Gloria Yang: Battle with Depression

Interviewed by Xeng Moua

My name is Gloria Yang and I was born in St. Paul, Minnesota. I currently work as a Customer Account Representative for a multinational corporation. Ideally, I’m not where I want to be, but I’m taking it one day at a time.

If I really think about it, no, it’s not what I want to do for the rest of my life, but I am fortunate to have this opportunity to take care of my financial obligations and to still be able to pursue my passions. An occupation I would prefer is something that allows me to express myself freely through different forms of art such as fashion, writing, photography, or videography. A dream of mine is to become a blogger or a content creator for a living.

I’ve been battling depression since the age of five. During that time, I was severely bullied in school by older kids. I still remember playing alone during recess and coming back home to cry in the bathroom by myself, because I felt so alone.

 I was able to recognize the symptoms of depression at a young age but I didn’t have the language for it. I didn’t know who to go to or how to ask for help, so I internalized the painful experiences and hid it from my family. My parents worked all the time and my two older siblings were never around due to them being seven to eight years older than me.

I didn’t have a lot of close friends or family. The majority of my time was spent by myself. In many ways, my experiences made me mature faster than a normal child. The bullying went on until high school, and I carried the trauma throughout my adult years. Growing up was tough for me, and I never felt like I belonged anywhere. Even now, I still experience those feelings.

When I was younger, I became depressed almost every day. I started self-harming at the age of 12, which is also how old I was during my first suicide attempt. I self-harmed throughout middle school and high school.

High school was where I started drinking alcohol to cope with my depression. As I grew older, I went through periods where I will be at an all-time high. It seemed like everything was going great, but it changed in an instant. The second something bad happened, I would immediately drop down to an ultimate low and be affected for months before I recovered again. It’s been like that ever since.

The severity of depression can vary depending on the person because it affects everyone differently. One thing that people need to understand about depression is that it does not discriminate. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’re from, your economic background, social status, or the color of your skin. Depression does not have a face.

I would describe depression as a disease that slowly eats away at your insides. Sometimes you don’t even know that it’s there and you can go through long periods of time not knowing, but it shows in your actions and in the way you treat yourself. If you are abusing drugs and alcohol, experiencing angry outbursts, constantly feeling lonely, isolating yourself, or getting into unhealthy and toxic relationships, then there is something seriously wrong internally and spiritually.

I am still learning how to cope and deal with depression. Starting this week, I will be back in therapy. I’ve neglected my therapist for months because I thought I had it all figured out and under my control, but with depression you just never know when you’ll relapse. I have been in therapy since the seventh grade.

The depression comes and goes, and that’s why it is so important to stick to your routine and to be extra cautious. I also find that being honest about yourself and having open communication about what you’re going through is also important. Living your truth allows you to heal.

My other therapy is writing. I love to write because it helps me connect with other human beings and gives me a clearer understanding of who I am. I’m also big on watching inspirational YouTube videos about self-healing, confidence, and success. MindSpo is my favorite YouTube channel right now. I also follow public figures such as Oprah and Iyanla Vanzant. They both are such powerful women of color who are big on self-love and overcoming obstacles. Simply amazing!

Yes, I have support. This is crucial to staying healthy! The people you’re around play a huge part in the way you think and how you react to things. If you’re in a hostile environment and are surrounded by constant negativity, chances are, the energy will pass onto you.

 For the longest time, I was stuck in this hole, and I didn’t know how to get out of it. If it weren’t for community work, I wouldn’t have been able to find such loving individuals. The support is so real, and it’s out there. It’s only a matter if you’re willing to step outside of your comfort zone or not. I know it’s easier said than done, but it can happen if you let it.

My favorite hobbies are listening to music, exercising occasionally (trying to make this into a daily routine), reading thriller, mystery, and romance novels, writing in my personal journal, blogging, traveling, and volunteering for the community.

My advice to those struggling with mental illness is to take it one day at a time. Do not rush any process. If you take on too many things at once, it will result in more failures than successes.

 Don’t forget to make time for yourself. Give yourself credit for being where you are at any point in your life. Be proud. Where you are in your life right now is exactly where you need to be, and it will lead you one step closer to this great person that you are destined to be. Lastly, don’t give in to social pressures or to others’ expectations. Trust yourself and let the universe guide you.

Aside from recovery, I have a community project in progress, but I can’t disclose what it is yet. I am also working with my videographer/photographer on shooting more fashion focused content for my blog. In the future, I look forward to being more involved in the community.

To get in touch with Gloria and read her blogs, check out https://www.un-apologetic.org/

For those suffering from depression and suicide please get help and reach out to someone. Feel free to utilize the suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

Seng Alex Vang

Seng Alex Vang is a lecturer in the Merritt Writing Program at the University of California, Merced. He is also a lecturer in the Department of Anthropology, Geography & Ethnic studies at California State University, Stanislaus where he teaches courses in Asian American studies.

One thought on “Gloria Yang: Battle with Depression

  • August 6, 2019 at 6:43 am
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    Gloria you have natural talent in writing, expressing yourself well. Please continue to be yourself and help others that need help. Wish nephew had met you a week ago and perhaps he would still be alive. You are destined to help others that battling the disease.

    Reply

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