Wednesday, 3 May 2017

My body and mind | Depression | You're not alone (Part 2)

Depression; A mental condition characterized by feelings of severe despondency and dejection, typically also with feelings of inadequacy and guilt, often accompanied by lack of energy and disturbance of appetite and sleep.
(depression, def.1., oxford dictionaries)

It started when I was 11/12, I don't know exactly what triggered it but I think it was the lack of friends and feeling rejected. Maybe it was due to bullying from when I lived in Portugal, maybe it was that along with some other things ans one day it all just came to surface at the same time. It could've been due to us not having a lot of money and struggling but just getting by. I was not alone in this situation though, many other people in the world have it worse than me. I mean I never starved, I  got a good education, never had to go without clothes or shoes nor did I ever have to walk miles to collect water for my family, but others have. I guess that knowing that others have been through worse and have it worse off and yet here I was feeling this way when I hadn't been through nearly as much made me feel guilty which made it all worse. I've realised since that things affect different people differently and I shouldn't compare myself nor feel guilty for feeling the way I did because everyone is different.

In the second year that I lived with my dad, I was basically left to my own devices. He worked at night and slept during the day while I was school, and during the weekends he'd go out n do his own thing, although not every weekend. I sometimes had my sister (who was 1) and we would go shopping for food or go out to play and do things on our own. There wasn't a specific system or routine in place and that was what I got used to. Then in 2006 I moved back in with my mum, who was much stricter. I had to be home by a certain time, do certain chores at the time specified, my "freedom" was restricted. I went from doing my own thing to "being locked in a cage", not to compare myself to a dog or anything but at the time that's kind of what it felt like. This was a huge change for me, and along with it, change in school, culture, friends, it was a lot. I also learnt some things that had gone on "behind closed doors " with my mum and dad which affected me a lot. I'm not about blaming and shaming so I'll not get too much into that. I was a daddy's girl growing up, full of hope and optimism and then when my dad was out of contact with me for quite a while it felt like a blow to the gut, kick in the head, felt like a beating. 

I have to pause and give credit to my mum because I became a little bit of a handful, because as I said everything changed for me and I didn't like it, at which point I fought back. Now not in any way shape or form was I a bad teenager, I mostly did what my mum asked, never stayed out late, I had good grades, but I can see that for her with how she grew up and with all of the things that she had going on I was probably quite challenging. My mum was my mum and dad she did everything for us and I appreciate her more than she will ever know.

After the move I was feeling quite wounded and hurt, uncomfortable with my surroundings. I started primary school and made a few friends, no one I talked to after I left primary school. Secondary school came, and as I mentioned in my last post I started off with no friends which made me feel even more rejected. I went to school, did my work and sometimes some activities, went home and had no one. This all just happen to coincide with the "EMO era", which I'm only mentioning because it was those songs that made me feel "better", made me feel like I wasn't alone in feeling the way I did. To the outside world I was fine but as soon as I went back into my room I was my true self, I felt broken, alone, unfit, I just wanted all of this to stop I wanted to go "home" but I didn't know what "home" was to me, the only answer was to leave. Leave to where? you ask, leave this world where I felt like I wasn't accepted, I wasn't meant for it, not that I was better for it the complete opposite, I wasn't good enough for it. I was dragging everyone down and I needed to go somewhere else, "home". To me "home" was heaven. You see I grew up in a Catholic household in a predominantly Catholic country. I went to Sunday school and when I went back to live with my mum I did my  confession, communion, confirmation, attended church, the lot. I thought that if I killed myself I would go to heaven an the world would be a better place. I thought that all of these feelings would stop and I'd finally stop hurting, there would finally be some light. I think that this was my last hope for something good, but that I never really believed that that's where I would go, but ending the pain was more important. When my mum would see me upset she would tell me to read my bible, which I disregarded, but one day I gave it a go. I saw that if I had carried on with what I believed to be my only option I would be committing a sin. If there's anything I held on to relatively tightly was faith, although through those times it was getting thinner, I still had a thread of it left, and not to sound like I'm trying to push religion on you, I'M NOT,  but for me that's what stopped me from making my last bad choice on this earth. I say my last bad choice because you are worth being on this earth, you' re more than worth it. You're not alone in feeling the way you feel and hopefully if you do reach out someone will help you. Unfortunately this help isn't available in all parts of the world. 

Despite my faith, or the fear of facing something even worse, stopping me from trying to leave this earth, it didn't stop me from feeling the way I felt. It affected all parts of my life. I felt disconnected to everything and everyone, and eventually I started to inflict pain on myself. It made me feel slightly better, momentarily, it made me feel alive and it helped disguise the other pain that I felt. 
I started getting friends in school but even then I was still unhappy. I would pretend to be happy, pretend to be content with my life, I would laugh, make jokes and then I'd go home and back into that empty hole. Every now and again my facade would crack, where something as small as a teacher taking a long time to come to me when i had my hand up would make me cry, I couldn't help it. 

I started to get more friends and continued to pretend to be "normal", when one day, I couldn't even tell who I was anymore. I couldn't tell if I was the person I was pretending to be or someone else. I couldn't tell if the things I did and said when I was in the company of others was for their benefit or mine. Either way, I kept pretending and with the help of friends, unbeknownst to them, I started to get better without even realising it. I started not to just pretend to enjoy things but actually enjoying them to the point that the person I was pretending to be and the person I was, became one and the same. I guess fake it til you make it kind of applies. 

In my last post I said that this post was going to be about how I "overcame" depression, and the reason I wrote it that way is because, for me at least, its something that is never really over, its something I will have to deal with forever. When I feel like I'm going back into that state I make sure to surround myself with friends and family, I make sure that I don't stay alone or get so busy that I go back into it without even realising it, I take time out and recharge. 

When I got pregnant, I felt the increase of a feeling that I only got every now and then, this being anxiety. I guess I could attribute this to the change in hormones. Now most days I feel anxious to go outside, 'what will people think of me?', 'how will they judge me?', I get scared and upset at the though of having to leave the house, I crave and yet fear the same thing... human contact. This makes it hard to make friends. It's hard to explain why I feel this way, I just do. Some days are better, others are worse. Being with someone while out helps but some days it's not enough.

From what it seems I will forever have to deal with this, maybe it's because it never really got resolved or maybe its because even if it did I still went through the things that got me there and so they will always be there to try to drag me back. I don't know, but for now as I said despite the anxiousness and the feeling "down" every so often, I'm the happiest I've ever been. I believe this is due to my beautiful family, especially Eli. 

If you ever feel like I felt or even the start of it please seek help, please try to talk to someone, but in between now and then you're not alone in this world I'm here with you and you are worth it, the world isn't better without you, things will hopefully, with some help, get better. If you ever need to talk to someone, I am here. Whether you know me or not sometimes an hear helps, so that you're not the only one bearing all this pain without being able to share it, without letting someone know. Please remember these words, although it may not feel like it at the time, YOU ARE WORTH IT!!!! don't let anyone or anything make you think otherwise, because you are.

I'm hoping that by next week I'll have numbers for some good people to get in contact with if you're ever in that position.

(if you want to get in contact with me, just private message me)

I hope this has helped someone in anyway or at least even enlightened someone on what in feels like to be in such a deep hole, even if I was only able to explain a fraction of what it was like for me.

So, until next time...

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