Updated: May 6, 2022
Before reading this, please be aware that it is sensitive content and may be triggering (Or in the world of 2022) offensive to some. This post is meant to spread depression, suicide, and eating disorder awareness, and to show others who are or may have been in a similar situation as myself that pain is temporary and healing is a process but it is so worth it. Few know my whole story because up until recently I was embarrassed by it and not open to speak about the topic. By sharing a small portion of my experience, I hope to encourage others to seek help.I also hope to provide some guidance for families and friends alongside those who need help to get them to a healthier place.
Imagine a fog that invades every aspect of your life. It clouds your thinking. It muddles your brain. It makes it difficult to refocus your attention. It’s like you’re living as a ghost, watching the real world from a distance. This is often how I would describe what living with depression feels like – – a cancer of your soul. Depression started at a young age for me becoming a continuous circle that sucked me down for months at a time. It hit me again and again, stealing years of my life. And that’s the thing about depression, a human being can survive almost anything, as long as she sees the end in sight. But depression is so insidious and it compounds daily, that It’s impossible to ever see the end. The fog is like a cage without a key.
In 2014 I had gotten to the lowest point in my life. I kept my personal life very private and lived by the famous quote “I’m fine.”I spent days and days in bed, sleeping all day and staying up all night. Frequently convincing my friends and family that I was always sick and had to stay home from school. I started skipping family events and I slowly lost friends because I never had the urge to do anything or go out anymore. I made excuses as to why I couldn’t go to social events and would stay home as much as possible. I started wearing high waisted pants, making sure my hips were never exposed and long sleeve shirts so that I wouldn’t get questioned about “What happened to your arms?” Or hear jokes about self harm that I had to force myself to “laugh” about in the moment so I wouldnt blow my own cover, because I was- all too familiar with taking apart pencil sharpener’s and shower razors. Those who had close relationships with me began to describe me as a “zombie” and talking to me at times would be as useless as talking to a wall.
I felt numb on the outside and as if I was drowning on the inside. And honestly i felt comfortable in that state of mind and my negative behaviors became my safety net. I was careless and thought maybe this is it. Maybe this is how I was supposed to feel. I thought I just had to accept that this was how my life was going to be, until it all became too much. I was sick. I had to do something to get out of my own mind and my own body.
One coping mechanism was journaling at night in original hopes that it would just let me sleep. It was a yellow notebook and on the inside cover it read “life is just a dream… And it’s time to wake up “ As I filled in the book with thoughts, quotes, drawings, and stories, I returned back to the front cover. I drew an EKG heartbeat ending in a straight line. On the line I wrote “in the end I’ll be gone." In reference to the end of my notebook. I had a plan. I gave myself a timeline with the number of pages in my book and I reserved the last couple pages. I remember that night like it was black and white. The sounds of policemen banging on the door, being delirious and seeing tears and concern in both my mom and sisters eyes. I will never forget how I felt for as long as I live.
Instead of ending my story, I decided to continue. Was it an easy decision? No, at that point it was not even my decision. It was the toughest struggle I’ve ever gone through and I’m still fighting every day. But that’s just it I’m still fighting which means I’m still here and every day just gets a little bit easier. Yes, some days are hard, it’s inevitable. I learned through the years that recovery is not a linear process. Its messy and like that heartbeat on an EKG it has its ups and downs. It's frustrating. Some days you’ll find yourself asking if it’s even worth all the pain that recovery can bring. Some days feel hopeless. Life will test you. Relapses will happen one way or another but the answer is your life is 100% worth it. It's during these times that we need to get back up and try and try again.The only difference between someone who gets better and someone who doesn’t is whether or not that person gives up and stops trying. Recovery takes a long time. A lifetime as a matter of fact. It can be Hell- - I’m not sugarcoating it. But it could turn out to be one of the biggest triumphs of your life.
Part of recovery for me is learning to let go and to unlearn things I thought were once okay. For years I continue to hold on to people and things that were linked to my ED and depression. Why? I think those were my outlets, they gave me a sense of safety and peace even though they were the complete opposite. It’s hard for me to let go of some of these things and frustrating for me at times to admit that I’m still recovering today. But a loved one once told me “You're rare. Your story is a part of who you are and what makes you such a strong girl. Recovery is an ongoing process that you’ll have with you for the rest of your life. You have to take it one step at a time, one day at a time.”
The huge reason why so many people don't recover is because they say they want it but they are not willing to do the self discovery or let go of things that made them feel safe that were actually keeping them from making a full recovery. Mental health as a whole will always play a very important role in my life. I believe the next step in my own recovery is to break the stigma. To be able to help as many others as I can, wherever they are on their own journey to get out of that dark place I was once in, and not only learn to live, but to love living. Like most diseases of the mind, depression has been misunderstood, mislabeled, and misdiagnosed throughout the ages. This is a disease that doctors still don't completely understand. A disease that some who suffer from it still hide and do not wish to talk about it with their loved ones or doctors. A disease that doesn't completely go away and that can take years to come to a place of wellness. My hope is to bring knowledge and understanding on how depression impacts not only the one suffering but friends, family and loved ones and to at LEAST reach out to one person and give perseverance to not give up. To be living proof that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.each blog post.