Overcoming Depression and Aspiring to Help Others

By: Covee Haney

10 Votes

Overcoming Depression and Aspiring to Help Others - Covee Haney

Ohio State University


When I was younger I went through a very severe depression revolving around my figure and identity. It started around the age of eight and I believe a lot of it manifested due to my biological father's negative attitude and need to criticize. He would often put me down or shrug off my accomplishments, stating he had done better. I remember being in fifth grade and making the football team. I was so excited to tell him, however he only scoffed, saying that I should have done hockey. That was a real man's sport. I still played, and my mom came to my games. She was very supportive and helped make it enjoyable, but playing football wasn't what I wanted. I only tried out because he suggested it. Football was his favorite.

Though I stopped seeing my father at the age of twelve, my insecurities and self-doubt stayed and developed into a grotesque depression. I began to harm myself and I had a hard time looking in the mirror. At one point I was only showering once or twice a week, unmotivated to do much. I felt disgusted with and embarrassed by myself. My smallness seemed pathetic. My skin didn't fit my bones and I wanted to crawl out.

When I was fourteen I was too shy around people to effectively make friends. Since I had a hard time speaking in public, I expressed myself and spoke to others online. One night I found myself speaking to a girl from Vermont and we discovered that we were very much alike. We were both depressed, confused teenagers that struggled functioning in day to day life due to our mental disorders. It was very comforting, yet painful, to know that someone else out there felt the way I did. Even though I was grateful to have a friend to relate to, I hated that she felt like me. Depression hurts and I didn't want anyone to feel that way, especially good people such as herself. I felt obligated to help her, as she was helping me. We would vent to each other give advice. We helped build each other’s confidence. I remember her later thanking me for always being there, as she had done for me. Eventually my depression faded away, but my willingness to help remained.

If I could help one person, I could help many. My want to help developed into an aphorism, a promise, something to live by. It became something to inspire and encourage me. It helped me open up to others and turn my depression into something positive. I would talk to other kids that I noticed were shy, try and boost their self-esteem a little. People like to be noticed. It helps them realize that they exist and that they are more than background noise. It makes them feel a part of the world around them rather than just observing, as if watching a movie, feeling disconnected from the characters and plot. Though I am no longer majorly depressed, I still occasionally feel disconnected. It's almost like being completely alone, but in a room full of people. The feeling isn't always bad, but it's not striving, and that's what I want myself and others to do.

The reason I live is to make the world a better place than what it would be if I wasn't there. Yes, I get frustrated, but I try not to express it negatively. There's enough suffering and I've dealt with my fair share of it. Bad things happen and will be there regardless of how we go about it. There's no need to make it worse. My depression used to way heavy on my shoulders, but my promise to help others is like helium. I used to feel a thousand pounds, but now I just feel alive.