Without a doubt, the most challenging event in my life was (and still is) my struggle with depression.
I wrote a series of blogs on depression that you can access here, for those of you interested in further details and opinions on this topic.
In 1999, I dropped out of school to go back to Trinidad. I was diagnosed with clinical depression and put on a regiment of Paxil and therapy.
I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I kept looking for a reason, not knowing that when depression hits, there’s no reason…it just is.
It’s no one’s fault…it just happens.
It became extremely frustrating for me and for those around me – everyone wanted to help, but no one knew what was wrong – in their eyes I must have just been stubborn and not wanting to tell them.
That was so wrong….
I desperately wanted to tell them what was wrong…
I wanted help from any and everyone I could find…..but….
it’s hard to ask for help when you don’t even know what’s wrong…..when there’s nothing wrong but everything wrong….
The night of that I consider the night of my epiphany – my worst night that traumatized not only me but everyone around me – was my breaking point.
I got myself so angry at everyone around me, my situation and myself that I decided to leave everything behind….
I left Trinidad to return to Toronto.
I stopped seeing the therapist (who I hated anyway)
I stopped taking my pills….no matter how much I wanted to feel nothing. The pills didn’t make me better. They made me nothing – I felt nothing – no pain, no joy, no anger, no nothing…..I was a zombie – the walking dead.
I refused to do it to myself anymore…..my anger was fueling me and I entered a whole new era in my depression journey…ESCAPISM.
I looked for every and any way to keep my mind off my problem. The new problem was that this “relief” was always temporary. Once it was gone or done – I was faced with my miserable life again. I didn’t care for myself. I didn’t care for my friends. I didn’t care for my family.
I didn’t care if I hurt people.
I didn’t care if they hurt me.
I didn’t care if I lived or died.
I still don’t consider myself suicidal in that I would hurt myself with the intention of dying….but I was suicidal in the sense of the word that I wouldn’t prevent anything from hurting me or killing me. I took risks that I shudder to think about today….
Then….I met my (now) husband. He stuck with me. He took a lot of abuse.
I am not sure to this day why.
He saved me and never asked for anything more than what I had to give when I had to give it.
He is the reason that I try everyday.
You do not ever get rid of clinical depression once you have it.
You can only fight its effects on a daily basis.
You wake up and your willpower drives you.
In my case, I wake up and see my husband and that gives me my willpower.
This willpower urges me to defeat my desire to stay curled up in bed
This willpower urges me to have respect for myself and all others who surround me
This willpower defeats my agoraphobic tendencies every day. It forces me to leave the house.
This willpower makes me live my life and keeps me fighting to keep going.
The depression reminds me how bad I can get.
My past is my past but it’s a stark reminder of how hurtful I can be. It reminds me to make my present and my future brighter because I am the only one who can do so.
What did I learn from this experience and my disease?
I’ve learnt to respect myself
I’ve learnt to respect others
I’ve learnt to treasure life…..
I’ve learnt to keep going no matter what challenges I face
I’ve learnt to embrace adversity because it’s only through conquering adversity that we can thrive.