I had this ideia in a British Council class, then wrote it down after I told him I wrote it and he asked to read it.

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October 12, 2014 by Cláudia

Growing up is hard. Hardest.

As a child, you are almost a non-person: no ideas, no convictions, no pain. You believe in everything you are told. You live in a fantasy. Growing up means killing that fantasy. The world isn’t all peaches and cream, people are mean, full of bad things to say about you. Real replaces the fantasy, and worse, once you see real, you can never go back.

Growing up is the most painful time of our lives, specially if you are one of the thinking ones. One of those who ask “why?” and feel agonized by not getting an answer. Those who come to realize that we, in fact, know nothing, and the more we learn, the more we realize the emmensity of our ignorance.

Well, I remember being the one who was picked last for volleyball. And I remember that being a tragedy.

Why me?

That seems trivial now.

But just imagine for a moment…

You are no longer in primary school and people call you a pre-adolescent already…

You are not pretty nor talkative. You feel the absolute need to fit in a group, doesn’t matter if you like them or are liked back.

But you have never been the fitting kind. You wear light green trousers and do not shave your legs yet.

So you don’t fit in. And as I said, people are mean. You “dress strangely”, have a “Lady Gaga’s nose” and look like a “monkey”. Other people say that it isn’t true but you just do not believe them. Strangely, we always believe the insult rather than the compliment.

You are ugly,

and stupid,

and no one will really like you.

Your colleagues are “dating” boys but not you. How could you? You are boring and ugly and stupid.

That was how I felt growing up. But don’t pity me.

I do not want you to pity me.

My growing up was normal in this sense. Even the most popular pretty girl felt that she was boring, ugly and stupid. I am sure. Actually, feeling like this growing up is good. If I didn’t, how would I have realized that it didn’t matter to belong to a group of 20 people or to be popular or even to be pretty. This made me have a very low number of friends, but the ones I give the highest importance.

So, what’s the point of this text?

Just keep imagining a little bit longer…

So, you are me, and you feel devastated because (thankfully) your shallow aspirations aren’t turning out the way you wanted to and you don’t feel loved and admired by everyone. You don’t want to be at school and less than everyone anymore. You want a safe place, where it is okay to be you. Where you can feel, no matter how hard it turns out to be the outside, there is one place in this world you can go and it is yours and you can be you.

That would be home.

Well, I wrote in my diary, at eleven, “I find myself wanting to go to school to escape home and wanting to go home to escape school.”

So home wasn’t safe. Home wasn’t to feel good. Home was feeling you couldn’t live up to mom’s expectations. Home was feeling you could never be what mom wanted no matter how hard you tried because mom wanted you to be perfect in all ways and made you feel the oposite as perfect when you didn’t succeed. Home was not being you. Home was being someone else. Home started to be hating yourself and wishing you were someone else. Home was tolerating no mistakes. Home was a constant, no stopping search for perfect.

I had no space to make mistakes. I had a 24/7 job in pretending to be perfect.

Home at weekends was not understanding dad. Was living inside a storm. Was being held up, to next be brought down. Was a mental game to which you had no cheats to survive without scars. Home at dad was scare. Home at dad was trying to be nothing, nothing so he wouldn’t notice anything else to destroy.

But you knew nothing.

You carried on your life, ignoring that a monster was growing inside you. You made friends, you found a special one. But you lived with a monster. Or rather, a monster lived with you. You were angry, mainly at yourself. There were times when you would have nothing good to say about yourself or your life.

That special someone started to turn into a special everything. The one and only good thing. The only thing I wanted to think about. The meaning of life, or else, the only part of my life that could possibly explain why I was still alive. He was everything.

So, obviously, that special someone left.

And, finally, I felt what I should have felt years and years ago.

I felt that I wanted, I should and I absolutely needed to die.

Depression kills. Being depressed is being sick and not knowing.

This is just a story, just an unimportant story of my life. This isn’t someone who is “crazy” or “sad”, this is the story of growing sick and not knowing where to go from there.

Depression is a disease, not a state of spirit.

It is a serious disease. You will loose your life having negative thoughts about you and everyone around you. I have lost 7 years of my life being depressed and still struggle with it everyday. I didn’t and don’t deserve the treatment I got and still get. And no one deserves to have the mind playing tricks on you.

Do not waste your life away. Depression is a disease. Depression can be treated. You can have your life back or build a new one.

As they say, you only live once…

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