This is going to be a long one, so get comfy. It’s the final part of my war against depression.
As you already know, my symptoms kept getting worse. I had diagnosed myself, but I couldn’t do anything about it. Who would I go to? Another psychologist who would tell me loving girls was wrong and try to change me?
Who could I go to?
There was also the problem of the gangs, which has always been terrifying, but now they were attacking the LGBTQ+ community specifically? No fucking way.
I just kept it quiet and kept going.
I tried to recognize the symptoms as soon as they showed up so I could take action immediately:
I would leave my running shoes by the bed, and as soon as I woke up I would put them on and go for a run.
One step at a time.
If I could manage one step, then I could manage the next. I ate healthy; I forced myself to go out with my friends. I always ended up exhausted, yet unable to sleep.
One problem though, I never opened up to anyone. I think that was my biggest problem, I had isolated myself so much that I felt like nobody would care.
About a year passed and though sometimes I felt okay, I mostly felt tired. I lived my life one step at a time and mastering up the strength to keep going was absolutely excruciating.
Every step felt heavier than the next.
I took sleeping pills to get myself to bed. I almost failed my morning classes because of it, but I always managed to get myself through studying for my exams just enough to pass and keep my scholarship. That kept going until I graduated with honors and started seeing my own clients in my own little practice.
My job brought me joy.
When I was working, I could give my entire attention to the person I was helping and all my problems would disappear as I took on someone else’s. I was great at it as well, and I felt like at least on that aspect, my life was a happy one.
The thing about any career where you help other people though, is that you burn out fast if you don’t take care of yourself, and I was already depressed to begin with.
I could slowly feel myself become disarmingly sad. Something was missing. Something wasn’t right. I looked at my boyfriend and started to hate him. He didn’t deserve that.
Add to that the fact that this is a very sexist and chauvinistic society, so when I started pulling away, he started pulling me back in a very harsh and physical way.
I broke up with him.
At one point I didn’t know anymore if I had fallen out of love with him because of my depression or because he simply wasn’t the one for me.
It was actually really awful to not know if I was doing the right thing, but there I was, though I still had a ton of friends who cared about me and a loving family, I felt alone.
I found relief in writing. I had started writing a book, It’s about a boy falling in love with a boy. Because I wrote it and published it chapter by chapter, it sometimes feels like it doesn’t make that much sense, but it shows my own feelings perfectly. There are chapters so dark that I worry someone could fall into the same depression I was in when I wrote them (that’s a bit big headed isn’t it?)
If anyone in my real life saw this, I’d be called a million things and sent to confession, simply because it was about a boy and another boy finding love.
I don’t think I cared about what people thought about it as much as I just didn’t want more things weighing down on my shoulders.
Even so, I’d never before been more paranoid about my phone. If my sister so much as wanted to see the time I’d flip out. If my friends wanted to grab it I’d start a fight.
I didn’t know how to label myself, so I came out as bisexual to my sister a few weeks later. She just pretends it never happened.
She said two things to me that night though:
One, “I don’t think you’re gay.” That was before announcing that bisexuality was people just being scared to be fully gay.
She also said:
“Do you need to leave the country to be able to be gay?”
She knew enough to know that being gay in this society was a death wish. Even people who are brave enough to come out are persecuted and though the law forbids this, they are even let go from their jobs.
I came out to my ex boyfriend even before that, and he announced: “I don’t think you’re gay.”
Fast forward a few months and I was now in a long distance relationship with a girl. My first real relationship with a woman.
I really don’t recommend a long distance relationship (or any relationship really) when you’re insecure or when you are struggling with so much, because obviously, I found a way to push her away.
At the same time, I felt so useless and I started sinking deeper and deeper into this horrible sadness. At one point, I had to stop working.
My mentor suggested that I should take a day in the middle of the week for self care, but that one day turned into two and so on, until she completely forbade me from seeing anyone because I wasn’t in the right mental state to work as a psychologist.
I was angry. When a physician gets a cold, they can still continue to work. They have the knowledge, they have the practice required and they can take the medicine to be healthy. Unfortunately, having depression and anxiety is more like being ran over by a train than it is getting a cold.
That just made things so much worse.
I started to have these attacks or episodes where my anxiety and depression kind of mixed together and my whole body would start shaking and at the same time I could not stop crying. Like a panic attack combined with lots and lots of heartbreak.
The last time I had one of these episodes was May 23 at four AM. I was writing on my diary about the breakup with my ex girlfriend and my hands would not stop shaking.
Tears have messed up the page, and just looking at it now makes me so confused as to why nobody noticed how messed up I was at the time. I must have looked like I needed to be in a mental hospital.
At this point, my thoughts had turn to suicide.
Our family owns a beach house and I love to go there when I need to get away for a while.
The current at that particular part of the ocean is very strong and in an instant, you can be caught in a whirlpool pretty easily. Everyone who tries to go in there pretty much has had to be saved from drowning.
For the entire month of April and the start of May, my thoughts were stuck on: “I’m going to drive to the beach at night and walk into the ocean, just float there until I’m caught in a whirlpool and drown.” I knew the day it was going to be and I knew the time. I just couldn’t get up from my bed to do it.
I felt so at peace with the decision to finally stop hurting. I’ve never felt safer. Everything that was weighing down on my shoulders just vanished and for the first time I felt so light.
It was incredible.
Wanting to die made me feel so good, I couldn’t wait to actually do it.
In a moment of clarity I looked for help, but there was nowhere to go. The psychiatric hospital here is terrifying, like horror movie terrifying, and there was just nowhere I could go or call for help.
I needed to be in a hospital and I was sure of it. I kept going for about a week but I’d just had enough, so I drove to the beach.
Halfway there, my shit car broke down, of course. (And I thank every single entity that happened or I wouldn’t be here today.)
Now I’m writing this, which means I must be doing better right?
Some days are better than others.
I keep up with self-care every single day and I’ve dedicated a day of the week to take care of my mental health. I write a diary and I exercise.
This blog has been incredibly life saving.
I reach out to my friends with an open heart and I’ve made a step by step guide that I keep on my bedside table detailing what to do when I can’t get out of bed in the morning.
I am doing so much better.
I’m seeing an actual therapist, not treating myself anymore (I honestly knew better than that) and I’ve started this blog in hopes that someone will benefit from it and that I can get motivated enough to get up and write every morning.
If you take away anything from this and the past infinite posts, I want it to be that you are in charge of your own happiness.
There is a term we use in psychology, which I love: Locus of Control.
When your locus of control is external, you tend to blame everything and everyone for what goes on in your life. If you didn’t get a job it was because of the incompetent interviewer, if you fell it was because of the stupid rock that tripped you, if you are unhappy it’s because of the circumstances surrounding you.
This is dangerous, you lose control of your life.
I’ve learnt that I need to shift that Locus of Control and make it internal. It is my responsibility to be happy, to make the world around me a better place. If I don’t get a job, well I have to study and do better next time. If I fall down, I have to watch where I go. If i’m unhappy, I have to get up and do something about it.
I wasn’t put on this earth to be sad, I’m here to be happy. Life will always be unfair, hard and painful sometimes, for everybody.
We can’t wait for the world to change, we have to change it ourselves.
I can’t come out because of everything I’ve told you, but I can educate my friends, my family and my clients, so that if they say something homophobic or anything against the LGBTQ+ community, I can correct them with love, understanding and kindness.
We aren’t people of hate, we aren’t people of frustration, we don’t spill blood. We’re here because we love with all our hearts. We love people of any shape, size or gender, we love ourselves enough to change the parts that don’t belong, we love each other enough to respect and help the other through the tough parts of figuring out our bodies and sexuality.
No more hate.
Please remember to express your feelings in any way you wish (writing, music, art, etc) and to talk to actual human beings every once in a while.
My inbox is always open, look for me on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr or Pinterest if you don’t want to send an email. You can find me as andadenimjacket
I also have a Spotify. If you’re up for it, you can find me there as charliesdenimjacket.
I hope this helped some of you, I hope I was able to reach out and maybe, if anyone read this far, you can feel safe in knowing that you’re not alone and that it will get better.
All the love,
(Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr: andadenimjacket.
WARNING: If you follow me on Spotify, be prepared for all the old boy band music.)