Depression is bitter, lonely, and by far the hardest battle I fight every day. It comes at the worst times and makes you do terrible things that you want to hit yourself for later. My first experience with depression was when I was fifteen years old. It ran in my family for generations but I never actually thought it would get to me, which was foolish. It was about the week after my boyfriend and I had started dating and I didn’t understand why I wasn’t happy. I should have been, I finally was able to call him mine after about a year of waiting but instead of feeling like I was on cloud nine I felt incredibly lonely. Never did I think that it was because I was with the wrong person and now, six years later, I still don’t doubt for a second that I am with the man I am supposed to be with.
I didn’t even recognize that I was experiencing depression until the first time I self harmed. Believe or not it was a complete accident. I was trying to write my boyfriend’s name on my leg with a dead marker. Instead of just getting a new marker I continued stroking the dead one over my skin until there was a giant burn there. At first I felt like an idiot and a little embarrassed but then I realized that I felt better! I mean yeah sure there was a painful burn on my leg that hurt the moment it touched anything but that emotional pain was gone. I didn’t want to self harm, I didn’t wan to go down that road, but after a week of feeling nothing I finally felt something and I was pulled out of my depression rut. No one, and I mean not a soul except me knew I self harmed until three years later when it stopped replacing my emotional pain with physical (which for me was easier to deal with). At first I told my sister that I lived with at the time because she used to do it to but she wasn’t much help. For some reason we experienced depression differently. Actually for the most part she made it worse. There is nothing more depressing them to try to talk to someone about your depression who doesn’t understand it.
Not to get off topic for a second but I absolutely hate when people say that I self harm for attention. You don’t know the guilt that comes with it. The only way I can really describe the feeling is like when you have given up smoking and you haven’t done it for like a year but during a weak and stressful moment you do it again. I also hate it when people ask me why I am depressed because I will never have an answer to that question.
Anyway, after moving in with my sister for a couple of months I experienced the worst depression of my life. There were times where I would just leave, without telling anyone, and not come back for several hours. What was I doing? Just walking but the thing that scared me the most is that I didn’t know if I would ever go back. Of course after about three hours I would come out of it and head back home. My biggest fear has always been that one day the people I love would give up on me and the loneliness I felt without reason would suddenly become very real. That depression rut lasted about two months before I finally moved out of my sister’s place. I love her to death but I will never live with her again.
For a good two years my depression was at bay until I starting drinking. There wasn’t a good reason why I did and I never did it very often. It was kind to me. I would get a little silly, then get tired and go to bed until one of my friends passed away and I took up smoking. I had smoked before but stopped because my boyfriend wasn’t fond of it. I don’t want to make it seem like he forced me to quit. That was completely my decision, just like it was my decision to start again and stop again. I don’t know what originally caused my most recent plunge into self harming. It could have been the alcohol, which is a natural depressant or it could have been the cravings for cigarettes that drove me over the edge. It could have been both but whatever it was I was back to square one with new cuts along my arms and legs. I felt utterly hopeless. Do I start smoking again or do I fall back to self harming? It was like an addiction that I couldn’t get away from and I was too embarrassed to tell my family. I had no one to turn to so I did what I do best, drown out the world and focus on myself for a while. It helped, it always does. There is nothing more distracting then a good online class and iced coffee.
I guess the reason why I am telling my story is because when I go through ruts I feel alone. I feel like everyone either thinks I am crazy or just doing it for attention. I want people who experience depression to read this and know that they are not alone and there are people in this world who fights the same battles they do.