My life changed in eighth grade. Like most teenagers I experienced teenage angst. But mine was different, stronger. It all started when the boy I liked started dating my best friend. Typical junior high drama for most, and yet I spiraled down a dark path. Soon after I was bullied because of this emotional turmoil I didn’t even understand. I couldn’t seem to recover. First the first time in my life I considered suicide. I wanted to find a gun and shoot myself in the head. That was about as detailed as my plan got. To make a long story short some of my teachers found out and told my parents. I will never forget the day my mom picked me up from school in tears and drove me to a hospital. I was so scared and confused. I had people ask me a bunch of questions about where I would get a gun and if I knew how to use one. I was shaking in fear and baffled by all the questions. Didn’t they understand that it was just thoughts? Then the doctor asked my mom the dreaded question. Did she want to admit me? That was the first time in my life I’ve ever begged anyone. With hysterical sobs I begged my mom not to leave me there. It worked, but shortly after I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder and put on anti-depressants. I tried to fight being on medicine. I felt like a freak needing medication to function and control my emotions. It would take me many years to realize that I suffer from a real disease. I quickly noticed that my doses always had to be increased until I would max out and have to start a new medicine. I was frustrated and felt so broken that not even medicine could fix me. I was ashamed of this demon who had taken over and that was slowly killing me.
I would try to sleep my life away. No one truly understood the war I fought with myself daily. My depression either drove people away because they couldn’t “handle” me or it would attract users and abusers. My self-resentment and self-hatred grew too strong. Everything was negative. I was too far gone. A few years ago anxiety and insomnia joined my major depression diagnosis. I quickly learned what an anxiety attack felt like. Adding both anxiety and insomnia to the mix only made things seem more hopeless. Over the years I had many more bouts with suicidal thoughts. They were always just thoughts that brought a sick and twisted kind of comfort until September of this year. I had a complete breakdown. I started to poke myself with a knife and run the blade across my skin. I started sleeping with the knife on my bed. For the first time in my life I was scared of myself. I reached out and ended up being hospitalized for the first time since being diagnosed nineteen years ago. I’ve always had a great fear of being admitted due to the stigma associated with psychiatric hospitals. Being admitted was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
I am currently stable due to the numerous medications I’m on but I have no self-esteem or self-worth. I wish people knew that I’m not pretending. I suffer from a real illness. I did not ask from this. E
***Trigger Warning talk of suicide***
Everything in my life suffers because of this illness. Nor can I just “get over it.” I’m not trying to be difficult this is just how my mind works. I’m not asking for people to understand when I can barely understand myself. All I ask for is unconditional love and for you to let me know I’m not as alone as I think I am. The stigma of emotional disorders needs to end and the education needs to begin.
Jen Corbin lives in Ohio and loves helping people as a direct care professional and a special education paraprofessional. Jen expresses herself best through writing, especially poetry. A lot of her poetry is a metaphor for the battle she fights daily with her major depression and anxiety. Jen hopes one day to become a published writer and make a difference.
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