It’s difficult to pinpoint the greatest impact in someone’s life, but after a lot of thought, Curtis Beavers decided to talk about how his depression unfolded. This has shaped Curtis into the pensive, hardworking, and caring person he is today.

As a child, Curtis Beavers was very positive and always wore a smile on his face. Curtis believes that this is because of his parents. His parents were very positive people as well, but they also gave Curtis an opportunity at a new life when they adopted him from Guatemala. Looking back at his adoption, he feels gratitude for his parents. “Being adopted, I could have had a very different life in Guatemala,” he said. Because of his adoption, he had “the opportunity to be anything.” Still, he said he felt like he didn’t deserve to be sad. As a cheerful child, he felt like he didn’t really know how to help people “because he was always happy.”

But later in his life, as a five-year-old relationship ended, he felt as if he lost a friendship too. After this event, he became confused regarding who to trust. The days began to drift and the happy-go-lucky teen started to carry a cumbersome sadness. He described how he usually had one bad day a month beforehand, but this drastically changed to one good day a month, and his depression began to sink in. This was a dark period for Curtis; people didn’t grasp how he felt. His family was always busy and working hard, so he felt like he didn’t want to distract them.

Curtis went on to discuss about how proud he is of his sister, Amanda Beavers: a caring, intelligent, musically talented, determined senior who is applying to many great universities and already has many great accomplishments. However, because his family was busy and nobody could truly understand the deepening sadness he felt, insecurity crept in. He was afraid that people would see him walk by and would murmur, “Don’t be around Curtis because he’s always negative.”

Curtis Beavers used a “home” metaphor to describe the relationship that ended in his life. The home was their relationship and each memory and moment and lesson was a piece of furniture. The house was beautifully furnished, but when the relationship ended, the house caught on fire. A small part of the house survived, but eventually the two individuals involved looked at one another and agreed to “tear down the house so we can use the pieces left to build a home with someone else.” As Curtis moved on, he realized that he had to build his own home. Doing so took a lot of strength and support, but in the end, that’s exactly what happened.

After “tearing down the house,” Curtis had an epiphany. He began to tell himself: “You know who you are. You are Curtis Beavers and that name might not mean anything to anyone now, but it will one day.” He began to find things that he loved as he rebuilt his “home” and himself. He knew that he loved fashion, so he began to build up his wardrobe with cheap clothes, working his way up to the greatest brands. He also began to open up to others. The more meaningful his conversations were that he had with his friends, the more he realized that everyone is sad. Perhaps, he thought, this whole generation is sad. He gained comfort knowing that he was not all alone.

Soon, he also found an outlet in social media. He began posting his photography and fun-filled adventures and fashion, which led to many comments from his online followers: “We love what you post,” or “Seeing your posts sparks adventure,” or “We love your outfits!” Curtis also said that music had a significant part to play in his journey to feeling happiness again. “I’m a strong believer that music saves lives.” Curtis explained that music can demonstrate that others feel sadness too, and that he’s not the only one experiencing it. Curtis also discovered that keeping his inspirations always in mind, and always going on adventures, helped him rebuild himself.

Curtis has come a long way, and depression is a battle that never completely disappears, but he refuses to let it imprison him and keep it from affecting his everyday life. Some advice Curtis has to others suffering from depression is to build from it and never look back. He also believes that not caring about what others think of him has given him the freedom to be happy, and he thinks this approach may help others. A motto that Curtis lives by now is “Why not?” This has allowed him to rock the clothes he wants and live the fullest life he possibly can. Curtis hopes the stigma of depression and mental illness will eventually fade away. “I don’t want people to be afraid of that word [depression].” He also thinks that depression is romanticized in society and can lead to an unhealthy view of people with depression.

When Curtis’s depression engulfed him, he had two choices: to let it take over and control his life and decisions, or to take back control of his life and not allow his depression to control him. We know that in today’s society, depression is prevalent. Curtis wants people to know that they’re never alone. His journey to and from depression has given Curtis so many valuable lessons and mottos to live by. He’s now able to understand people’s sadness and has learned how to genuinely help them overcome it as well. Curtis’s depression has given him a new outlook on life and a strong desire to accomplish anything. This impactful event has even given him a strength to overcome other difficult events, but Curtis keeps smiling and he wants UC Clermont to smile on as well.

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