I usually leave out this part of the story (you’ll understand why soon enough) but since this blog is all about honesty I’m just going to go for it…
One of the things that helped me the most with my depression was exchanging TV for books. In fact, I think that one of the best things you can do when you have depression is pick up a few hobbies and start filling your time with positive activities that you enjoy. I had always been a great reader, but with everything going on in my life and with my family I never found the energy to do it anymore, and I found the book(s) that helped me through this stage of my life by chance.
My mom asked me to go on walk with her, and I usually never (and still don’t) said no to her. Spending time with her was not a problem because she never expected me to make conversation or even respond to whatever she was telling me, with her I could simply exist. So I decided to go with her and while we were walking she told me she wanted to go to the movies and, per usual, I said yes and let her choose the movie because frankly, I just didn’t care. She pointed at a movie poster and said “people seem to really like that one”, so we bought the tickets, we went to the store around the corner and bought chocolate (which later on I learned it’s like poison if you have depression) and hid it in her purse because we refuse to pay for the overpriced food they sell at movie theaters, we sat in our seats and started watching a movie about a girl who seemed to be just as boring and depressed as I was, and her boyfriend who was… a vampire? Well this was unexpected…I didn’t know it but I was watching Twilight, and as silly as it may sound, for the first time in a long time I felt something other than absolutely nothing, and I remember that feeling like it was yesterday.
When we left the movie theater all I could think about was the character whose main trait seemed to be low self-esteem and the one facial expression, and her self-pitying and sparkly boyfriend; so the next day I went to the store and bought the book, a book obviously written by an amateur and for teenagers. I mean… here’s an example of her writing style:
“Aren’t you hungry?” he asked, distracted.
“No.” I didn’t feel like mentioning that my stomach was already full – full of butterflies.
What did I like about a story where the guy confuses being hungry with being in love? I don’t know, but I liked it and for the first time in a long time I was using my imagination instead of dumbing myself down with the TV, so I stuck with the books.
A few months later (keep in mind there are four books and then four movies), when I was finally ready to start being part of the world again and make myself look half decent, I got a job at LUSH. Honestly, I still wonder why the manager kept me around for so long. During my four months working there I ignored clients when they entered the store, I stared at them for too long, I waited about 4 (Mississippi) seconds before answering their questions, and at times, I would stay in the storage room for a good 5 to 7 minutes to avoid them. So was I the best employee? Definitely not. But at a personal level, waking up every day and managing to stay there and complete my shift was quite a challenge. What really helped me through the day was the fact that I had a 2 hour break in the middle of the shift, and in that time all I did was read the Twilight Saga, giving myself a short break from the real world and making the following hours at work more bearable. 4 months later I got fired, but now I was ready to look for another job and try again.
So there you have it, Twilight is my not so dirty and not so secret, secret. All jokes aside though, when you have depression everything in life seems hard, and you need to find that one thing that motivates you to get out of bed every morning, you need to find something that will help you deal with the feeling of hopelessness. Later on (when I was half way through the Twilight saga) I picked up other hobbies such as photography because the feeling of accomplishment and the constant progress made me feel good about myself. So my advice is to find something that you like and keep doing that.