When I first enrolled at Delta College my experience wasn’t anything special. This could’ve been due to the lack of student activities and the schools lack of involvement with them, or just my introverted personality.
I’ve dealt with generalized anxiety and depression for as long as I can remember, but social anxiety was one of my biggest problems. Talking to people and just being around them in general was almost crippling for me.
My high school experience wasn’t anything different. I avoided other students and went out of my way to avoid conversation.
This lead to a lot of isolation and the feeling of being alone. And though I had a small group of friends I still felt alone. The anxiety and depression I had was making life difficult to deal with.
In the fall of 2015 after I enrolled in Delta College I joined The Collegian, Delta College’s newspaper. I would attend class and leave as soon as it ended and go home, even as an entertainment editor the following semester.
One day my newspaper adviser asked me why I never stuck around like the other editors did, eating pizza together and and interacting. I didn’t want to tell her why; for some reason talking about my depression and anxiety made me uncomfortable.
I didn’t want to burden others with my problems and most importantly I didn’t want to come off as someone just seeking attention. But I told her that I had anxiety and it made me nervous to be in groups.
Telling her about my anxiety was probably the best decision I made, because I felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. And after a while I started to feel more comfortable.
It took me a while, but I gradually started to stick around more in the newsroom, talking with the other editors and forming new friendships. I noticed that my fear of talking to and being around people was starting to diminish, not just in the newsroom, but everywhere in general.
Life was becoming easier, and with that came confidence, especially after I was made Editor in Chief a couple semesters ago, something I never thought I would’ve accomplished when I first joined the newspaper.
I decided at some point that being a journalist is what I wanted to do as a career, because I love it and it truly makes me happy.
And I figured that if I did something I love for a living, my depression and anxiety would vanish and I’d live happily ever after.
My newspaper advisor, knowing I deal with anxiety and depression told me about the Break the Silence project taking place this spring semester.
I figured I’d join it. I like to write and interview people and I understand depression well because I still deal with it. Even though things are currently going pretty good in my life right now, I’m still depressed and that’s what concerns me.
When the depression was more severe, I always felt as though being apart of something I care about and accomplishing things I found difficult would make me happy.
And now that I have been apart of things and have accomplished things I never thought I could, those old negative thoughts and feelings still make themselves present.
If things are as good as they have ever been for me right now, why am I still depressed? Most importantly, will this also be the case when I’ve got a career I love and a “fulfilling” life? Will it ever go away for good?
I wanted to find the answer to these questions and that’s when my idea for what I wanted to do for the project formed. I wanted to interview someone who’s life seems to be the ideal life, being successful, having a family and a career they love but also still dealt with depression.
That is when Carmen Cruz shared with me that she got into contact with Ben Nemtin, who had his own MTV show called ‘Buried Life’ and wrote a book, but had dealt with depression for a long time, which was so bad that it made him drop out of college.
She set up an interview with him over the phone in the RTV room and we interviewed him for about 45 minutes, letting him tell is his story. A few minutes in, I asked him that even though he’s living a life he never thought was possible and then some, does he still get depressed?
“Of course.” he said. He went on to say that even though your current life situation may be great, you can still at times feel miserable, but you can still try and make the best of it.
So after this interview and after being apart of this project, I learned something. For those that have been diagnosed with depression and deal with it on a day to day basis, it is something that will likely never go away, but I am positive that if you still try to make the best of your life and aim for happiness, life will be a whole lot easier.