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Renegade Struggles: Sam Moreno

We all have a struggle, and every person has a different story. For the final issue of the semester, Sam Moreno speaks on his own struggle.

Sam Moreno

Sam Moreno

Sam Moreno, Reporter

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This year, I met six different people with their own individual struggles. Six strangers shared their lives with me and their willingness to open up is what gave me the courage to talk about my own struggle. In 2013, I was diagnosed with depression. At that time, I was not even in my 20s yet, so I didn’t understand what depression was or how it could affect my life. I thought to myself, “You will get over this, this can’t happen to you. You’re social, you have friends, nothing can be wrong with you.”

I refused to accept that I was depressed. So I chose not to tell anyone about it and not talk about it. I kept this struggle to myself. I always described myself as an optimistic person to others. So accepting depression as my reality was not the easiest thing to come to terms with. When I was diagnosed as clinically depressed, I didn’t want people to think I was playing the victim. I was a 19-year-old, living in Los Angeles, going to the college of my dreams, pursuing the career I loved and living on my own.

After I got depressed, instead of seeking help, I started relying on alcohol. I used it as my coping mechanism. The problem is, when you have a drinking problem as a college student, almost no one notices that you have a problem. People around me only saw what I allowed them to see. They saw this fun college student, who liked to drink his liquor with no chaser. But in reality, I was just hiding my true feelings from everyone. Not one person knew, not my family, my friends, or my roommates.

I felt that if I opened up to someone, they wouldn’t be able to understand; how someone like me, who has been given all these opportunities, could be depressed.The truth is many things added to my depression. From my grandparents’ deaths, both just a week apart, to my father being diagnosed with cancer and then my own personal issues. I was struggling to be accepted for being gay by the people closest to me. I was also in a toxic relationship that I could not seem to end. I was told by doctors that my depression would go away.

“Here take a pill, this will fix you,” my doctor said. But it didn’t “fix me” and it didn’t help me. Instead it made me feel different and I didn’t like this solution for me, so I finally decided to seek out other options. I finally tried therapy. Quickly I was seeing a change in my attitude and perspective in life. I had anger built up from my entire life. Issues that were never talked about or were left without closure.

Speaking to someone helped me get through depression. There are moments I still feel down, but I have to remind myself to get up because everyday is a new day. Of course, I had to accept that depression may be returning to me, my entire life, but that it is going to be OK. People like Beatriz, Alayna, Emmanuel, Joseline, Juan and Jesse all inspire and remind me that we all have a purpose, and we all have to fight to conquer whatever struggle we may be going through.

If there is one thing I have learned from getting to know these six individuals is that we all have something we go through.We deal with struggles everyday of our lives and most importantly that we are not alone. There is always someone out there dealing with the same thing as you, ready to help you out and be your support system.

Sometimes it is easy to identify some people’s struggles. Other people’s struggles are not visible and others don’t ever talk about their struggles. We all have to just remind ourselves to wake up and live everyday to our best potential.

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Renegade Struggles: Sam Moreno