The Beginning Of My Battle

Depression. You can say it, don’t be afraid. The evil dark cloud that looms over so many people, swallowing its victims whole. I’ll admit, I was terrified to say the word — to admit that this uninvited visitor had latched onto my life. I was 19 years old, and as pathetic as it sounds, I learned about my depression from a commercial. I was sitting on the couch watching TV when one of those corny ads about some form of antidepressant came on. At one point the familiar tone of the cold voice narrating the commercial said “If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, see your doctor about depression”. With those few words, my entire world stopped. It felt like the wind had been knocked out of me. The light bulb had exploded in my brain.  No  motivation? Check. Extreme sadness? Check. Hopelessness? Check. Fatigue? Check. Feelings of worthlessness? Check check check. I was numb. And worst of all, I felt entirely alone. I hated it. I hated the whole idea of depression. I was scared and I didn’t know where to start. All I knew was that I wanted to be rid of this, I wanted to fix myself and I wanted to do it immediately.

I went to my doctor who took all of 34 seconds to give me a prescription for Zoloft. I was desperate. I didn’t do the proper research. I didn’t even care about the side effects. I went home and I swallowed that little pill right then and there. I was still miserable. Worse yet, I was miserable and high. And I don’t mean the “oh I took a Vicodin and slept really well” kind of high, I’m talking the “I don’t know where I am or who is speaking to me” kind of high. My boss drove me home from work and I walked through the door and cried. How could this happen to me? I had done everything right. I was a good student, a good person. I was working and going to a local community college. I had a steady relationship and some good friends. What did I do to deserve this?

Eventually, I changed what I could control. While my relationship was steady, I knew it definitely wasn’t destiny. My job paid well, but was frustrating. So I began there. I broke it off with the boyfriend, I quit my job and found a new one. I began dating the man who is now my husband. And things got better. I thought that maybe I had experienced “situational depression” a phrase that I was so thankful to find on my best friend Google. I thought I could blame that dark period on a few bad circumstances and put it behind me. I saw the light at the end of the tunnel. I began working out, and reading books. I became more social and found a renewed sense of spirit. I thought it was over. I thought I had taken control and overcome this demon. I thought I had beaten it. I thought I was happy. Boy was I wrong…

 

 

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