This is part 2 of a three part series on depression. You can find the other parts here:
Getting help is hard. I didn’t want it at first. But also I did. I didn’t want to say that I wanted help. What I really wanted was my doctor and my parents to make the decision for me, to force me into getting help. I was under 18 – they could have done it. But they deferred to me and when I said I was okay, they believed me. I wasn’t okay. But I didn’t want to tell them that. So I didn’t get help until I was almost 18, and even then I stopped after three months and didn’t pick up again until I was 19. Then I stopped again until I was 21, and I’ve been continuously getting help since. But what happened in the meantime was my depression got worse.
I honestly can’t remember too well at this point how I was feeling during my college years. All I know is I progressively got worse.
Freshman year was okay, with normal ups and downs – until a friend of mine killed herself. At that point everything went to hell for me. I considered killing myself too, but the only thing keeping me from doing that was how much hurt I saw in the people who loved my friend, and I didn’t want to do that to my family and friends. That feeling stayed pretty much stagnant until my sophomore year when I figured some things out. As a sophomore, I began to figure out my sexuality, and that really helped me hate myself less, and feel like I was more of a whole person. It got rid of most of the angst I felt in high school, but not the sadness. Junior year and senior year were problematic. Junior year was when I started getting help again, because I had been feeling worse and worse. I was stressed out beyond belief and constantly felt under duress. Going to therapy helped some, so I stopped going when I reached senior year.That was certainly logical – stopping what was helping me – but I didn’t feel like reaching out again.
Senior year was “the beginning of the end”, so to speak. This was the start of my downhill tumble until I hit absolutely rock bottom. I was crying all the time, unable to handle the slightest things without breaking down. I had an essay due? I cried until I couldn’t do it until the last minute. Applying for jobs? Not happening. Hanging out with my friends sometimes worked, but sometimes I would leave them and go to my room and cry so hard because I felt like no one cared about me, and I was all alone. I wanted to die more often than not, though I wasn’t really thinking of killing myself. I just wanted something or someone else to kill me. Like a car accident. Or a tree falling on my head. My boyfriend became my rock. I still cried around him all the time, terrified that I would push him away with my depression, terrified that he didn’t actually care about me like he said he did. And when he left me a year later because he couldn’t handle my depression anymore, all my worst fears came true and I completely broke. But that wasn’t even rock bottom.
I had started taking medication when I started seeing a therapist again, but what I had wasn’t working. It wasn’t right, and I didn’t feel any better. When I got dumped, I stopped eating and drinking for three days, and my friends hospitalized me. That was the first time I went to the hospital. Over the next year I would go to t
he hospital two more times for suicidal ideation, intent, and plan.That was rock bottom. I had nowhere to go. This time I wanted to kill myself. I had planned on crashing my car into a tree. I had begun storing extra pills to overdose. I was absolutely ready to die. The only thing keeping my alive was my fear of failing, and surviving. I had lost two jobs due to my depression, and had nothing to keep me going. I would sleep all day. I would cry all night.I couldn’t feed myself, I barely ate. I didn’t clean anything, my apartment was really gross. It was the worst year and a half of my life.
But then something miraculous happened – I got the right medication. Therapy started helping. I began to get better. It first started with just not wanting to kill myself, and wanting to die by accident again. Then I slowly got to the point where I didn’t want to die except for the occasional intrusive thought. And now I’m at a place where I’m functioning for the most part. I’m searching for jobs. I got into grad school. I’m finally getting my life back on track. I wouldn’t say I’m happy, not yet. But I’m getting there.