Today is the first day that I am openly talking about my struggles throughout my life. It is quite scary doing so, however, I have reached a point in my life where I am realizing that I am not alone with my thoughts. We all struggle through life and have down times. I have seen a therapist for a short period of time (a long time ago) and was told that I suffered from depression. I never accepted this diagnosis as I had this idea of what depression looked like and so I pushed it away and continued with life. Today, at 31 years old, I think I can safely admit that I suffer from depression and decided to open up about my struggles. Perhaps, this might help me straighten my thoughts out, as most often that not, my thoughts are all over the place.
Throughout my life I have had always been strong. I was bullied in High School and this was a really hard time in my life. I struggled with self esteem and constantly wish things were different. When High School was over, I went to College. Here, I gained more self esteem as was “happier” as there was no more High School drama. I believe things really changed when I had my first serious relationship. This was with a guy that was 7 years older than myself. When we first start dating, there were definite red flags. However, I ignored these flags as I was just happy to even be in a relationship and 4 years later it ended. The relationship was a rollercoaster. There was constant up and downs. He belittled me, disrespected me and destroyed me. We broke up on our 4th year anniversary. I will always remember that day.
I was laying in bed the night before and thought to myself if I was really going to go through the rest of my life never knowing what true love felt like. The next day came which was our 4th year anniversary. We lounged around all morning as we didn’t have any plans to celebrate. I asked to go for a walk and he came along. He didn’t even seem to enjoy the walk and so I brought up his discontent during the walk. Sure enough, this didn’t end well. We ended up walking separately until we got back to our apartment. Once we got back, I sat down on the couch and he got up and left. He returned shortly with papers saying that he had signed for another apartment lease. I remember a lot of crying and heart ache. Not to mention, this was all happening while I was studying for the most important exam of my life. He moved out shortly after and that was when I went into a downward spiral.
I survived off of slices of bread and water for weeks. My stomach was so hungry, however, if I ate my stomach hurt and if I didn’t eat my stomach would also hurt. I slept all day and had no energy to do anything. I barely had energy to walk to the bathroom. I cried any time that I was awake and then fell asleep from being tired from the crying. This was going on for weeks. I had dropped to a mere 80 lbs and was skin and bones. I stopped studying for my exam as well.
After a few weeks of this, I realized that I needed to at least get back to studying. I had worked so hard for 4 years to get to this point of writing this exam and needed to pass. I reached out to my sisters for help and they took me into their homes. I studied during the day while they worked and cooked me dinner every day. I was feeling somewhat better when I was at my sister’s place as I didn’t cry as much, as I didn’t want them to see me crying. This helped as my exam came and after 3 gruelling days, the exam was done and over with.
Now it was time to go back to my life….I went back to my apartment after the spending the summer at my sisters. I spent the first night at my apartment and sure enough the tears came back again, the sobbing where you’re unable to breathe and my lack of eating. I needed a change of scenery. I reached out to my sister who lived in another province and asked if I could stay with her for awhile. She agreed and within a few weeks I had packed up my life and moved across the country.
I thought it would be full of excitement to start a new life with new people, however, it was nothing like that. I felt so loney with no friends and this didn’t help me get over the relationship. I came home from work every day, with no friends and no partner to comfort me or talk to me. I cried every night in the shower as I didn’t want my sister to hear me crying in the bedroom. I remember picking up my phone texting my ex boyfriend just to tell him about my day. At that point, he blew me off every time and barely talked with me. After about a month, I gave up and stopped texting him.
I began volunteering and attending social events at work. I made some new friends and things seemed to be looking up…however, when you’re me you will find a way to over think everything and eventually screw things up.