Breaking the Habit: Overcoming Depression

I think that for a long time I felt that I didn’t think life could get better for me. For a long time I felt as if though I was brought into this world to suffer, to go through some of the most horrendous things.  I would look at the world around me and I felt as if though everyone else’s life was perfect. It sure seemed that way. For a long time I longed for closeness within my family, for my parents to get their shit together when it came to their relationship, for my godmother to stop threatening me and instilling fear into me when it came to getting information out of me, for the sexual abuse to stop coming in from those who shall remain nameless. I was a child wanting to live a normal childhood. A child who wanted to play and love and laugh. A child who simply wanted to know that life could be something better than whatever I was experiencing. 

As the years went by, it seemed as if though things just kept getting worse. My resentment towards my family kept growing and I didn’t realize how much anger was brewing within me. The trauma that I experienced growing up turned me into a depressed, angry, and resentful person. I witnessed a lot of dysfunctional patterns among the adults that I was around and that got transferred on to myself. I took those traits on because I thought it was normal. I thought you were supposed to do those things. I thought you needed to manipulate situations or things in order to get what you wanted. I thought playing mind games was okay because I saw others do it and thought that was the thing that you needed to do or should do. I saw lying, cheating, stealing, among so many other things and ended up doing that because I thought it was what was deemed normal. It was the only thing I knew how to do. When things got even worse, I couldn’t understand what I had done so wrong. I mean, it was what I grew up seeing. Why were things going so terribly wrong? 

I got into a deep depression and then I gave up. I gave up believing that things could get better. I couldn’t understand how or when things had gotten so bad, but then I would think back to my childhood and realize that everything from then up until the age of possibly 24 or 25 was not what I would want my children to experience. I once saw my best friend at the time cut herself and she handed me the blade. I had just vented about my current situation and she found it easier to hand me a blade, but maybe self destruction was all she knew. So I can’t blame her when she hadn’t lived the best childhood either. My first time trying drugs was when these people were trying to find a way to not spill their secret. So, they knew that the best way to silence me would be to have me do drugs with them, I was 13 and my first drug ever was crystal meth. I had two great friends pass away in the same week and both were helping me out on my journey. Both were helping me see that things weren’t too bad after all. When I lost them I think I just kept looking at all of the negatives within my life. I couldn’t see the best of anything. I wasn’t close to my family, I had just lost two great friends, my best friend at the time was in rehab and going through her own downward spiral, and I was losing my mind. I was 16 and I still remember this day like it was yesterday. I remember sitting in my living room and crying my eyes out, I couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t take handle anymore disappointment, I had gotten lost with drugs, I was constantly cutting myself, and I felt like I had no one else to speak to. I went and looked through the kitchen cabinets and found some of my moms prescribed medication, I honestly don’t remember what it was. I just remember reading that they were 500 mg. and that would be enough to get the job done. At least that’s what I thought in my messed up little head. I sat back down on my couch and started taking pill by pill. I counted and ended up taking 30 of those pills. I laid back down on the couch and just waited for everything to start happening to me. If you’ve ever been high, then that’s the best way to explain the feeling that I got 20 minutes later if not sooner than that. I felt extremely high and as the time went by I felt my body get warmer and eventually felt as if it was overheating. I threw up so much that day that eventually even that hurt. I couldn’t walk from the restroom to the couch anymore, I was weak, tired, and quite frankly I was surprised that I was still breathing. I spent 8 hours in this condition because no one was home, by the time anyone found me I looked pretty much about dead on the couch. I couldn’t walk to the car so I needed help to even get in and on the ride to the hospital I was going in and out of consciousness. I don’t really remember much because eventually I just passed out and the next thing I remember is that my entire family was standing in front of my bed, crying, probably wondering where the hell they went wrong that this happened. Probably wondering what I had been harboring deep within me in order to do this to myself. I spent an entire week in the hospital and I needed to have supervision at all times. As dumb as this sounds, I would look outside the hospital window and look down at the baseball field that was there and watch everyone out there playing and having fun. I remember thinking to myself, “I wish I were there playing instead of here on lock down.” The girl who so desperately wanted out suddenly wanted to be anywhere but be under supervision and on lock down. 

It was at that moment that some things started getting better, I think at that moment my family realized that we all needed to come together and get over our differences. I would love to say that everything started getting better right away but it didn’t. I went to several of self-development workshops, seminars, and went decided to seek a spiritual adviser. It took a lot of concentrated effort on my part to truly want to change my perspective on life, to truly let go of the traumas that I had deep within, to truly want to let go of this resentment and anger that built up. It took me wanting to get better in order to overcome this depressive state of mind. I read a lot of self-development books and truly had an open mind while doing all of this. I ended up realizing that the things I experienced were happening for plenty of reasons that had nothing to do with me. A lot of things happened to me because the people who hurt me unintentionally or who influenced my life also had traumatic things happen in their life. They too witnessed things that weren’t healthy, they too went through abuse, they too went through things that they shouldn’t have gone through and witnessed things that they thought was okay as well. Then a lot of things started to make sense. My perspective changed, I realized that my parents were young when they started dating and were young when they started having children. They didn’t have the proper guidance and direction to be able to truly have the right state of mind for a lot of things that they faced as a couple. When it came to my brother and cousin, those were the two that I truly looked up to the most, but there was such a huge age gap that they didn’t know how to interact with me, I was little and they never realized that their behavior would end up affecting me the way that it did. Even so, their behavior was something that they too experienced growing up, so it was also normal for them to behave that way. The sexual abuse that I experienced, for a long time I hated them. They robbed me of my innocence, I was too little to go through that. I wish that our justice system got these people help instead of simply locking them up or slapping them on the wrist with a label on their record. That’s what they need, they need help mentally. 

I would love for people to remember one thing, we as children and even in our teens learn these things from adults, a kid knows nothing until an adult shows them what to do. These are habits that are passed down and taught, they’re not just things that naturally come to someone. The next time you experience what you consider to be an injustice from someone remember this, these people must have witnessed some fucked up things growing up, because these things were taught to them. Any compulsive lying, cheating, abuse, manipulation, etc., these things were taught to everyone. While I’m definitely not saying that it’s okay for this to happen, just know that it’s not your fault and you haven’t done anything wrong. 

I would love to suggest this, after having gone through everything that I went through I would advise for you to speak up. Let your emotions out in a positive way and seek out counseling if need be. It’s okay to ask for help when you feel like you’re in a dark place. You are not weak by any means, you are strong for seeking out any type of support. Give yourself the ability to truly be happy. My life has definitely taken a 180 and I am forever grateful for this. I now have a better relationship with my parents and I love them. We have amazing conversations, deep heart felt conversations, my brother and I are closer than ever now and I am forever grateful that I have his support and love as well. My personal life has gotten so much better, I took a step back and realized that those traumatic experiences that I went through were not who I am now. In fact, they were never really something that I needed to relive anymore. While these bad things happened to me, I realized that I couldn’t allow those things to rule my life. There was still so much life to live and I wanted to truthfully live it happily. I started researching new hobbies and started getting deeper into spirituality. I started realizing that life can be great, if I truly want it to be. It just requires patience and seeking out the help that you need. 

I couldn’t have done this on my own, eventually with the support of my mother and father and even my brother I was able to truly get the help that I needed in order to get better. What truly helped me out was reading a lot of self-development books as well as healing the past traumas. Trust me, I left out a lot of the more sickening things that happened to me throughout my life journey. If you have been raped, abused, and have gone through many other life changing events just know this, you are worthy of living a happy life after those events. It starts with reaching out and getting the help that you need and that you deserve. I wish you all the best of luck on your journey to recovery, because that’s what this is. A journey to getting better and feeling better. Again, I went through a lot more sickening things than whatever I posted but if I can make it out alive, so can you. Depression is no joke, but the biggest step is wanting to seek help and getting it. I couldn’t have made it this far without the people who have helped me out through this journey. Many blessings to all of you and I wish you a much more beautiful journey than whatever you may have experienced thus far. 

If you or anyone that you know is experiencing thoughts of suicide, please reach out to the suicide prevention hotline 1-800-273-8255. 

For support outside the US, find resources at http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html

https://www.changedirection.org/help-line-resources/

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