Hi, my name is Amanda. I think that I am just here to either get this out of my system or maybe find a solution to what I'm facing. It's a difficult thing, as most of you know, to talk about depression because we've been conditioned to believe that our problems don't matter, and even when they do we should fix them instead of complaining about them (it's a myth, I know, but it's still a cultural norm in America). For me, it's been so ingrained into my head that I never used to talk about the way I was feeling to my friends, parents, or anyone else. I feel that because I didn't start to open up about the way I was feeling sooner, that this is kind of my fault for not taking care of myself. I'm 22 years old, and I began to feel depressed around the age of 14. Of course, at that age mood swings are to be expected, so I didn't put too much stock into it. When my best friend took his own life that same year, my mother enrolled me into therapy out of fear that I was going to do the same thing, more than anything else. I was diagnosed with depression, and put on paxil. I saw a psychologist for about 6 months, and then was set free because I passed their tests 'with flying colors'. The feeling of empowerment of overcoming that obstacle in my life didn't last too long; the constant empty feeling kept coming back. I had problems sleeping, my weight would fluctuate, and I just didn't feel well. I still maintained a facade of stability throughout high school, and I left a prom queen with high honors. The summer before my senior year of high school, I was hit by a drunk driver while I was out for a bike ride with my sister. I wasn't supposed to be able to walk across stage to graduate, but by that Halloween- only three months later- I was on crutches. The doctors were amazed at two things- my ability to heal physically, and my ability to forgive a hit-and-run drunk driver emotionally as gracefully as I did. I was just so glad to be alive that I vowed to fulfill whatever purpose I was kept here for. I was in a place where I would be open and trusting to everyone. This may not make sense, but I kind of felt invincible because my life had been spared; I am a spiritual person who felt at the time that God wouldn't be so cruel to spare my life one minute and take it the next. Well, graduation happened and life truly began for me. I knew I wasn't ready for college, but my parents and other people pushed me into it because they figured I'd never go if I put it off. I had really bad adjustment issues, though I'd never been that close with my family until after my car accident. I got into a horrible relationship that involved a lot of mental abuse, and began to use cutting as a coping mechanism to avoid having to open up to other people about how I was feeling, about how my thought patterns had changed. I wasn't one of those attention-seeking emo's who wore their problems on their sleeves. No one knew about this until my roomate walked in and saw a makeshift tourniquet on my leg. I ended up failing out of college, starting a menial job as a telemarketer (of all things, right? That's all a stressed out person needs- someone screaming at them all day about a corporation's faults as if they were my own... lol.) and things just got worse. I've never been the type to play victim, even in my car accident when I was by definition a victim. I try to do everything on my own; I try really hard to be a strong, independent person. Maybe this is innate, and maybe it's simply out of fear of being judged by others as one of those 'whiney depressed people'. But I think that cutting, for me, was an unconscious cry for help. I had become really suicidal, and maybe cutting was a known precursor to that. It was a way for me to enact physically what I saw in myself.
Needless to say, when I ripped the upper layer of skin off my arm and had to have my emt brother fix it, my mother (who'd known I'd been , and had been threatening to call crisis on me for months- I always talked her out of it. sometimes intellect isn't the most beneficial thing for people in my mental state) called crisis and I was enrolled in yet another counseling program. I had a great counselor, but I think that I am so used to having to censor things just to hold my status where it is that I'm not entirely capable of fully opening up to someone. I was again diagnosed with depression, though I refused the medication because I wanted to learn to restructure my thought pattern instead of relying on that first. I was, once again, released because I had again tackled my problems and was on the road to recovery. I really believed that, too. It just so happened that I had the opportunity to go to school, and I was actually ready. I went to a community college and got straight A's (well, one B) and felt great about it. I hadn't in a long time, and still haven't . It's been about a year since I last myself. I had no self worth, at all. However, I have been working on that. Finding an identity in my grades has been helpful. However, during my last bout with depression, my weight ballooned to 305 pounds. I'm a pretty, smart girl, but that was bound to take its toll. I've lost fifteen pounds since then, but it's very difficult to exercise because of my pelvic injury that I faced before my senior year, as well as the fact that I am so depressed that I don't feel like doing anything, let alone running two miles. I can never fall asleep at night and I never want to wake up in the morning because I am not getting any sleep. I don't have interest in the things I once did, and I have become rather anti-social. I blow off old friends that visit from college, and I have a hard time making friends at college because I am so self-conscious. I'm seeing all these little cycles that I can't seem to break out of. The thing is, I still feel crappy- all the time. I've tried psychologists, I've tried relying on my family and friends, I've tried pushing myself harder and I've tried to push it aside and avoid it. I can honestly say that I've tried every logical approach that I can think of to deal with this, and it just will not go away. 9 years later, I'm on my grandmother's couch and I'm still depressed. I feel I've gotten better than I was (I'm no longer cutting or suicidal) but I am just getting really frustrated. I just want this to go away. I'm also dealing with the idea that this is my fault because I brought a lot of these problems on myself. I didn't turn my friend in, even when he threatened to kill himself. I am the one who entered into that abusive relationship, and I am the person who didn't seek out treatment even when she knew something was wrong, simply because she was embarrassed.
I'm sure you've heard this a million times before. I don't want a miracle. I don't really know what I'm looking for here. I think that I just need someone to understand this.
Thank you so much for reading.
Hi sweetie, I had to edit your post as we aren't allowed to talk about self harm on this forum. You have come a long way. Take life one day at a time. Five yourself little rewards for your good behavior... Try not to pick on yourself for the little things. I think this will help you to relax and see your accomplishments. Know that you are a good person. You really have come a long way. Keep up the good work.
Post Edited By Moderator (getting by) : 11/13/2010 3:41:16 AM (GMT-7)