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Monday, September 26, 2022
The independent student publication of The Unversity at Buffalo, since 1950

Me, my thoughts and the moon

On my depression-driven nocturnal cycle and how I’ve started stepping into the sun

I feel empty.

There’s nothing, I’m nothing, I don’t want to do anything. 

I wake up at 2 p.m. only to wish I had slept more. My room is pitch dark.

What’s the point of getting out of bed? I ask myself. The sun is already starting to set and I’ve wasted more than half my day. 

My friends ask me to get food but my mind has convinced me that all their offers are empty. That they put on this illusion that they like me, but I know they only ask me to hang out because they feel obligated. 

I think I’ll just stay inside today. I have food at home anyway.

I don’t want to go to the kitchen right now; I’m too tired. I’ll just wait ‘til dinner time and eat with my family. 

Three hours go by and I haven’t moved a muscle. My mom yells from downstairs, “Dyl! Dinner’s ready!” 

I ignored her the first time. I’m watching South Park and I’m almost done with this episode.

“Dyl come down, now,” she beckons.

I painstakingly throw myself out of my bed and hobble downstairs. I’m wrapped in a blanket and I have dark purple circles around my eyes. 

I take my seat at the table. My sister looks at me with disgust and sneers, “Ugh, you smell.” 

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She is trying to get a rise out of me, but I pay it no mind. My mom asks,  “When’s the last time you showered, Dyl?”

I respond with a monotone: “I don’t know.” 

I can feel my mom’s beady eyes staring me down. I’m trying my best not to make eye contact; instead, I stare at my plate. 

“I shouldn’t have to tell you to shower, Dyl. You’re 18, this is ridiculous now, it’s disgusting.” 

“Ok mom, I’m sorry,” I respond.

For the rest of our meal, my family talks about all types of things. They talk about fishing, my cousin’s wedding and my brother’s recent lacrosse game. No matter how much talking is done, it all just feels like white noise. I don’t say a word the entire evening.

I finish my meal, clean up after myself and excuse myself from the table. On the way to my room, my mom stops me and asks, “Where are you going?” 

“Back to my room,” I say. 

“Not without a shower first.” 

My family laughs at her sarcasm as I hang my head and hobble back to my room. I get right back under my covers and continue to watch South Park. 

I lay awake at 3 a.m. I’m not going to bed anytime soon. 

Everyone else is asleep. I have no one to talk to. I might as well have this show keep me company.

Before I know it, it’s 7 a.m. and my brother has awoken for school. 

He asks me, “What time did you go to bed last night?”

“I didn’t.” 

With wide eyes, he mutters, “Jesus Christ.”

He leaves for school and, after another 30 minutes, I finally fall asleep.

I wake up later that day at — you guessed it — 2 p.m. 

Depression is a sickness. It’s a universal disorder that affects some of us for days, some of us for years.

To me, depression feels like you’re snuggly wrapped in shag carpet; you’re suffocating and overheating but there’s some sort of sickly comfort in it that makes you reluctant to unwrap. 

It’s important to recognize signs of depression among your peers/family members and to check in with the people you hold dear. Whether you grapple with hygiene, excessive sleep or self isolation — I see you, and my heart goes out to you.

You’re not alone and you are loved. I promise you that. It might be hard to believe it in the moment, but there are people who care for you.

It’s important to speak up about your emotions; merely vocalizing your thoughts out loud can take significant weight off your chest. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to go to therapy. 

One positive that sprouted out of the COVID-19 pandemic is that we can have Zoom calls with therapists and not have to show our faces — something that can make it easier to talk about what’s wrong. 

What’s important is that you stick around. Trust me, it’s worth it. 

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