Time out. As a kid, hearing those words could ruin your day. As an athlete, it brings water, and a break(though maybe also some harsh words from your coach). For me, it means being picked up in the middle of a semester, in the middle of a school week and going home.
The last few weeks have been some of the longest, scariest, and most confusing weeks of my life. I have to remind myself of what I love and what matters to me because what used to be strongly tied to who I am seems false now.
After coming home, I laid down on my bed and listened to the sounds around me. I compared them to the sounds I can hear from my room on campus. At home: there’s the sound of garbled newscasters flowing upstairs from the TV in the living room, and the crackling sound of my neighbor’s car idling in their driveway. On campus: there’s music pounding from somewhere else in the building; repetitive beeping, buzzing, and slamming as students scan their cards, are verified and let in; and the loud joyful shrieks of students in groups, laughing and having fun outside. I don’t know which is more of a comfort to me.
I thought that coming home would help with my depression. It was the one thing I was feeling positive and sure of—going home would help me get better faster than staying at school.
I was wrong.
I feel as though I’m surrounded by mountains and am being forced to wear weighted clothes while climbing them. I don’t think I’ve made any progress and even hearing my mom tell me how proud she is of me and how she knows I’ll get through it feels like a thunderstorm, soaking my clothes and adding to the weight. At times I can feel myself laughing and smiling but it’s an odd experience, as if I’m not fully there.
Some time in the future when I have thought about it enough, I’ll write about and examine the different kinds of depressions. All equally valid, and terrible yet so incredibly different–they present their own kinds of struggles.
For now, I’m still in a time out hoping that I’ll find my focus and find my way back to school.
Until next time,