Beating the Beast


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So, all of my problems started when I was really young. I am currently 22, which I guess is young to some people, but I don't know.

In elementary school there was always something going on in my mind. I would get upset very easily. I would cry about random things. Sometimes I would sit outside and talk to my dog about my problems. I am not sure how old I was, but I am thinking I was 7 or 8. All I know, is that I was always alone in my thoughts. I didn't talk to people about them.

I have always been athletic. When I was 9, I went to states in Hoop Shoot. It's where you throw the ball from the free throw line and whoever makes the most advances. So there was a lot of pressure to succeed there. Then I tried out for Little League the same year. I had cut my hair short in 4th grade and resembled a boy more than a girl, so it was frustrating. I made the team and played with all boys. There were only 2 girls on 6 teams. More pressure. I did well, even hit a homerun before most of the boys, but I started to put more pressure on myself to succeed.

When I hit 6th grade, things were starting to change. I felt pressure from everywhere. Sports, school work, everything. Little League ended for me this year and I was done with sports for awhile. Then I met a friend who taught me how to SI. At the time, I just thought it was something fun you could do with a mechanical pencil. But now, knowing what I know, it was def SI. I was always frustrated in my head. I never felt my mom paid enough attention to me. She was always more involved with my brother. My dad was my soul supporter in sports and I enjoyed it.

7th grade I fought with a lot of friends. Normal in middle school. But 8th grade rolled around and I developed and eating disorder. I lost 15 lbs which the parents didn't seem to notice. So my friends sent a letter to them behind my back. The school nurse came to the cafeteria one day to see if I was eating or not. She sat in an empty seat next to me and asked me embarrassing questions in front of the entire lunch table. I was humiliated. Then on the way back to class I was asked to go to the nurses office to be weighed. UGH. I still have problems with food, but not as bad. This year I developed trust issues.

Eventually, I make it to high school. 9th grade was a good time. I tried out for volleyball and started first string JV and was starting short stop on the softball team. I was in heaven with all of my sports. But I was till battling my food issue. I never really ate lunch the entire time I was in high school and my friends always threatened to tell on me. After explaining to them how crazy I was about my 8th grade experience, they let it go. Some of my friends made fun of me about it. Maybe they thought it would help. Argh.

Sophomore year was quiet. I started varsity in both volleyball and softball. I was always pushing myself to be better. I was always practicing. Even bumping basketballs instead of volleyballs. In my mind I wasn't good enough. I developed more self-esteem issues.

Through the rest of high school of felt a lot of pressure to succeed. People would tell me they would come to volleyball games to see me and not their kids. I never admitted to an injury because I was the captain and wasn't supposed to be hurt. When I got Most Athletic of my senior class, I still didn't feel like I achieved enough. All of the sports awards I received drove me more into the ground and made me more humble than I was before. Everyone else did the bragging. Sports kept my mind off of other things. Things I didn't quite understand. Like, why am I sad, but I have no reason to be? At this point, I started to fear being the center of attention.

Right before I moved to college, my mom fell off a ladder. I blamed it on myself. I was babysitting my cousins, they wanted to go swimming, she was looking for the ladder above the garage. She almost died of a blood clot, but managed to fully recovery. At this point, I cornered myself into always feeling guilty about everything.

I moved on to college and played softball there. Freshmen year my second baseman and I turned 6 double plays. Sophomore year I had 4 homeruns in 4 straight games and a batting average of over 500 only got me "Most Improved Player". Which was devastating to someone who tries so hard. My teammates were even convinced I would get MVP. But the politics on the team didn't help that. The fact that a girl could throw almost 70 mph was just stupid and not worth anything. At this point, my self-esteem dropped more and what impressed most people wasn't worth anything to me.

Freshman year was rough. The change was hard. I fought with friends from home because I was so lonely at school. I went home every weekend because it was only an hour away. I was at school for 3 days and home for 4. My roommate told me I should go to counseling, so I did. They wanted to put me on medication. I hated the experience. Then I worked up the nerve to tell my mom and she shut me down. Said they wanted to put the world on meds. So there went my dream of getting better. I moved to a different dorm. That year I wanted to die.

My sophomore year of college my dad had a stroke. It was devastating. A whole chunk of my heart is still missing. He isn't the same man. Can't even throw a ball with me anymore. He was the only one who paid attention to me and now I feel like I have no one. My friends said I changed a lot. I began doing things that were more extreme. SI with OTC drugs and other things. Cutting got worse. My roommate/best friend found a boy toy and I rarely saw her. So I was alone most nights. I eventually got a hamster and he kept me company. I loved him a lot, but he died almost a year ago and I still cry about it. He was there for me when I really needed something. The same year a close guy friend got me drunk and took advantage of me. This year I realized I couldn't get close to people.

Junior year was ok. Things still got worse. I did the same things to myself that I shouldn't have.

Senior year was ok at first. Spring semester rolled around. I was cutting a lot and my friend took things into her own hands and alerted professional people. The coordinator of my dorm got involved and I was forced into therapy because all I wanted to do was push my problems away. I was diagnosed with dysthymic disorder and put on a lot of different drugs until Effexor finally worked. I was humiliated in front of judicial affairs who threatened to tell my parents even though I was of age, 21. He said, 'How would your neighbors feel if they knew what you did?" Eventually, I went on medication which I have taken myself off of because no one was monitoring me. The experience taught me a lot and hurt me too. I have ST's a lot. I know how I will do it.

The summer before I graduate I was assaulted by the same friend who did it sophomore year. It was my 22 birthday. I hadn't talked to him in awhile and he only opens up when he is drunk. This time he let himself into my apartment and did it when I was drunk. I was passed out/paralyzed from being wasted. If only we the drunks would have remembered to lock the door after I was carried upstairs. I called the cops but didn't press charges. Now I fear boys.

I graduated from college and have been "stable" since. I still do things, but they are harder to do at home. I refuse to tell my family because I was shutdown by my mother once, and my dad has enough problems because of the stroke.

So I am hanging in there waiting to find a job that will give me insurance. After my experience this time last year (senior year of college) I learned that therapy and medication will help me get better. Although, I do like to go to my friends house and drink because it makes me happier.

BTB has been a real lifesaver and I have learned to vent more. I keep too much inside. I highly recommend utilizing this site. It really pays to write it down and get it out. Also, the people here are amazing.

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Revised: 04/02/05.

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