By Louis De Lauro
I suffered from depression from age 18-21.
I was intensely sad and lonely. One of my college roommates claims I slept for an entire year (I don’t quite remember). Maybe I was asleep the whole time. Maybe I don’t want to remember.
Then I got better.
I am not sure, but I did get better.
Not all depression is life long. Clearly the 20-year-old version of me could not handle stress, hard work, or day to day stuff. 22 year old me turned into a bit of an ass-kicker—good grades, good relationships and a bit of success. By age 25 I was a legit ass-kicker.
I am not dismissing your depression or anxiety. I am simply suggesting for some, things will get better just because we get older and we learn how to handle stress. Many of you will reach ass-kicker status. Some of you have already.
Maybe some of you will suffer from lifelong depression and anxiety, so go see that counselor. Hug your best friend. And get a cat. My cat’s a pal; a real sweetie. Things might suck, but with help and a sweet cat, things get better.
Finally, If you insisted that I tell you how I got better after two or three years of depression I would just say, I matured.
I learned from mistakes.
And the chemicals in my brain calmed down.
And I dragged myself out of bed.
And I made better decisions.
And I developed hobbies.
And I secured friendships.
And I laughed more.
And I made peace with suffering.
I decided life is really hard, but that’s okay. Because it’s hard for all of us.
I apologize if my pep talk was trash (that’s Gen Z slang). But it was sincere. I am more than okay. And I am rooting for you.
Editor: Dana Gornall