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Abigail s Story

Clemson, South Carolina USA


"9 months ago:

Depression isn’t sadness.
I wish I was simply sad.
I wish I had a traumatic accident or a terrible loss. Something I could point blame at and
say 'this is why I’m sad.'
But I’m not sad.
And I have no reason.

Depression isn’t sadness.
It’s a feeling like that of deterioration.
With each passing minute another piece of you withers away.
You can feel yourself dying.
Not a quick bullet to the head…
The most excruciating death, one in which you can feel each neuron, every cell dying
within you.
The body you’ve spent your whole life hating is finally seeking revenge.
You lay in bed staring at the wall for hours.
You internally scream at yourself to move. To get up out of bed. To quit wasting your life
But you remain.

No one understands what’s wrong with you.
They don’t understand why you’re in so much pain.
They think you’re crazy, or rude, or pathetic so they leave.
You don’t blame them.
You wish you could leave too.
Instead you continue to waste away.
Suffocating in a pain that exists solely in your head.
'You’re doing this to yourself'
'Why are you pushing me away'
'You shouldn’t be so sad'

'But I’m not sad,' I tell them. 'I’m not sad'

The warm tingle from a glass of wine takes off the sharp edge of the depression. A
second glass makes you giddy and you think you might actually smile.
Soon you’re tipsy. Soon you’ve been tipsy.
Soon you’re lying to your friends about how tipsy you are.
Friends begin to think that you have a drinking problem.
Maybe you do. Maybe you don’t.
They don’t want to stick around to find out.

Concern turns into gossip and suddenly you’re alone.
Soon you stop hearing from your friends.

You see old friends around and they always ask the same thing:
'Where have you been?'
You tell them you 'have a lot of hard classes,' you’ve 'been around,' you’ve been
'really busy.'
You don’t tell them you’ve been lying in bed because you just can’t move.
Someone tells someone that you’re an addict and now old friends avoid you at the store.
They don’t care enough to find out the truth.
Soon you stop going out.

Your teachers think you don’t care
They mistake your emptiness for disinterest.
They think you’re lazy.
They don’t have enough time to ask if everything is okay.
Soon you stop going to class.

This isn’t me.
This isn’t me.
I have depression.
Depression isn’t me.

I wake up every day and I am thankful to be alive.
So many people who were in my same position didn’t make it.
They were judged. They were isolated.
People trapped in their mind with no one to pull them out.
They didn’t make it because they had no way to believe the pain would ever stop.
No one understood, no one stuck around, there was no one to talk to, and now they are

It isn’t easy dealing with someone suffering from depression.
I am thankful for friends, family, and professors who never gave up on me. I am
understanding of the people who did.

But depression is a disease.
It is not laziness, sadness, an excuse, or a choice.
When someone is going through a depressive episode, there is an extreme feeling of guilt.
Guilty for missing classes when your parents are paying so much. Guilty for pushing
your friends away because you don’t want them to see you like this. Guilty for feeling
When someone is going through this, the last thing they need is to feel like they are being
judged, isolated, or misunderstood.
Even though you may not understand, just be there.

Hold someone’s hand or watch Netflix or force them out of the house on a walk.
Call their parents or drive them to a doctor.
Sometimes it just takes ONE thing to save someone’s life.

So many people could have been saved.
But instead, they were stigmatized.
If you are reading this, and you are in pain, you are not alone.
If you are reading this, and you know of someone who is in pain, don’t let them feel
Thankfully I had people in my life that refused to let me go.
I made it through the depression because a close few continued to support me through my
journey to recovery.

Sharing my story is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.
But I am not ashamed.
I am strong.
I am healthy.
I am happy.
I am alive.

I am Abigail.
I am not my disease."

Story & Photo Submitted By: Sara Culclasure, Clemson University Campus Representative

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