Friday, July 28, 2017

Scholastic Spotlight: Braden Vetter


A Note to Depressed People

Vetter, Braden
Grade: 11
School: Sheyenne High School, West Fargo ND Educator: Stephanie Cwikla
AWARD: Honorable Mention


I am so very sorry.

You have done nothing to deserve the way you are feeling.


I know the world is painfully brutal but it is also a painfully beautiful place. I won’t and can’t take the stage and say that things will get better because I have not experienced things getting better. To be entirely honest, life is shit and horrible and unfair and ugh and gross and difficult and stupid and monotonous. The monotony of living day to day was what got to me, repeating the same tasks day in and day out, just to expect something to be different but nothing ever changes. Wake up, go to school, go home, work, go to sleep. Wake up, go to school, go home, work, go to sleep.

After trying to kill myself, I ended up writing pages upon pages where the words expressed my extreme happiness because all I needed was to realize people honestly cared. I remember how the tears flowed while writing it, silently at night. Once again those feelings of just wanting to stop existing and just fade away into oblivion. I was no longer actively suicidal but if a car was coming towards me, I’m not sure I would get out of the way. I often found myself thinking terrible things, wishing I would get in a car accident or get cancer. I remember how I would take long showers at night because it was the one place I really had my privacy and would make the water as warm as I could because I was so cold all the time. If the water didn’t burn I would turn it up. The steam would cover the mirror, so I would be able to write temporary words for temporary feelings. Being cold is a side effect of living in almost-Canada part of the northern United States.


I constantly set outrageous goals for myself because while in the mental hospital somebody told to live little by little. I’ve got here, which isn’t so bad... but I would much rather be reading and slowly forcing myself out of the world.

Learn yourself and your abilities. Learn what you can do. Yes, there is something you can do. Yes, the world is big and great and full of all of these people whose accomplishments will intimidate you. With billions of people in this world why does one person, why do I, why do you, matter at all? Every great person is still only one person. Maybe history books won’t contain your name. Maybe you will change somebody’s life. Maybe you’ll inspire others – and maybe that’s just as good. Maybe you can be good enough without some special ability. You might just do something that is seemingly insignificant but to someone, somewhere, that may just mean the world. Having depression is grey, but finding that little bit of hope you can cling on is... slightly less grey. I can’t tell you that things will get better and I can’t tell you everything will be okay because nothing is going to change unless you show life who’s boss. Make an effort to change the world around you, to make a difference, to make your own history and the world will begin to seem... less hopeless. Please, please... it is not your fault the world makes you feel this way – but, we can work to together to make the world a place that won’t make anyone sad. The world may not deserve what we have to offer and I am more than tired of always being the bigger person but we must put our pride aside so others do not have to feel the way we do. Walking through school hallways makes the world seem so non-existent, there is only now and the problem in front of you. So many bodies in such a little space with their own agendas and goals and thoughts but only so many are accepted as ‘correct.’ Teachers insist answers are right and wrong, black and white, and the grey area does not exist or is simply a misunderstanding. That grey area is what fuels the anger in us students. I believe that every sad person has the capability for anger. 

I did not hate my two weeks in a mental hospital; there were times I disliked it but I found the isolation from the world somewhat comforting. I didn’t have to worry about anything but getting through the constant therapy sessions and if I could just keep from making enemies, this could be where I belong. I was encouraged to express my anger. I have always been a rule follower but at the mental hospital, the rules made me angry so I let them know. My tactic wasn’t necessarily favored by the workers but I was never punished. (This might be, in part, that my major offenses were reading during meetings and going to bed early.)

Fake it until you make it. Walk like you’re on the runway. Initiate a polite conversation. Small talk with the employees wherever you go. Smile for the hope the sight of your smile will spread to another face as you walk down the street. Singing in the car was one of my favorites. It was more mumbling along to the radio than singing but all you really need to know is the chorus.

I am so very sorry.

You have done nothing to deserve the way you are feeling.


The world is a painfully brutal place but also a painfully beautiful place. We might never be a lot of things. Maybe we won’t be remembered by history books. Maybe we might not be the next big thing, but maybe that’s okay. Maybe we are good enough just the way we are.

With Love Always, 
A Friend