My story. Even now a small part of me thinks, who cares? I’m not worthy of sharing my experience because so many others have had far worse. We don’t change if we don’t challenge ourselves and our negative beliefs core beliefs. So here is my story.
I have anxiety with major depressive disorder. Everyone experiences these diagnoses differently, but mine stemmed from a series of events outlined below:
9. My parents’ divorce.
14. I didn’t want to do a lot of what he was wanting to, but he was the only one paying attention and told me he was the only one who cared. Then I finally said no and he didn’t like that answer. Grateful someone was nearby.
15. Tried out living with dad. Well, at least that’s what I thought. Turns out, there was an incredible amount of legal fees putting him further in debt and an immeasurable amount of emotional damage to my relationship with my mom. Through a lot of therapy with her, we’ve gotten back on track, but it took a long time to forgive myself for what had occurred.
19. My dad stopped paying for college, leaving me with an email stating that unless I came up with the money, I was not welcome back for the next semester. It was 10 days before I returned to school. That was my first major depressive episode.
23. I got laid off. Not once, but twice this year. First in New York. Then in Nashville. For me, there is nothing worse than unemployment when you struggle with anxiety and depression. It led to my moving to Nashville, which turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life, but when I arrived, I stumbled and fell into the darkness again. One week after moving, with my only support being my boyfriend, my grandfather passed away. This was my second major depressive episode.
25. I take medication for a bladder spasm, something only those over 65 would usually need, I don’t sleep well, and I’ve been binge drinking heavily when out on the town. I have panic attacks biweekly and find getting out of bed to be the hardest part of my day. I cry almost daily. In November 2017, my amazing boyfriend (now husband) proposed. A proposal is an incredibly beautiful event that should spark an immense amount of joy, right? It did, but it also led to having to face the issues I have in my relationship with my father. The fight between what I SHOULD do and what I wanted to do took a long time to come to a treaty. I went to therapy every week of 2017.
These are the events. These are what has added up to pushing me over my edge. I was always planning everything, trying to find control in a world where the only control available is the control you have over yourself.
So many inconclusive doctors visits for acid reflux, stomach ulcers, bladder issues, aches, pains and concerning weight fluctuations. Was very willing to medicate those. Nobody ever suggested mental health medication, likely because I never told them anything going on due to shame and lack of understanding about what was occurring. I have tried brainspotting, EMDR, and other various therapies to assist in my physical and emotional symptoms. I finally hit my breaking point in September of 2017.
The only place I saw myself going after therapy was to get medication. I was amidst a panic attack and couldn’t imagine going anywhere else. I was able to get myself to a nearby clinic where I was prescribed Prozac. I could not move past my pride and beliefs that taking medication means you are weak.
I am so glad that I was able to get past taking that first pill and begin almost a year on Prozac. My life has changed. I have changed. I’m someone I want to be friends with. I find myself worthy of the care that I so willingly give to others, but for myself. I have since shifted to Zoloft and Vistaril and I’m feeling more and more like my energetic self. I’ve been in therapy for over 10 years. I truly believe therapy is an incredible opportunity to, if nothing else, have one hour to focus on you and talk things out. I’m still working on it all, but I’m so proud of how far I have come. Forever taking small progressive steps forward and learning to be patient with myself.
Written by Caroline Myers, LMSW