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These Things Have Saved Me


By Clara Kremer
18 Years Old

I started out a little caterpillar. I was young, innocent, and excited for my life. I was happy, vibrant. I had a lot of friends and felt loved and appreciated.

Then senior year hit.

My dad moved 6 hours away.

Always being a “Daddy’s Girl” and in a very close-knit family, it shook me terribly to feel such a disconnect.

It started with crying.

Every time I hung up the phone with my dad.
Every time I realized he wasn’t home.
Every visit meant another goodbye- and more crying.

If there is anything I do well, it is acting. I hid my tears, my sadness, my emptiness.

I confided in one person, my first love. He made the tears go away and got me to laugh through the pain.

Then he left. A phone call or drunken “I love you” in the early hours of the morning were the remnants of the once-perfect relationship I had that was ripped to shreds by him leaving for college.

The crying got worse.

And now I had no one to confide in.

Maybe it was the weekend trips to visit my dad or maybe it was my being so secretive of my feelings or maybe it was both, but I started drifting from my friends.

People I once could tell anything to soon became strangers.

Maybe that was my fault too.

At least they seemed to think so.

“I liked it when we were all friends, but you had to go ruin it.”
“You are pushing everyone out of your life for no reason.”
“You’re blowing this out of proportion .You’re being ridiculous, Clara.”

Eventually, I started to believe them.

It was hard enough for my mom to balance her job, rushed weekend trips to see my dad, and getting the house ready to sell…I couldn’t give her my problems to carry as well.

So I kept them locked up.

I guess this was my cocoon phase. While most people think of cocoons for a time of beautiful change, I think of shielding myself completely from the world. I’ve always thought the caterpillar must feel very alone in there.

The fault was all mine though.

I had locked everyone out of my thoughts. I had closed myself off from them. I never doubted any of that. If only someone, anyone, had reached out and told me I was wrong, that it wasn’t my fault…but no one did.

I started staying home every weekend, rarely going out with my friends or doing anything that I once enjoyed.

My mom then moved too and things got even worse.

The crying got more frequent.

I kept pulling away from my friends.

From my best friend, “I’m sorry you’re jealous of me, Clara, but you are acting completely insane. You are ruining all of your relationships and pushing us all away.”

And the blame got bigger and the crying got to be daily.

From my own journal, “I feel like I have taken a few backwards steps recently. I am becoming more insecure with myself and I feel like all of my friends are disappearing.”

Weeks. Crying myself to sleep. Alone.

Again from my journal, “I feel I’m bordering depression. I don’t think it’s serious, but I think the stress of everything has just become a bit much for me. I know the nausea thing is related to stress. I feel so tired a lot of the time and I’m pulling away from my friends. I’m not sure, but I feel like something is wrong. I guess I’ll just wait it out and hope that things will work themselves out soon.”

And it hit me.


An hour of research later, I felt positive I was depressed, but this realization didn’t do anything towards my improvement.

As I wrote then, “I’m too insecure about it to mention [my depression] to anyone, plus they probably would say I’m just attention seeking or making a big deal out of nothing since no one really sees what goes on inside my head. I don’t feel like there is anyone I can talk to about it.”

It was in these moments at absolute rock bottom that I started thinking of death. Would anyone care if I died? I’m sure my family would be sad for a little while, but they would move on. Most of my friends would say they missed me, but they’d be lying.

But one person remained who might care.

I turned to my ex.

At a casual mention of my being depressed, he supported me, reassured me of my value, made me feel infinitely better, and urged me to talk to my parents.

Again, it was he alone who came to my rescue and helped me back up from the hole I had sunk into.

The time came for me to open up to my family.

“Well, it’s just a blessing that you’ve handled the move as beautifully as you have.”

“Actually, Mama…I kinda wanted to talk to you about that..”

Again the crying. I sat in that restaurant and sobbed to my mother all that I had been hiding: the sadness, the private crying, the insecurity, the emptiness, the sudden weight loss, the loneliness. All of it was out on the table.

My parents, being ministers, counseled me.

Days started looking brighter.

I started going out again, with a different group of friends.

While I still felt empty and alone, those feeling got to me less and less.

As the weeks have progressed since then, I cry less. I don’t think the people who have done me wrong, but rather those who helped me out of my depression, whether they knew about it or not.

For every smile, every invitation to hang out, every laugh, every hug, every single time I felt wanted, welcome, accepted, loved…I am eternally thankful.

These things have saved me.

Posted by Clara Kremer : Jun 11' 2010, Age- 18

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