to deny it firmly later.

Many weeks passed like this, and that turned into months. One day, she woke up, feeling indifferent, although she didn’t notice. Many things happened that day, but she went through it all, unfazed. As she thought back later, she wondered if perhaps this is what those emotional episodes had done to her. She felt so much more grown and mature, and she was more understanding when she watched others go through the same thing. She felt that maybe if she had just let herself be happy, she could, and it was much less tiring than being unhappy. But maybe, just maybe, without this journey, she would have never realized that.

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