I distinctly remember a time in High school when I was lying on my bathroom floor, alone in the house, uncontrollably sobbing. And I don’t mean crying, I mean hysterical tears, snot running down my face. the most disgusting form of crying. And all I could think was that it was normal. That all people feel this way, cry like this, hurt like this. This wasn’t the beginning of my realization that something was wrong per se, but this is the first time I truly felt completely alone. It is etched in my memory as the rock bottom.
Now, being a white, middle-class girl from California, I never felt I was able to admit that there could be something wrong with me because I didn’t feel I was “allowed” to be depressed. I was on combinations of anti-depressants most of my adolescent life. My dad had battled with depression my mom said, so the doctors said that I must have it too. And they weren’t completely wrong but it wasn’t until I was 26 or so, just a few short years ago, that I was correctly diagnosed with severe anxiety, depressive disorder, and as if that wasn’t enough, obsessive-compulsive disorder. I’ve tried a ton of medications. Starting in Highschool on Wellbutrin, moving on to Zoloft later and now the current cocktail I am on. Wellbutrin made everything so much worse. I truly think my teen years would have been completely different if the doctors had taken mental illness more seriously. I was rebellious, frustrated, severely depressed, confused. All the things a teenager normally is but for me it seemed tenfold. It was like all my emotions were on overdrive. All. The. Time.
Now while a lot has changed, some things never do. The stigma associated with mental illness is still strong today. The days when I can’t even bring myself to go to work because of these feelings. The ever-changing combinations and doses of medications. But the reason I decided to start writing about it is for you. Yes, you. Anyone out there that is feeling like this too. Anyone that feels alone, hated, in pain. I have been there. So many people are there every day. And you aren’t alone.
Today I should be at work but I woke up so depressed that I haven’t left my bed. If sharing my feelings and experience can help even one person, Shit, if it can help me then hopefully it will be worth it. So grab a snack, sit back and join me on this journey through my mind. It’s a scary place, but it’s mine and sooner or later, I have to embrace it. Right?