Mar 28, 2016

MY DEPRESSION STORY


I think like everyone else, there were times in my life where I've felt sad. We all have moments where we'll be down for a part of the day, maybe it'll even drag on to the following one but it never lingers too long. When I started university, I was down for a really long time. I say down because I wasn't necessarily sad, because to feel sadness you need a reason; you need a situation to be sad about. I wasn't sad, but I was definitely something.

From the beginning 


I graduated college in 2014 and from there, everything in my life changed at a very fast pace. I was about to move out into the city with one of my best friends to study English literature at university. At the time all of this was happening, I was more excited than anxious because I was mostly focusing on the freedom of the new life I was about to start making for myself. I was excited for my degree in uni, and a few of my friends were moving out too so we all had each other as a support system.

2 months into my first semester at university is when things started to get rough. I realized that an English degree was not what I wanted. I knew what I was getting into by pursuing that kind of degree but I wasn't expecting to feel creatively blocked. I quickly started feeling frustrated with what I was learning. I felt like I wasn't really learning because they weren't things I could apply to my day to day life and use to grow as a person. Once I realized this, I started getting more anxious because now what? I had a lot of  unanswered questions like how and when I was going to figure out what to do with this. What I did know was that I was a creative person, and that I wanted to make that an important part of my career.

At that point I was living on my own since my roommate had gotten in a relationship and decided to move in with them. It was fine at first but it got old fast. I'm someone who generally likes being alone, but this was a time where it wasn't necessarily good for me to be on my own. I was having trouble adjusting to my new living situation, a new space, a new city, and a school that I had no idea how I felt about.


Seeking help

Days went by and I found myself a lot less motivated to do anything to a point where it was getting 100% ridiculous. I would have to get up really early for work, and I would lay there and let half an hour go by, not getting up and knowing very well that I would be late. I would skip class because I didn't like it and it didn't feel right. This means I wouldn't turn in assignments here and there because of missed classes and I'd do average on exams. I honestly thought I was just getting really lazy; that I just wasn't made for the busy, quick-paced life. So I kept skipping class and calling in sick for work a few hours before my shift would start and then it came to the point where I wouldn't leave my house. I felt gross and unmotivated since I wasn't stimulating my brain in any way. I wouldn't hang out with my friends as much as I used to, and when I did I felt out of place and like a bother, since I couldn't get myself to be happy and I felt like I didn't have anything interesting or positive to say.


By this point, one of my friends came to live with me which actually helped. She was a great support system and supported me when I most needed it. Around the month of November, I didn't know what to do with myself anymore. I was tired of feeling the way I was feeling and not knowing why, or what I could do to stop it. That's when I decided to visit my school's health clinic and talked with a nurse. She made me an appointment with a psychotherapist for the next week.

The first time I met with her I cried for more than half of the session. It started with easy questions, how I felt, my family members, my friends, what my passions were. While talking about this, I found myself getting upset, angry, anxious and an all-around emotional mess. I was feeling these emotions towards certain people and situations that I never knew I had. And that said a lot since I considered myself to be someone who's pretty in touch with their emotions. When the session was over, I felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. Someone could finally explain to me why I was feeling the way I was, and that it wasn't my fault. She told me that I showed most signs of severe depression and asked me if I would like to try out some medication.

I immediately said yes, because I wanted to try anything that would help me get better. I was on medication for maybe about 4 months before I decided to stop. I was willing to do whatever I had to to feel better. At first I was just happy to have someone validate the way I was feeling. I could finally identify my problem and work on making it better.


Other people


After all this time, I still can't find the words to describe what I was feeling back then. Which is why I couldn't blame people who brushed off the fact that I was clinically depressed because I was just confused, lazy... you name it, I was it. Those people weren't afraid to pin those words on me, but there was no way I could have been depressed. What I found was that a lot of people didn't really know what it meant. I think it's hard to understand something so sensitive when you haven't felt it for yourself or haven't studied it. Which is why I worked hard on not getting affected by those who would say that "I was sick" or that "Depression doesn't exist"

What mattered were the people who supported me, and myself. But this is when I also realized that there is a huge stigma around mental illness and that something needs to be done about it. Around this time, Kristine and I decided to make a blog together and write about important issues, and issues we're passionate about. One of our first few posts are about mental illnesses, and since then we've written quite a few which you can check out here.


The end of 2014 was rough, but it was necessary. Since then, I spent a year and a half figuring out who I am, what I like, what I would want to do as a career. I looked into journalism, communications, creative writing and graphic design. I applied to a few schools and kept coming up short. It was really hard for me because I had always been so certain of where I was going and what I was going to study and suddenly I found myself swimming in a sea of uncertainties. Figuring out what was the first step to get to smooth sailing took some time and a lot of effort, but I knew it was necessary so I just kept on going and reminding myself of my bigger goal: to figure it out.

It's been a work in progress. Some days are worst than others, but I'm learning to know my mind and body, and how to take care of myself in those situations.



2 comments

  1. Thank you so much for sharing! I've also shared my own experience with depression and I think more bloggers doing this is one way we can help end the stigma that is associated with depression and other mental illnesses. What's so important about your story is that you felt the way SO many twenty-somethings feel. But they don't seek help because of the stigmas associated with it.

    Darrian || www.ohshiftyall.con

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    1. Hi Darrian, have you written a post about it because I would love to read it!!
      You're right, I've been seeing a lot of bloggers speaking up about their mental illnesses and I think it's so important because many young adults wont know that what their living is depression or anxiety or any other sort of mental illness!! I think we can really help make a change!

      Daphne xx

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