. . .I went into a full-blown depressive episode that has left scars on my psyche that may be permanent. I’m talking clinical depression with doctor visits, medication, and therapy. I should also mention that there were a few other things going on at that time as well. Stuff like . . .
Struggling with and failing my advanced IB (International Baccalaureate) courses in high school
My boyfriend was practically sucking the life out of me with all of his religious bullsh*t and constant criticism. He was no help at all and he used to tell me that I was depressed because I was being possessed by a demon. What he forgot to mention was that its name was J*****. (Him!)
* STILL being an outcast at school even though I was in classes with the really “smart” kids. Yeah, assholes can be intelligent too.
* Just setting out on the long journey that I have been documenting in a collection of writings that I’ve taken to calling “The Mental Journeys of an Intellectual Wanderer” or “The Scribblings of a Bored Cashier.” It was a mental journey that I was almost bullied out of and had to continue in absolute secrecy all because a certain person lives behind a wall of ignorance fortified by generations of [slave] training and learned fear. *I need to remember to write about that incident in more detail. It’s a good one, y’all.*
* A ‘confidant’ repeating things I said in what I thought was confidence and ending up with three people staring at me as if I were some sort of freak. I’ll never forget that instant and the uncomfortable feelings it brought.
And as if all that nonsense wasn’t enough, here’s the thing that’s worse than all the other things because it still effects me to this day in how I conduct my own affairs: the fact that all the people in my life at that time were of no help to me when I needed it the most. Everybody was unsupportive and/or had their own way(s) of making the situation worse.
I remember handling my condition (medications and appointments with either the doctor or the therapist) on my own. I understood that no one around me really grasped what depression was or why it was happening to me. Frighteningly enough, I’ve found that lots of people don’t understand or take this medical condition seriously until something terrible happens. They most often assume that it’s just feeling sadness, much like my older sister who told me about her “depression” when she lost a job. Not cool. And not helping!
And then the ‘fun’ stuff began. I say that sarcastically, of course.
* Miraculously losing A LOT of weight. My appetite was shot to hell.
* Emptiness. Not being able to feel much of anything
* Guilt, guilt, and more guilt because I needed help. More help than I believed I deserved.
* Anxiety which probably preceded the depressive episode
* Wandering around my neighborhood at 3 or 4am because A.) the crippling insomnia had won yet another night and B.) I was secretly hoping something out there would end this misery for me—or at least up the ante so that maybe I’d be able to justify asking for more help.
And then, after a while (I’d say about a year), all the really bad depressive symptoms started to subside. I could sleep and eat hold down a job. Even religious bullsh*t spouting, overly critical, and mildly controlling boyfriend-turned-husband went away. I can celebrate that fact now because he’s more than likely still a useless idiot. A happy ending. All’s well that ends well, right? Well . . .