Dedication: To anyone struggling with Mental Illness.
I learn to finally love my flaws and myself at the age of 28, but before I could I had to give up on people and things that couldn’t stay the same. I grew up in a strict household with 3 other siblings. My father who was a recovering alcoholic ended becoming even stricter when he found God. He had physically abused all of us until my order sister and I were in middles school; he stopped when my sister had stood up to him. He then decided that we could only be disciplined but not been able to go out. I think that is why we grew up to be somewhat socially awkward or at least I did. The first time I hear fireworks outside my house was when I was in college and my friend invited me to her house for July 4. I ended up breaking down from not realizing how loud fireworks are to this day it is hard for me to enjoy firework but I keep trying. From a very young age I struggled with anxiety at the time I didn’t know that my anxiety let me to believe that something terrible was about to happen. I remember one time when I was going to the park with my sibling and I started crying out of nowhere, my tears wouldn’t stop and my sibling eventually left without me. That is my first memory of my anxiety, fearing that something was going to happen to me or to my family. That feeling stated with me until now, so I didn’t ,make plans because I couldn’t plan my future and I couldn’t see my life past what I was living then.
Our life changed drastically once my mom decided to leave my dad and move out with us. He was deported for another issue and have since stop any communication with him. My mom ended up moving in with her boyfriend a few years later so it was my 2 sister and I, Before she moved my younger brother decided to move to another state with our uncle; he was a Sophomore in High School. He new we were struggling, my mom and sister were making enough to pay for the apartment but not enough to have money for food. I was recently graduated from school and was working at a clothing store that after a year went bankrupt; I filed for unemployment. During that time I also became depressed because I felt like I wasn’t good enough to provide for my family or to even be here. I was so depress to the point that I would sleep all day and forget to shower sometimes not even eating since we didn’t have money for it.
My best friend doesn’t know this but she saved me by visiting me with a summer job offer from her previous employer. We ended up moving and I ended up finding a job after my summer job. I still felt the anxiety of my time to leave this earth was coming soon but it didn’t so I kept “living” until 2017.
In 2017 I was at the point that I was so depressed that I ended up trying to harm myself in front of my siblings. My mom was so angry at me she ended up slapping me and telling me I was a coward. I forgave her because it is not easy for a mother to hear about her daughter wanting to harm herself. A few days after she called me at work to tell me she wished I would get pregnant to have a reason to live. I know she loves me but it was hard to hear some of the things she told me and it hurt because I didn’t want to upset anyone so I try to seek help on my own. I started depression medication.
A few days after that incident I went out with my friend and her guy friends to the club. I got tipsy and decided to hide from my friend- I learn to hide when drink from my father since he never let us see him drunk. I hitchhiked with a group of guys that I had met at a gas station. One of the guys was trying to touch me and I told him to stop. Another guy didn’t feel safe with his buddy driving intoxicated so he told him to drop him off at another gas station, he took me with him; he called him mom and she drove me home.
When I got home I took my depression pills and sleeping pills, I don’t remember anything else except waking up in the hospital. My older sister had found me semi-concussion in my room. I was taken to a psychiatric wart to be evaluate before I was discharged. I told them what they wanted to hear which was that I was too drunk to know what I was trying to do. I stopped taking my pills and stopped going to therapy.
Last year, my depression got worse. I couldn’t work with out getting a panic attack or crying, my Supervisor suggested to take sometime off. At the time there was rumors going around my job about my relationship with a co-worker, I was also having issues at home and everything was too much. I kept trying to seek help but also tried to confide in my family and friends. My family didn’t react well again and it send me into a spiral, I couldn’t recognize myself it was as if I was watching from outside my body and I didn’t want to be here.
The person that I confided in the most walked away from me and told me I was being selfish for trying to commit suicide. He was the co-worker people had said rumors about us, he was getting a better position in the company so I think he walked away from me to focus on himself. It hurt, that person had said they would be there for me and it was the first time I had truly believe he would; I had never really asked for help or reach out to someone because I was scared to be rejected to make people angry/upset. He was the first person I had the courage to speak to about my struggles with depression and anxiety. He was also the person I told about my roommate making me feel uncomfortable when we had drank together, he told me it was my fault because I agreed to drink. I let him say and do some many things because I thought he cared for me as a friend, but when he walked away and told me to stop trying to contact him I realized he didn’t.
I gain courage to talk to my family on my own and my mom told me that I don’t think about them because if I did I would know that a funeral cost a lot of money. I had my money already set up, I had already planned everything so I told her; it was planned. I still don’t blame her and I know she loves me because she has tried to understand were I am coming from and we have planned visit together to my therapist.
I’m not saying that I don’t get depressed anymore, because this illness if for the rest of my life. However, it doesn’t define who I want to be. Although some people walked away, a lot of friends and family stayed and help me to become strong enough to seek help. It’s not easy and it will take time but I know now that I am worth so much more and that regardless of who is in my life I am enough.
The best analogy I can give is with running, you can run in a group like cross-country and you friends can run besides you but at the end of the day you are the one running and it may hurt and you may want to give up but if you look around you know your friends are still there running with you. I love myself enough to know I want to live longer and I want to inspire other people to love themselves. It is hard but life isn’t easy and I know this journey was for a reason to value myself more and to find out who really is going to be there for the good, the bad and the ugly.