Memories of Saturday Mornings Past: Reflections on Moving Past Depression

There are few Saturdays that go by without me remembering the Saturday mornings in high school that I woke up early to go to my voice lessons. My instructor was a beautiful woman from the Netherlands named Mariel. I loved her like a parent and have always said she was like my second mother.

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On those Saturdays I gladly traded sleeping in late for practicing, putting on my prettiest clothes and going to those hour long lessons. Then usually my mom and I would go grocery shopping in Southridge and proceed to get lost in Target buying a few things here and there we didn’t need and then go to Book’s a Million to read magazines we never intended to pay for.

Though I continued to take voice lessons in college the level of commitment I felt I could afford to give to singing became less and less as I became more critical of my abilities to sing and slipped further and further into depression. There were a lot of lies I started to believe during my time being depressed. Whereas in high school I believed in pushing myself and having high goals, I started to believe in college that if I didn’t conserve energy, if I didn’t limit my activity to the absolutely necessary in order to succeed academically that I would inevitably fail. I stopped exercising, and though I continued to sing, the notes became stuck into my throat not wanting to come out. I concluded simply that I must have never had any talent. I stopped taking it seriously.

Thankfully I never stopped painting during that bleak period because I was curious to see if sadness really did make a better artist. My conclusion is that all of that is irrelevant. Good paintings arise out of thin air when you least expect it. Usually right after you think you’ve made a huge mistake in your work you realize it was the most beautiful mistake you could have made and creates a picture never possible before.

That’s what I hope my life is turning into. It’s difficult to remember the exact causes to my depression because mental illness is complicated and I simply don’t want to remember all that pain, but what I do know is that there were some negative attitudes I had towards myself during this time. I convinced myself that all the talents I thought I had were either unimportant or non-existent. Essentially I gave up everything I had been passionate about in favor of trying to “not be a failure”, an extremely vague concept that the more I think about makes no sense.

The only way I could fail is if I gave up on the things I find important to me, and even though I came close to this for a time, it is never too late to start life back up again. It’s time to realize that there are things I love to do that I need to keep doing for the sake of my own happiness even if they never contribute towards future success. It’s time to realize I have great talents that not only can be enjoyed by myself but hopefully can inspire others.

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I’m not saying any of this to brag about myself or try to attract attention. I am writing this because if one depressed person who has given up on their passions can read this and pick themselves back up again, I would be beyond happy. If one person who has lost their voice, can get up early again on a Saturday, put on a nice dress and go out and do whatever puts a smile on their face, I would be even happier than I have come to be now at this stage in my life.

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