Opinion: ‘We’re all imperfect human beings who need a tune up every now and then’


Ashley Tanguay , Contributor


Note: The following opinion piece was written after the unfortunate untimely death of student Jonah Guzman in April. In the piece, student Ashley Tanguay attempts to describe her own depression to bring about awareness for others.  


Dear Editor:

Depression isn’t just crying yourself to sleep like many people think it is: It is made up of so much more than just tears. It’s staying in bed all day because you don’t have the energy to do a thing. For most people, depression isn’t about wanting to kill yourself: It’s about fighting to stay alive for as long as you possibly can, and people always seem to confuse the two. It’s wanting to give up but instead you hang on for a little while longer because there is still a pinch of hope left. As much of a burden as this is, it’s also a gift. Depression is made up of really low lows and really high highs. Having depression will make you feel O.K. one minute and not the next. It’s made up of insecurity: How can something so dreadful keep us feeling O.K. in our own skin? Depression isn’t just about the negative thoughts like others think it is. It’s made up of people who can’t “handle” us and leave instead of giving us the positivity to survive in a world that I’m not even sure I want to live in any more. Depression feels like you’re constantly on a battlefield: One day grenades are being thrown your way, and the next day you become the grenade. It’s made up of fake smiles and lies when someone asks if you’re O.K.

Depression consists of wanting to be alone; we think being antisocial is better for us but isn’t. Being alone and quiet is our loudest cry for help. Depression is made up of becoming your strongest at your weakest. It’s made up of a very thin piece of rope that you’re walking on – hanging above deep cold water that you’re afraid to fall into. Do you feel that? Your heart beating out of your chest while you balance yourself on a rope – having depression will get you across the other side some days, and the days when you can’t get there? You fall.

Being a victim of depression, you always feel like you are drowning in cold water, with no one who can save you. It’s made up of finding the happiness you need in someone else, resulting in another heartbreak. Having depression will make you change the way you look at yourself. You will look at yourself the way the world around you does; why would society make you lower yourself to that level?

Having depression isn’t about craving the attention like some think it is. It’s a real-life disorder that not everyone can understand. Being a victim of depression,  you see all the beauty in the world that not everyone can see. Having depression, you think about how imperfect you are, but aren’t we all? We’re all imperfect human beings who need a tune up every now and then. When Jonah took his life, he left us with a sharp unbearable pain, but he will always live within us all.

Rest in peace Jonah. We love you.

— Ashley Tanguay     

Note: For more information about depression, visit the National Institute of Mental Health’s website here.

Also, students if you or someone you know is dealing with symptoms of depression, see a school counselor immediately. We care about you. — Emerald Staff.