I have had trouble with depression for most of my life. The first time I was really, truly aware of it was in middle school. I had always had problems with attendance but didn't know why. I just didn't want to go.
I had been fine at sticking up for myself until I was sent to see a psychologist once a week in school, he made me talk about things and make a bigger deal of them than I felt they had been. He made me see that I was being bullied where before I had not noticed and just gave back as much as I got. But after then I felt like the victim and became very withdrawn. I stopped standing up to anyone and accepted that everyone else was better than me. From then on I have always struggled to feel like a valid person and constantly think I am not wanted and am in people’s way, an inconvenience.
When I got to high school it became worse over time until eventually I would not leave the house without my mum. I could not speak to anyone or use the phone. I became afraid of mass destruction for some reason and the thought of it consumed me 24/7. I was a child of the 80's so nuclear war was in the air when I was younger but the fear came out as a teenager. I was awake at night crippled with fear of hearing the air raid siren. I was also afraid that the nearby chemical plant would explode as it was said that if it went up at full force it could leave a crater a mile wide.
I had no friends at all, I never saw anyone but I did have penpals, about 30 of them at one point. I could write about music and how I was feeling but couldn't talk about it and a lot of my penpals were going through similar things. It was around this time that I started to have suicidal thoughts. I was miserable and lonely. I was convinced no one would ever be interested in me for any kind of relationship or friendship. I knew I was going to be unable to work: what job can you possibly get if you can't even face speaking to anyone? You can't go out of the front door? I wanted to do something memorable and be well known for something, be on stage, but there was just no way it would ever happen. So what was the point of existence? I couldn't do the thing I wanted to do, I couldn't have any sort of life or make a living. I was just sitting at home feeling useless and pointless all the time. I seriously contemplated suicide for about six months. I couldn't make up my mind if it really was the right thing to do so I was sat up at night thinking of the pros and cons of it. I was just continuously terrified and exhausted.
Eventually I decided that suicide was not a good option. I knew it would have been really bad for my mum and my grandparents but mostly I couldn't help but think that there was a slight chance things might get better over time, I might miss out on something good. It was all so bad I couldn't really picture it getting much worse so it would either stay the same or improve. I wanted to stick around and see if it got better later. And it did.
It took a long time and a very bad five year relationship full of emotional abuse, but things slowly crept up. The depression was always there and the fear of things, people and situations but I started to come out of my shell. I worked in a charity shop and soon got some confidence with speaking to humans and before long I was even working on the till with the public. I met the man who is now my husband who is the most wonderful, supportive guy ever. Since I have been with him (over 13 years now) I have just grown and grown. I am still amazed when I think back to how I was to how I am now. Before I could not even contemplate the idea of getting a bus in to town alone, that was a living nightmare and would set me into fits of tears and heart palpitations, now I can drive my car alone for miles without even having done the route before or knowing my way around the destination. I still need the satnav because I am rubbish at directions but I will happily just follow along and go where she tells me without having a fit of panic over it.
We also have a wonderful little boy who is now three and a half. I never thought it would be possible for me to be a mum with how I was. I have been on stage as well doing burlesque of all things, not just going up on stage and saying look at me but getting up on stage and saying look at my butt! I do seem to have become quite known locally for my burlesque ventures so I am happy with that.
I still have a long road ahead, I have bad days and good days, I have spells of depression and anxiety that take over but I battle through them and always come out fine on the other side. I still have a lot of things I want to try and do that I have still had trouble accomplishing, but I will get there in time.
If you ever find yourself thinking about ending it all DON'T! You never know what is waiting at the other side.
I couldn't have put it any better how it feels to want to give in but know there is something worth holding on to. What an inspirational story of a very hard journey. I can tell you that this lovely friend has always made me feel welcome and included. She's always smiling when I see her and very creative with oodles of talent. I'm just so proud that she has written this for you all and know how many people will relate to this. I certainly can and I know at my darkest hour this would have helped me. So thank you lovely glittery one.