The First Time I Realized I Was Depressed

I remember the first time I consciously realized I was sad.

It was in the summer before second grade, and my best friend—my only friend, really—had moved away several weeks earlier. I had decided as a result not to attend the summer camp we used to go to together.

One afternoon, I was sitting on a swing in our backyard. I wasn’t swinging on the swing; I was just sitting on it and looking at the ground. I wasn’t thinking about my friend or about much of anything. I was doing what kids do: just feeling without attaching thoughts to the feelings to try to validate them somehow.

My mom came out of the house. She said that the camp counselor had written me a letter. There was a sympathetic and helpless look on her face that I still remember, though I didn’t understand it at the time.

She read me the letter. The counselor said that she was sorry that I had lost my friend, but that she hoped I would return to summer camp next year.

I remember being a little confused at first when she read it. I wondered why this counselor that I barely remembered would write a letter like that, and why she thought I didn’t go to camp because my friend had left. She must’ve thought I was pretty bad off to go to all that trouble.

And that is when I realized that I was depressed and I missed my best friend.

It was the first time in my life I ever realized this.

I must’ve forgotten soon afterwards, though, because I don’t remember being aware of being sadder than other people in elementary school. Which made it much easier to handle.

Then one day a long time later, when I was in junior high school, I was reading a story in a magazine about a girl who realized that she was depressed because she burst out crying for no reason one day while on a bus.

When I read that, I thought, I do that all the time.

Any similar memories? I’d love to hear them.

***

More Stuff to Read:

Some Spiritual Practices Actually Work. It’s Amazing.

There are hundreds of spiritual techniques for overcoming depression and increasing inner peace. Only one blog talks about whether or not they work. With ratings. (Take that, God.)

I Suspect Inner Peace Is Just a Myth. Here Are Interviews With People Who Disagree.

Some people are such show-offs. But that doesn’t mean they’re not worth listening to.

There’s a Book for That, Too

It’s a great time to get suddenly awesome. So many teachers. So many books.

I’m a Partner, a Mom, a Friend, a Mom, a Sister, a Daughter, a Businessperson and a Mom. Here’s What Helps.

 

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