I’m a 16-year-old girl, living in the Netherlands. I’ve had a depression for about 1 year, maybe longer, and you can say I lost it in a way. This is my story and how I felt during this dark period in my life.
You wouldn’t think that a girl my age would already be experiencing this, but it happens to a lot of kids. When I was about 10 years old, I was in school like all people. There were just the usual kids bullying me since I started school. In the Netherlands, on most schools you have about 8 different teachers, but because I lived in a very small village, the classes were combined, and we had only 4 teachers. When I was in 7th grade (Dutch grades), the bullying was the worst. I was threatened, and kids followed me to my house or waited outside the school to chase me. I was kicked, I was called names; it was the worst. I thought it would be better if I just died. I thought about it a lot.
Fast forward to 1st grade of High School (the school systems are very different from the USA, you start High School when you’re 12 and graduate when you’re 16, 17 or 18 due to the different education levels). I thought I was going to make friends because this was a fresh start, away from all the bullies in my town. Unfortunately, it started all over again with a couple of girls and boys being the bullies. They stole all kinds of stuff from me, I got cyberbullied, I was physically abused, and I just was treated like shit. Luckily, I survived this first year on the new school and go into a very nice class in 2nd grade with a lot of very nice and kind classmates. I didn’t experience the feeling I had been having for years. 3rd grade was even better, I had a lot of good friends and everything just seemed too good to be true. After 3rd grade I had to descend to a lower education level, which meant that I had to say goodbye to all these great classmates.
I went to 4th grade doing HAVO (a Dutch education level) and at first, I didn’t feel at ease in my new class with all these people who already knew each other. I met a girl and became friends with her (at this time I was 15). The bullying started again, and that was the time I truly got depressed. The girl abandoned me and started being rude to me. I only had one friend left, let’s call her Mandy. Mandy had been going through the same thing, so when I felt really down I called her and we could talk for hours. In the beginning, the depression felt weird, like I didn’t specifically know why I was so sad, and I never suspected it to be a depression. It was only after about 3 months that I started searching symptoms and stuff. I was devastated when I found out. But I knew that I had to fight to keep living, because every night I felt like killing myself. I never told anyone about this until after my depression. The entire year it just felt really empty, like something or someone took the happy parts of my soul away and hid them. I met a guy that was also in a depression at that time, let’s call him Axel. I used to text a lot with Axel, and maybe there was something romantic coming up, but I was never really sure because of my dark feelings. After about a month of texting, it started to get kind of weird. He wanted to have sex with me and sent me nude photos. He asked me for nudes and I never did, because I felt really weird; Is this love? And then suddenly after sending me lots of nudes, it stopped, and he told me he didn’t want to communicate with me anymore. I told him no (with my stupid mind), and that he needed to stay, so he did. We met a couple of times at parties and he always tried to make a move, but I ignored him, so I’m not really sure, looking back to it, why I wanted him to stay in the first place.
I slowly started to feel better when I got into 5th grade (the last grade of my High School journey). I broke contact with Axel and started to spend more time with Mandy and my other friend (let’s call her Nina) and I had a lot of fun. The exams came up and I got really stressed. You should know that at this time I lost my depression after fighting it for a little over a year. I still had some downs, but I managed to get over them pretty quickly.
I became involved with a theatre play, which has been my hobby for ages. I love acting because you can escape from reality for as long as you like and be someone else. Right now, I’m still rehearsing for this play and I feel really honoured to be a part of this, because it’s quite a big production with a famous Dutch director. All of the actors that I’m working with are really nice to me, but there is one guy, let’s call him Nico (he’s 26 years old), who is the best. We understand each other so well, while we only know each other for just a few weeks. When we have some fights (because we do) we can always talk about it and understand each other.
We always make it up and hug it out. We can cry, laugh and be concentrated together. I think I never met someone like this in my entire life, and I love him to the moon and back (just to be clear, we’re just friends… I mean he’s 10 years older than me, and he is really happy with his girlfriend). It’s just really weird to think about the end of the 6 performances that we’re going to do, which start in only three days, when we all have to say goodbye to each other. I will miss Nico so much that I already started crying about it last week, that’s why I’m feeling down again, but he understands me and cries about it too. I will miss his voice and his cute curls, his craziness and his hugs that are the best in the world. Maybe I will even miss all of our tears that we shed together. But for now, I’m going to live in the moment and make the best out of it.
This was my story for now, but of course it’s far from over and I’m planning on being very happy in the future. This experience made me stronger and less vulnerable. I hope that you can learn from this if you’re experiencing something similar. All my hopes and prayers go out to the people who are still struggling with these dark feelings and that seems-like-it’s-everlasting sadness. Love all of you guys, and let’s make at least today a good one. Love <3.