I was diagnosed with depression when I was seven years old. Yes, seven. My formative years were ruined by the addiction that held my father prison, the unresolved pain of my mother, and selfish ambitions of my step- father—someone who was supposed to be a superhero (but that’s a story for a different day).
I spent six months or so a child in a hospital in Little Rock because of the choices of those who were supposed to love me and care for me. Their choices had detrimental effects on little ole me. No one knew how to help me. I was passed from home to home. All I wanted was love and all I got was rejection (again, a different story for a different day).
Depression was a consistent friend. Depression was always there for me. It was the tears for no reason at all. It was the tantrums that caught my superiors off guard. It was saying no to love when love was all I really wanted. It was eating way too much.
The times I was sexually abused: depression was there.
Depression was there when I turned eight; my biological mother, her lawyer, and a case worker had a meeting with me and with big alligator tears, a tormented woman of twenty-eight told her little girl that she couldn’t be her mommy anymore. I was already in foster care and getting occasional bi-weekly visitations. My mother liked drugs more than she liked me.
Depression was there when I was finally adopted and accepted into a family at ten years old. However, it was a little too late for a “family”. Depression was there whenever I was left alone for more than one hour at a time. Depression held my hand when I was twelve after I’d been beaten with the buckle of a belt. Depression wouldn’t let me learn when I started high school. Depression kept me preoccupied with the past.
I could go on and on, but I think you get the point.
When I was nineteen years old, my diagnosis was finally pinned down to major depressive disorder. It wasn’t a surprise to me or anyone who knew me.
Two years later and I still struggle with my symptoms. The only difference is that today I force myself to reach out to at least one safe person.
My dates with depression are sometimes short—as short as half an hour—and as long as a week or even months. I’m now caught up in what seems to be a very long episode. Depression is really annoying. It’s kept me from making friends. It’s made me isolate myself. It’s made me cry until I throw up or get migraines. It’s kept me locked up in my bed for hours. It’s kept me from eating. It’s caused me to be misunderstood and it’s even caused me to lash out. It makes me feel worthless at times. It brings on extreme guilt, irrational guilt, guilt that doesn’t belong to me.
It’s caused me to develop an eating disorder and self harm. It’s caused me to want to run away from everyone who loves me and leave all of my accomplishments behind. It’s caused me to be afraid of letting people in. It’s caused me to expect rejection. It’s caused me to believe that I’m ugly and not worth loving.
Depression doesn’t like it when I try to focus or concentrate. Depression loves it when I spend hours in a day dream. Depression loves it when I want to die.
How I deal with my depression always varies. Most of the time I let it get the best of me. But sometimes I fight back. Sometimes I let myself be okay with binging on Keeping Up with the Kardashians (my guilty pleasure) or Law and Order: SVU. I let myself have Ben and Jerry’s. I let myself get lost in a Harry Potter movie. I let myself live in a good book for the day. I don’t judge myself. I don’t go near a mirror. I hide from the scale. Sometimes, even through the strongest of my dates with depression, I can still have the upper hand.
And sometimes I can’t. And that is perfectly fine.
My current journey is one of self acceptance. I’m learning how to throw away the shame of having depression. I’m learning to be “okay” with progress instead of striving for perfection. I’m putting myself out there more and reaching out in the world of mental health. And by sharing pieces of my story, I’m fighting mental health stigma.
This bit of progress can be attributed to of course my own hard work with the help of my therapist but also a lady named Kati Morton. Kati is an MFT and mental health vlogger on YouTube. She also has an entire mental health social media website (www.katimorton.com). If you’re looking for encouragement I would strongly recommend heading over to the website OR her YouTube. (You can read more about Kati in my last post called “You’re Really onto Something there, Kati)
Until next time!
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Morgan is a 21 year old from Orange County, California. She is a sophomore at Vanguard University of Southern California, where she studies Clinical Psychology. Morgan was named in 2013 an “Inspirational San Diego Young Adult”. She has done several interviews- one with NBC and has had her story featured in different local magazines and newspapers. She has spoken in different churches and events in San Diego County mostly on the problem of Child Sexual Exploitation .
Morgan is a survivor of sexual exploitation. She’s been diagnosed with PTSD, Major Depressive Disorder and an eating disorder. She fights daily for progress and is aiming for a healthy mind while also pursuing an end to mental health stigma.
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