A Heroic Loss a Heroic Shame (Test for Depression)

Learn how I beat Depression

When you know you know, if you feel bad consistently then the likelihood is that there is something eating you up inside that you can’t get out of your system, that you can’t digest. Often this is not apparent to us on the outside, it is not apparent because we aren’t looking. No one was looking when a young man of my community was lost to us.

When the schoolmaster called us into the hall, already the word had gotten out as to what had happened. The younger ones amongst us didn’t know what to make when the senior students told us that **** had done something stupid. The worst we had assumed that this guy, this outstanding athlete, this popular guy with the ladies, this popular guy full stop could have done was play truant, had like an old school captain gotten himself expelled for getting off with one of the cleaning ladies, we couldn’t have imagined anything else.

There had been no test for depression for **** (I blank out his name not to erase his memory, but just to really get it across that that is what he is now, a blank) There was an empty space in the study hall where his desk was gratified as all bored students do, there was an empty slot in the refectory where the seating plan left his table one mouth short, one less meal to be cooked, one less bed to prepared, blanks all blanks.

How it must have affected those who were close to him, how the tears they shed in that hour as we prayed on the request of the school chaplain, how there was enough tears in the bodies of the student body I don’t know. We weren’t particularly close to him. We watched from afar and basked in his glories with anticipation every time the ball would come down the line into this winger’s hands. He was a Joanna Lumo on exchange from the other side of the world, he was far from home, but six months into his stint he was settled, so we thought, so we had assumed.

I still reflect on his passing as it throws in the face what I often believed to have been the true test for depression, those little bits that add up to a total of the person you would most expect to be suffering from depression, and the stupid thing he did, didn’t add up.

It still doesn’t, how I had always just painted the picture of the depressed person as one who was without friends, one who was picked on, had acne and felt their life was shit because yes their life was crap. I have seen others who had not even a hint of the natural ability and affinity with people that **** the character had and they made it through why couldn’t he? He was the alpha male, if he couldn’t hack it, then how could anyone?

The experience rocked our school, it rocked his friends, his parents 6,000 miles away were destitute and in my mind I struggled to come to terms with the how? We all struggled with the how? The why? The details came and filled in the blanks of the turn of events, but the little details could never explain the why. From then on, I started to garner a new approach to the way I thought about depression, I myself had the suicidal thoughts only 2 years before that day, and there were days I lacked the ‘guts’ to do it.

I looked around and saw what could have been, even my own feelings of being alone and not having friends was never actually true, as was proven in the years that passed where I found the friends I always had, had always been by my side and on my side. The test for depression is not about chalking up ability on a blackboard, it is not about a checklist where we test one person in our own eyes and determine their attributes against those of another and find no common denominator. If ever there had been the person you would expect not to have suffered from depression then this guy was it. Now there is just a blank, the only thing that makes sense now that with 10% of the population likely to experience depression at some point in their lives, it could be anyone of us.

Suffering does not make us any better or worse than anyone else, it is when we give up that is when we are at our worst, that is when we deserve to lose any semblance of respect me might still hold onto. My not having the ‘guts’ saved our school hall from the very same scene that was forced on us that day. I got through it, in a solemn way I say that perhaps I was more a hero despite of his award winning try’s, I was more hero than ****.

Learn how I beat Depression

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