| Teen Diary Serial |

Metamorphosis: Chapter 7   

I feel more depressed than I ever felt before. How do I get out of this?


During practice I try to do the steps, but the blue pizza dances around me. I can’t focus.

Practice is finally over. Meirav comes over to me. “Is everything okay, Perela? You look like you’re worried about something.”

“I’m just tired,” I tell her.

I imagine telling her what’s really bothering me. The thought is ludicrous. She would laugh in my face and think I’m crazy. In fact, maybe I am crazy. I’ve heard stories of girls who had nervous breakdowns. Maybe that’s what’s happening to me?!

If I thought I was panicking before, well, that was nothing compared to how I feel now. I’m nearly hyperventilating. I keep picturing my parents visiting me in an institution, the type where they keep syringes on hand to sedate you if need be. I see my friends and classmates clucking their tongues as they grind away in the rumor mill: “Such a pity, she was so talented and smart,” and “I heard she just went crazy out of the blue.”

I am not going crazy, I tell myself over and over again. Maybe if I keep saying it, I’ll eventually believe it.

I head to bed at eight thirty because I’m exhausted and anxious. I close my eyes, and I see blue pizza. I am going crazy. No, I’m not. I open my eyes. I still see blue pizza. I think there really must be something wrong with me; why else can’t I stop thinking about this dumb advertisement?

I get out of bed and take melatonin. I can’t risk a turbulent sleep. Not after last night.

What feels like ten minutes later my alarm is beeping and sunshine is streaming into the room. I smile to myself when I think of how I felt yesterday morning. Now I feel so refreshed.

Then my heart fills with dread: Is it here today? Oh no, not the blue pizza not again. In an instant, I transform from a perky teenager to a worn out old lady. How will I get through the whole day? All I feel like doing is hiding under my covers forever. I realize, though, that if I stay home, people might realize that I’m crazy. I drag myself out of bed.

I am sitting in dikduk class trying to pretend that I’m concentrating. My inside is a washing machine, spinning me around and around and dousing me in caustic detergents. A thought enters my consciousness: I am not functioning. It’s true. I think about the life I’ve led over the past few months. That’s not a life.

I feel more depressed than I ever felt before. How do I get out of this?

I look out the window. Gray storm clouds that match my mood. Suddenly, I notice a tiny crack of brilliant blue between the clouds. I feel like Hashem is reminding me that there’s always hope, and there’s always a way out. But how? I talk to Hashem in my own words: You know exactly how I feel now and always, and please save me because I am falling apart.

The bell rings. I can’t face anyone, so I head to the library. No one goes there. I idly flip through the pages in a book and come across a story that flicks on a light bulb in my head. It’s about a girl who suffered from depression. She would cry often and couldn’t stop. She wanted so badly to be happy and didn’t know why she couldn’t be. It reminded me of… myself. Not the actual details but the fact that she was stuck in something she didn’t understand and was feeling so lost.

I have mixed feelings about this.

On one hand I understand that I’m not crazy, and I probably have something similar to depression. On the other hand, I probably have something similar to depression and, well, I don’t want to have anything. I just want to live a normal life and feel good.

to be continued…


(Originally featured in Mishpacha Jr., Issue 958)

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