My depression has been a part of me for so long, but I don't want it to define who I am anymore. I am so much more than that.
I grew up being a friendly, optimistic, outgoing straight-A student in everyone's eyes. Behind closed doors (and sometimes in public), however, I often had breakdowns filled with frustration and anger from as early as the seventh grade. My constant irritability seldom had a reason behind it, which only frustrated me further.
Fast-forward to my freshman year of university in 2014, when these unexplained feelings of sudden anger became mixed with sadness. I decided that what I had been feeling for so long wasn't normal, and looked to outside resources for help. A month later, in March of 2015, I was diagnosed with severe depression and put on antidepressants.
Since then my mood stabilized and the feelings of anger and unexplained sadness started to fade away.
In October of 2015 things took a negative turn and my depression came back strongly and suddenly. I missed lectures, had trouble concentrating, slept my days away, and failed two of the three courses I was taking (which is half of the course load of a normal engineering student). I felt hopeless and like I would never be able to get back on my feet. My medication got increased, and my Residence Life Manager set up a regular counselor for me with Dalhousie's counseling services. Slowly, things started to look up and this dark depressive episode finally ended.
This semester (winter 2016), I moved out of residence and adopted a cat to keep me company in my new home. I decided to take the semester "off" by only taking one very easy course, and got a full-time job to earn some extra cash.
Things are looking up right now, but being the realistic person that I am I expect another depressive episode to happen again at least once in my life. It really doesn't matter how many times I feel the heavy burden of my depression and how long these dark times last, as long as I fight my way through it and know that I can conquer anything that comes my way.