By Sean Sarantos
In my darkest moments I always assumed no one could feel what I was feeling. That they couldn't even begin to know the loneliness that only I believed followed me day and night. I recall one night where my mind and body completely shut down. I was 12 at the time, sitting in the middle of my room in complete darkness staring off into nothing. I remember my father coming into the room, look at me, and without saying a word sat next to me and held my hand. For hours we sat side by side, not making a sound. After I don't how long I finally let go of his hand and looked at him. He looked back and calmly asked if I would like a sandwich. I wiped the tears from my face, smiled, and nodded my head. Without ONE word being spoken I felt better. And in that SMALL moment I had felt peace.
Support was something I though I would never have. And even when my father sat with me silently for hours, it wasn't until years later I realized how much of a difference THAT moment made in my life. Sadness was something that I woke up with every morning, and every night I prayed it would go away when I opened them again. When you deal with depression you honestly feel and believe you ARE alone and that no one else can relate. I never spoke about it because I felt deep down no one could understand what I was going through. Even now as I am older and know that there are millions who suffer from all types of depression, I didn't know this as a child. And even it I did it's not something I could just easily open up about to another persons face. It's not like one of those moments where you see someone else wearing the same shirt as you and it can automatically start a conversation for the moment.
For me, being depressed meant being alone, and being alone meant no one spoke to me and I spoke to no one.
I wish I knew then what I know now! At the peak of my depression I was having to spend weeks at a time with my mother and her (abusive) boyfriend. I was in a strange house, with a strange man, and a mother who even to THIS day is still a stranger in my eyes. I dealt with horrible verbal abuse from the woman who was supposed to be 1 of the 2 most caring people in my life. And at a time where there was no social medias, or smartphones, or other outlets to reach out with. I was alone. An unwanted guest in a house I never wanted to step foot in anyways!
Now-a-days all you have to do is Google about depression and you can find websites, groups, pages upon pages of people all around the world who can relate to what you are going through! You don't have to feel scared about walking up to someone and voicing your demons face to face. Now you can do it without fear of embarrassment or being ridiculed by peers! Not only can you find people to help you, YOU can now be a symbol of hope for someone else! And having that feeling of someone actually accepting you, wanting to talk to you, and even asking for YOUR guidance can open doors you never knew existed!
I urge those of you reading this who with a sense of understanding for the feeling I've expressed, NOT feel alone anymore! I know that it can be hard to step out of ones comfort zone when there really is no such thing as a "comfort" zone for us, but there is someone out there who is going through the EXACT same things as you OR worse! And they need someone to talk to just as badly as you do! We live in a time where NOW we can make a difference, NOW we can step out of our shell, NOW we can not only find those who accept us but also be the light that accepts others!
My name is Sean Sarantos.
I battle depression every day I wake up.
I battle myself every minute of those days.
I am not alone, and neither are you.