I have never actually been
“professionally” diagnosed with having depression. I did a lot of
reading and researching on the internet and visited many different
sites to try and figure out what was “wrong” with me - but still
haven't made my way to a doctor.
It was probably about 6 years ago that I noticed things were
different. This intense sadness, an intense feeling of hopelessness,
and the spontaneous crying just emerged out of nowhere. I was young
and had no idea what was going on with me – I had never really even
heard of depression before that.
I felt like I wasn’t normal. I felt like I didn’t belong. I felt so
out of place. And I didn’t dare tell a soul. I was ashamed and hurt by
what was happening, but most of all, I was plain old confused.
To this day, I am still not exactly sure how The Beast got a firm hold
of my hand, but it got to the point where I felt like I was being
strangled. I am not even sure whether my depression is genetic or
situational - but from what I know, I would say that it is
As a young child, I had been through a number of painful experiences.
My father died when I was just an infant and even to this day, his
name is not a topic of discussion in this home. Around the age when my
depression hit was the age when I was just starting to wonder about
myself – who I was, where I came from, why I was the way I was and
other things like that. And not knowing about an entire half of it
became very painful and confusing for me.
Throughout my childhood, up until I was about 17, I was “punished” by
being physically hit by my mother. Some of the time she did it as a
way to release her anger and
frustrations, but other times she
meant to hurt me. Thinking back, it was around the time that my
depression surfaced that I realized that no, what she was doing was
not okay and that it wasn’t ‘normal’. I could not stand coming home to
her verbal and emotional abuse any longer, and it got to the point
where I just wouldn’t come home at all.
My mother was remarried when I was 7 years old. I am an only child and
I can still remember the fear, thinking that I was going to lose her
love forever. I didn’t want to share her with anybody else – I didn’t
know how. But of course, she managed to make me feel guilty somehow
for not letting her be ‘happy’ and so she was married. I was forced to
call him Daddy – something I still resent to this day. We never really
formed a relationship, other than the fact that he helps pay the bills
and we live under the same roof. Around the time that my depression
came to a head, was right when I really felt like I was having to
fight for my mother’s love. Anytime we argued, she sided with him.
Anytime I talked back, she sided with him. He was ALWAYS there – and I
began to hate him for that. Even now, our conversations last for about
5 minutes and we barely talk about anything more than the weather –
In my 19 years of life, I have had to deal with a lot of death. I have
lost my father, both of my grandfathers, a grandmother, an
uncle/god-father, and two of my aunts – and that’s just to name the
most immediate relatives. I think part of my depression stemmed from
the fact that I was never encouraged to talk about these people, I was
never really given a safe outlet. It was as if as soon as they died I
was supposed to somehow magically forget about them, and things would
be okay. I still struggle tremendously in trying to deal with their
deaths - but as I am slowly learning
how to talk about it, the weight is beginning to lift from my
I would have to say that, without a doubt, I hit my all-time low over
the winter of last year. I started seeing a therapist, but only made
about 8 visits with her - I felt that she wasn’t helping me at all.
Looking back, it did help me
see that all this stuff was there at the surface and was dying for a
safe place to come out. I felt so hopeless. So lost and so confused
and I was in so much pain. I was having chest pains, the weight felt
so heavy and the burden was just too large… and I didn’t know what to
do. I cried and cried, and lay in bed and thought about how I wanted
to just give up – how I wanted to die – because living was simply too
hard to do.
Then I found BtB. And it was the trust and support that I found here
that truly saved me. Somewhere in me, I was able to find the courage
to get a counselor at my university with whom I met on a weekly basis
for a few months. She was great. She gave me the safe environment that
I needed in order to start to talk… and really understand what was
I stopped seeing her 7 months ago – and I’m doing good. I have started
some sort of a healing process and I know now that I do not want to
die. I want to live. I can appreciate the days, appreciate the people,
and I feel content on most days. I have dreams again, I have hopes,
and I have goals for my life.
By no means am I saying that I am magically cured of this depression –
because I am not. The Beast still lurks here, breathing down my neck,
tapping me on the shoulder… and sometimes when I am just too tired or
too run down, he makes his way in. But I am learning how to defend
myself and how to overcome the negative thoughts and feelings. I know
that I can never forget that “the pit” is only a few steps away, but I
also know that I DO have the strength in me, and the resources behind
me, to pull myself out of there and rise above it.
If I have learned anything from the past 6 years of “hell”, I have
learned that I am stronger than I ever gave myself credit for. I am
learning that life is worth living and that happiness is possible. I
am learning that I can do anything if I just put my mind to it. And
that yes, it is okay to ask for help – because there IS help out there
I am learning to never give up hope.