Depression can be worse at certain times of the year, especially around anniversaries and milestones.
This is is how it affects one person.
But March isn't really far behind, in my book.
Both months have been difficult for me for the past nine years. They're the anniversaries of my last nervous breakdown, which for the most part I have put behind me, except when the anniversary comes about.
Nine years ago, my life unraveled.
I was in New York, alone, dealing with a dubious relationship. My dad was dying, I'd just lost my job, mom was refusing to let me come down to Florida, I'd lost my disability and my apartment was a disaster. On April 23, 2004 I wound up going into the hospital, on the fifth floor locked ward (the irony of that being that there was a movie of the same name made in the '70s).
Amazingly, I can laugh about that now.
On April 27th, 2004, my dad passed. I wasn't allowed out of the hospital for the funeral. Nine years later, around this time every year, the guilt comes back full force. Even though I know he understood. Even though I went to his memorial service a few months later, when we buried his ashes.
I never really got to say goodbye, and I needed to. I suppose I'll always feel badly about that until I get to see him again and apologize in person. If I'll even get that chance, which is doubtful with the type of faith crisis I'm having now.
I've been told God doesn't give up on anyone. More credit to Him then. I feel like I'm a lost cause and I'm just waiting for Him to realize the same thing.
Bottom line, living with major depression is a bitch. I hate talking about it, I hate feeling like this, I hate everything about my life right now. The only thing that's changed in the past nine years is that I may just have better tools to deal with it. I use my sarcasm to make fun of myself. I don't lash out and alienate people as much as used to. I basically retreat from everyone, rather than cling on to people as much as I used to (for the most part anyway).
I channel the bulk of my crap feelings into writing, or going for a walk, or singing at the top of my lungs, managing to distract myself from the garbage for a while. I remind myself that I have the most awesome social media (and real) friends ever, most of whom I don't deserve, and two that I will never understand why they stick around, but they do.
And all this is good, I understand that. But the thing is, that I'm alone most of the time. I've been trying to remedy that for the past six months, and everything I've tried has fallen through. For the next six weeks, I don't know if I have the energy to try to do anything at all.
The other thing is that my year is rapidly developing into a series of doctor and dentist appointments, trying to get my sugar stabilized, trying to get my teeth fixed, trying to get my eczema under control. Most of the time I want to stay in bed. I'm longing for warmer weather, because then I'll be out more, walking, and feeling better. I know once my teeth are fixed, and I get on the right dosage of diabetes medication, and everything else, I'll continue to feel better.
But there are times, especially during these next six weeks when I just want to find someone - anyone - lay my head their shoulder, and cry until I can't anymore while they hug me as tightly as they can. I know this will pass.
It's the waiting that kills me.
Thanks for listening.
1 in 12 teens attempt suicide every year in the United States.
This is her story.
I was sixteen years old and I wanted to die.
Not because the emotionally abusive jerk I had been dating dumped me for the third time, not because my mother had started taking more of her prescription pain medication than recommended, and not because I was failing geometry. I wanted to die because I already felt dead inside, so why not go for a matching set?
Then I met him.
He was three years older than me, and at the time that made him seem like the most mature of adults. He wasn't, of course, but when you're smacked by love at first sight you think up all sorts of nonsense.
For a while, life seemed better. I could forget the slurred speech at home, the disappointed voice of my band director, even the gnawing little voice that said it would be so nice to just cut yourself a little bit more because no one would notice. All my focus was on this great guy who loved me, no matter what.
Then the dark thoughts came back.
It didn't matter that I was in love, or that The Dad had finally stopped cleaning his guns whenever my guy came over, or even that I was finally passing all my classes and had my music down pat. The dark thoughts come back, and being happy only makes them worse. Because if it's so dark when you're happy, how much darker is it going to be when you aren't?
I had a bottle of pills - I can't remember if they were mine or hers - and I was holding them in my hand when he called. He said he was just thinking about me and wanted to talk. It hit me then that if I gave in to the dark thoughts, I would never see him again.
You know how they tell teenagers that suicide isn't like the movies? That you're not around to see how much everyone misses you? I couldn't have cared less about any of that, but the thought that I'd never hear his voice again shook me.
I broke down and told him what I was planning.
He told me he was coming over, not to do anything until he got there. I told him I would try, but I didn't know if I could be strong enough.
Then I hung up.
We lived in a semi-shady part of town that had a police station and an EMS station just around the block so when he called 911, they didn't have far to drive at all. The police arrived with an ambulance hot on their heels, knocking on my door in that authoritative way you see on television, ready to break it down if I didn't answer.
The police asked if I was all right, if I had taken any pills. I told them the truth; I had flushed them down the toilet as soon as I got off the phone with my boyfriend. Just as they were telling the ambulance that they weren't needed, said boyfriend came tearing around the corner in his truck.
Things moved very quickly after that. The police took my name and statement, gave me a lecture about dating a nineteen year old (apparently saving my life wasn't a good enough recommendation for them), and left me with my boyfriend. He didn't yell at me or tell me off, he just held me and apologized for calling 911, but he was afraid he would lose me. I told him I wasn't angry and that I would always be grateful for what he'd done.
I still am.
I married that guy six months ago. We haven't had the easiest life together but we're still just as in love as we were the day we sat on the sofa together and he told me that no matter how bad things get, he'll always be there for me.
I still believe him.
He hasn't let me down.
Someone once told me that you only know me as much as I want you to.
I've been thinking about that a lot lately. It’s true. I only let you in as far as I’m comfortable and when I meet someone who wants to be let in, I freeze up. I choke.
I’m very guarded. I’m afraid that if someone truly gets to know me, they will find something they don’t like and get the hell out of Dodge, leaving me with an empty chest, a broken heart. Was I abandoned as a child? No. Did I have an unhappy home life? No. Did I have anything traumatic happen to me as a child? I suppose.
I was always a little wild.
I was a difficult child to handle. I was willful, loud, and precocious. I FELT so much, but at an early age, it was drilled into my head that you keep your feelings to yourself. Ladies act a certain way. Maybe it was my stuffy Anglo heritage. Stiff upper lip, child. Never let them see you sweat. Don’t cry, only babies cry. You’re too loud! Stop having so much fun. I was the black sheep. I didn't fit in. I was different.
I was always a creative person, a person full of passion, until I was diagnosed with Anxiety and Depression in my 20’s, after a bad breakup. It’s amazing that it took so long for that diagnosis since I’d been dealing with emotional issues since I was a child.
They put me on medication and slowly but surely, I felt the creativity and passion being drained from me. They told me I was doing better and I believed them. I was in a fog, a bland and boring fog. I was numb. I was tired of feeling SO much that it was a welcome respite. I learned to cope and for years, I let the medication stuff my feelings down my throat, keeping everything inside so far down that I forgot myself.
I LOST myself.
A few years ago, I decided to stop the medication. I was tired of not FEELING anything. It’s taken a couple of years for me to feel like a real person, but what I’m left with now is that I don’t know who I AM.
I seemingly lost that creative, passionate, and wild little girl. She peeks out every once in a while and I promptly shove her back down into my belly before anyone can see too much of her, but she’s had enough of that. She wants to live and breathe on the outside.
She wants to speak, to be heard, to be acknowledged. She wants to let her hair down and dance wildly without a care. She wants to be loved so passionately that she can’t think. She wants to live a life full of joy, passion, and creativity.
Every day, I try to let her out a little more. It’s hard because the people that I’ve known for decades don’t know this girl. She’s been hidden for so long. Am I afraid that I won’t like the real me? Yes. Am I afraid that others won’t like the real me? Petrified. But I’m done with putting others' feelings in front of my own.
It’s my turn.
I’ve waited so long for this and I deserve it.
Band Back Together has been nominated for Best Group or Community Weblog in the 2013 Bloggies! Visit their site to vote and check out the other categories!
In the course of the last four days, I have read every post on this site (thank you OCD). I was searching for resources regarding mental illness deriving from childhood sexual abuse and Google was kind enough to direct me here.
I've always thought that my issues were inconsequential. That I have had no worse experiences than any other soul on this earth. I've shared some of my experiences with a select few people, and the look on their faces has always puzzled me. This is my life, what is there to be shocked about?
Back on point. Spending these last four days reading about all of your joys, heartaches, pain and recovery has jostled a few memories of my own. Some things are always at the back of my mind, but others have been dredged from the depths.
Let's start with my diagnoses.
I've been diagnosed as Bipolar twice (but I contest it), Anxiety and OCD. The Bipolar was diagnosed during two full fledged breakdowns. The first was after a half-assed suicide attempt during a bad marriage at age 24 and the second during the first five minutes with the WORST PSYCHIATRIST EVER. Seriously. This guy grandly announced I was Bipolar after I mumbled it was a previous diagnosis.
But that's a story for another day.
I feel it's time to finally tell my story. I've avoided seeing this information in print for years. I've carried so much shame, self-blame and self-doubt that my soul is weary. While I'm not yet ready to delve deep into my experiences, this is a good place to start.
I was sexually abused by our 16 year old neighbor and his 15 year old sister somewhere between the ages of two and four.
My parents separated for work for six months and I witnessed my mother's breakdown when I was eight.
When I was fourteen, I had my first suicide attempt which was, thankfully, a rather pathetic one. When I was fifteen I had my first attempt at therapy but I did not say one word for the entire six sessions.
At seventeen I was raped for the first time at gunpoint by a "friend." The same year, one of my best friends committed suicide. I was the last person to speak with him. He told me that he was going to do it, but I did not take him seriously.
I made a second suicide attempt at age nineteen. Swallowed over 400 aspirin and ended up in the ICU for four days. There was some limited therapy to follow but I don't remember much about that. I told my parents at this point about the sexual abuse. It was the worst thing I have ever had to do in my life and 20 years later my mom still cries. It kills me.
When I was 24 I got married for the first time, and at 25 I had my first affair. I also tried to commit suicide for the third time. I was driving my car over 100 MPH on curvy back roads and attempting to run it into something. This landed me in a psychiatric ward for two weeks, with a Bipolar diagnosis. My marriage ended two years later.
At age 28 I was raped a second time by two men while I was drunk and in a foreign country.
When I was 29, I found out I was pregnant and had an abortion. The man that I assumed to be the father threatened to kill me if I even thought about having a baby while the man I am dating tells me that he will leave me if I have this baby. I was wrong. About it all.
I got married for a second time when I was 32, and it took all of three days for it to go to hell. Three years later I began having daily panic attacks, and within two months I am unable to leave the house. I developed paranoia and severe depression. I started seeing the WORST PSYCHIATRIST IN THE WORLD. Because of this man, I lost my job.
Shortly after losing my job, my husband told me that he really never loved me and that he just used me to get our house and the money I made. This does not assist with my recovery. He raped me. I moved back in with my parents.
After three more years, I was finally free of that man. I was broke as hell, and my credit was ruined but I was extremely happy.
Now at age 39, I have been out of work for two months with an injury. I am thankful that I have support, but the depression that started last April has blown up. I feel lost.
There is more, if I only could remember.
Thank you, all of you, for inspiring me to start this.
Band Back Together has been nominated for Best Group or Community Weblog in the 2013 Bloggies! Visit their site to vote and check out the other categories!
Band Back Together has been nominated for Best Group or Community Weblog in the 2013 Bloggies! Visit their site
to vote and check out the other categories! - See more at: http://bandbacktogether.com/all-posts/#sthash.iZSQRkS1.dpuf
Chronic illness can be frustrating and often affects mental health as well as physical.
This is how it affects her life.
I cry a lot.
I'm an emotional woman who wears her heart on her sleeve, who lets herself get hurt to easily, who throws caution to the wind over and over in the event that it might bring me to that all-consuming True Love.
I have diseases. And disorders. Fibromyalgia, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Hypogonadism, Raynaud's Syndrome, chronic daily migraines, autoimmune gallbladder disease, Depression, Borderline Personality Disorder (there's that whole caution-to-the-wind thing), Sjogren's Syndrome. I'm probably forgetting something.
I take a lot of pills. They don't help much. But the doctors tell me I need them and that I'd be worse off without them, so I dutifully take them every morning, despite what I think. Nine altogether. Plus a handful of vitamins and supplements. Plus hormone implants every six months.
What's my point?
I'm never going to get better.
There is no light at the end of the tunnel for me.
There's no recovery.
I'm 34 now, and my life will be a steady decline from here until the time I die. This year, I had to start walking with a cane sometimes because the vertigo is so bad I'll fall over otherwise. I'm in danger of losing the job I've had for 11 years, and therefore losing my health insurance. My boss has seemingly endless patience, but I know that even she will run out at some point.
I got a fortune cookie last week that said "Your fondest dream will come true this year." What is my fondest dream? To not be sick anymore. To feel normal again. I wish I'd never taken for granted how good I felt in my twenties when I was abusing my body and probably planting the seed for the things that are wrong with me today.
And how do I feel about this? I'm trying to make my peace with it.
But yeah, I cry a lot. Out of pain, out of exhaustion, out of fear. Because I feel abandoned and alone. Because I hurt all over and nothing helps. Not a damn thing. Well, okay, alcohol does, but then I just feel worse later and I can't very well be drunk all the time. I've tried every medication I can spell and those I can't, and they just don't work...not for me, anyway.
I just went back to college and I feel so overwhelmed. I feel like the stupidest person there, because I have to work extra hard to keep up. The Fibromyalgia and Sjogren's wreak havoc on my thinking, making it difficult to remember and to concentrate, the result being that my hours of studying are often forgotten within minutes, or that I can't absorb the words on the page to begin with.
I'm writing this because I read another post on here from a woman who sounded just like me. I was surprised at her optimism, because I am so negative. I'm depressed and pessimistic about the future, and always have been.
I don't know how to change that about myself. Years of therapy have not managed to do so. I think I've gotten worse. I wish I had a switch in my brain I could flip and become optimistic -- it would make dealing with disease so much easier.
Maybe one day that peace will come. Maybe I'll be happy and content despite my ailments. I sure hope so.
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