Blast From the Past: First Depressive Episode – Part 2

Post-Diagosis with Depression

Age: 15

12-1-09

Today sucked. We had a speaker in health talking about depression and she said if you had four or more of the listed symptoms, you should talk to someone. Well I had all but four…I was going to talk to my mom about it but we got in a fight in the car about how she is done with me being sad. So I don’t feel like I can talk to her about it anymore.  Ugh, I don’t know what to do. Now, I am denying myself food and fun. Things are getting worse.

 

12-3-09

WORST DAY EVER. Started out with a “so real” dream about Joe*… Ended with seeing him and his girlfriend together. FML! No one sat with me in any classes. I’m not eating AT ALL. UGH. I need to talk to someone. It is getting worse. ASAP.

 

12-16-09

Well today was probably the best days I have had in a loooooooong time. Aaron* and I are going to go out soon I think. My mom got me an appointment with a therapist because of a note I wrote her. The appointment got cancelled so we are trying to schedule another one ASAP. Four more days of hell (school)…

 

1-3-10

Hey. Well Christmas break is over L FML. I hate school! I want to switch soooo badly but it will probably not happen. FML (again). I am incredibly sad and antisocial 24/7. My friends hate me and so does everyone else. Volleyball starts tomorrow… It is going to f****** suck soooo much! UGH!! 104 days of hell (school). I wish things were still simple.

Me and Aaron* are going out but I don’t want to. So idk what will happen with that. Exams are in two weeks. Maybe I’ll switch schools then.

Three Wishes:

  1. Move to a new state
  2. Me to be skinny and happy and pretty
  3. More wishes
  4. World peace
  5. Fix climate change
  6. Joe* moving to Antarctica (and freezing)
  7. My family to be happy and healthy.
  8. Money
  9. More wishes
  10. etc…

**Laughing at “I wish things were still simple.” If you only knew how simple things were…

 

1-13-10

Well I went to the therapist and I loved it. I am going once a week – I hope it helps because mentally I am not willing to change my attitude at all. Volleyball sucks, I don’t try anymore. I still want to switch schools – maybe if I get meds and act happy ha. I am stressed, overwhelmed, unhappy, AHH… Exams are next week. I’m going to fail. Me and Aaron* are no more. I’m not allowed to quit volleyball. I saw Joe*-asshole at the mall. I hate him.

 

1-23-10

Yesterday was a great day. I got to go to the mall and I had an appointment and I went to [the city] with Gabby* and her dad, Alanna* and her dad, Abby, and my dad and I. It was fun. Today is Alanna’s* birthday. I had exams and I think I aced them all. Today I am very sad and I don’t know why. I really want to redo my room.

 

1-24-10

I officially declare the dream I had last night the worst dream EVER. Ok so in my dream, Joe* texted me and said he was sorry and that he hoped we could do things differently. I texted him and told him to come over and that I loved him. He told me it would be like twenty minutes because he needed to break up with his girlfriend. When he came over, we hugged and started going out again. I told him that if this was a dream, I would kill myself. That is how real it was, like I could actually think and decide what I wanted to do. FML. Ugh. I was doing so much better and now I feel back on the edge. I’m one step away, while last week I was twenty steps away. Again, I kind of wish Joe* would break up. FML.

 

3-21-10

Wow I have not written in a LONG time, my bad. I am feeling better than I have been because I am taking medication. My therapist told me I should see a psychiatrist for antidepressants. I have been on a kind (that works) for a week. The first attempt after two weeks did not work. I think I am mostly over Joe* and I don’t want him to die anymore haha. There is a dance coming up on April 16th but I probably won’t go. Volleyball still sucks but we’ll see. My confidence in everything sucks, I am trying to only eat one small meal a day, but I’m not going to get an eating disorder! I’m just going to lose weight, then I’ll eat more. Right now, I am just too fat and ugly. I don’t want summer to come because then I get to show everyone how fat, ugly, and pale I am. UGH…life. We are going to DC for spring break! Yay! I got rubber bands for my braces so I can get them off before Sophomore year starts!

**Oh if only antidepressants actually did work or not work after a week haha also funny that I thought I could just have an eating disorder until I lost the weight I wanted to lose.

 

3-24-10

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BROTHER!

Today, I decided to change the spelling of my name from Allie to Ally? Why? Because I’m bored. Today I had to do box pushes at volleyball and I almost passed out. It is because I am not eating though. My goal everyday is to eat only five different things and under 600 calories (for now). I have to decrease slowly or I don’t function well. Today I had like 1,000 and I thought about throwing up. But I decided not to.

**Oh the beginning of ED life.

 

4-9-10

A stupid goose woke me up this morning. So my day is starting out wonderfully. Over spring break I ate A TON and I gained A TON of weight. My goal now is less than 450 calories a day (starting today). I am a vegetarian now. I haven’t had meat in a week J Today my goal is to only eat three bowls of cheerios. I HAVE TO LOSE THIS WEIGHT! Ugh.

 

5-6-10

I have gained a lot – I am so fat -_- Tomorrow is the begging of losing it (and more J). Can’t eat list:

  • Peanut butter
  • Desserts
  • Chips
  • Ice cream
  • Candy
  • Cinnamon toast crunch
  • Granola bars
  • Meat
  • Cheese (sliced)
  • Smoothies
  • 1+ fruit a day
  • Graham crackers
  • Pretzels

Hopefully I will stick with this. I am trying to stay under 600 and decrease slowly. I made myself puke today. And I realized I have been taking the wrong meds out of the cabinet. My thighs and hips and arms are soooooo fat. My face is butt ugly.

**Keep in mind that I was probably under 115 at this point in my life. Oh, to go back to that weight…

 

5-12-10

Oh shit, well Monday I cut myself BAD. I told my friends and mom that I burned myself on the hair straightener. I’m so fat and UGLY. I don’t know what to do. I hate life.

P.S. I don’t know why they believe me because it is obviously two cuts.

 

6-19-10

Well, I switched meds again but I’m still sad. I don’t know how to describe it. I watched Shutter Island today and I decided I wish I was mentally insane. It’s like living in a fantasy or a nightmare. I know that is weird but I don’t care; I am tired of this. I try to convince myself that I see things or hear things. I feel messed up even writing this, it’s probably just PMS but it can’t be because I have my period. AH what do I do…

 

8-9-20

Sorry, I haven’t written in a while. BTW – last entry = total PMS. That’s some messed up stuff. I AM OVER JOE*! Yeah buddy! Volleyball tryouts today. If I don’t make it I will die. That’s legit too. AHHHHH! I am so behind on school work too…FML. Last Friday I went to the Rascal Flatts concert and on Thursday the Paramore concernt. I ❤ my new friends!

 

*****This is the gap where my horrible ex-boyfriend made me rip out a bunch of pages because they were so messed up. He thought it would help me to move on, nope.

 

11-6-10

Wow, it’s been a long time. I didn’t make volleyball therefore I’m fatter. I have been throwing up everything I eat. I haven’t taken my medicine and I lie about taking it. I want to die again. I love my friends. I like Aaron* a lot. We will date. My current best friend almost moved to NYC and now it might be Indianapolis. I am doing bad in school. I think I have ADD. My room is a mess. I’m ugly, even though I got my braces off. I have my period and a yeast infection, FML.

 

Age:16

7-5-11

Shiz it’s been a while. Aaron* and I dated…then broke up. I cheated on him (I was super drunk) with two guys. I was devastated. I drank because I was sad and I thought it would help. Let’s make a list:

  1. I cut myself – all the time. Badly.
  2. I am FAT!
  3. I am paranoid about being pregnant but I have never had sex. Odd…
  4. I drink – A LOT. (But now I am not. I reward myself every month I don’t, I promise)
  5. I HATE my life.
  6. I have no friends.
  7. I’m ugly.
  8. Guys hate me.
  9. I got new meds and tomorrow I am getting more.
  10. I am obsessed with Harry Potter.

 

Reflection on posts to come! Hopefully soon, but I’ve been so busy with work. Sorry for the gap in posts!!!

 

 

 

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Blast From the Past: First Depressive Episode – Part 1

Pre-Depression Diagnosis

Age: 14; *Changed names for privacy

7-11-09

Well, ha, I’ve never been so sad in my life 😦 I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I feel like I have no friends and I cried for an hour straight. It wasn’t a calm cry either 😦 UGH! I need help.

 

8-18-09

Well… This past month was THE WORST IN MY LIFE. It started with me being sad ALL the time. Then me and Joe* broke up (I did it). That was the hardest, most terrible thing I have ever done. Well after that, I didn’t talk to him for like two weeks. He had started talking to a girl and now they are going out and I don’t think he even knows her or likes her. He told me to wait for him which is a bunch of BS because he can “move on” but I can’t. He started saying that we can’t leave it up to chance that we will go out again. It wasn’t guaranteed ever ha… Ugh this other girl thing hurts me so bad. I don’t know what to do. It is like he is using her to test the waters, then is using me to come back to. UGH! 😦 😦 😦 😦 I never thought this would happen. I hate to say it but I thought I loved him. Ahh! I really hope it all works out. I made volleyball and I think I could start! Also I started talking to Aaron and he asked if I wanted to go out some time. For now though, I just need closure with Joe* 😦 Also, the lowest point of my life happened.

 

8-30-09

😦 Ugh, I’m really hating my life right now. Everything makes me sad and I can’t have fun or enjoy anything. I saw Joe* for the first time last night since June 20th happened. It was so bad. He is so different and idk about being friends. I wish I could just move and start completely over. UGH! I am not looking forward to high school AT ALL! I had my first two volleyball games yesterday. We won and I played libero.

 

9-7-09

HAPPY LABOR DAY! Well…I’m doing a lot better now. Joe* and I never talk (only once since we broke up). I am actually hoping to become friends with his girl. School starts tomorrow! Volleyball is great! I am playing libero even against the tough teams J There is a chance I might have broken my thumb tho, but I’m not going to the doctor and I suck it up and play. I’m not really feeling my new school but we will see… Festival is this weekend! I got an env touch (new phone) last Sunday.

 

9-12-09

Well nevermind. I’m actually doing a lot worse now. I don’t know what is wrong with me. I don’t like school, the girls at my school, or just life. This weekend is the festival but I don’t think I’m going to go. I can’t believe I am admitting this, but I wanna go out with Joe* so bad. I can’t stand it anymore L UGH! I wish I could just move!! Friends are bothering me also. My mom said she was going to take me to the doctor to get meds that will keep me happy. I hope that works.

***Laughing so hard @ “meds that will keep me happy.” If only….

 

9-23-09

YAY! I am so over Joe* and I have decided to be social! Volleyball is going great, I am playing libero and we play [our rival] tomorrow! We are 11-0 and they are undefeated too! Oh man, I’m pumped! AHHHH! We have to win, it is a home game too J J J J I’ll let you know how it goes! BTW, I’m going to the dance with Aaron* J School is good too J

 

10-24-09

Well – a lot has happened in the past month. We beat [our rival] twice! Including, in one match, a game that was 9-25. We crushed them J We ended up losing to [another school] in the tourney finals. We got too cocky. Today I am in my cousin’s wedding. Me and [new guy] went to fall ball and I got confirmed over the past two weeks. Joe* – I don’t know what to feel about this anymore. I miss him so much. Me and Alanna [best friend since 2001] are having issues. Apparently we aren’t best friends anymore.

 

11-14-09

Oops! I haven’t written in a while. Things are going ok. Friends are still pissing me off and me and Alanna are still awkward. School is ok, I get my report card today, all A’s? I hope so! Varsity Volleyball is in the state finals today. Both schools are undefeated. I’m praying [my school] wins. I don’t really like [my school], I don’t know if I want to go there next year, we’ll see. I am having a lot of issues now. With body image, self-confidence and just being happy and everything. I emailed this speaker at school about Joe* and his verbal abusive ways and he told me to just talk to someone older that I trust. But I don’t want to be with him anymore because I realized his abusive ways and how he can’t change. I’m over him – I just have to work on myself now. I went to [all guy’s school] mixer last night and danced with like 5 guys. Of course, though, all guys are D-bags and only want to dance then they leave. I am going to take a huge break from them. Tryouts for [club] volleyball are this week… AHHHHHHHHHHH! I’M STRESSED OUT!

 

Age: 15

11-27-09

Well I’m really missing Joe* this week. I don’t know why I’m having major issues with self-confidence too L UGH well I strained my thumb – that’s why my handwriting sucks ha. I’m 15 now! I did not make [two of the competitive club teams] so yeah I’m not happy about that -_- I’m on [another club team] with a friend from school. Right now, I am just wishing my dad will get a job offer for somewhere far away. I know it is selfish, but it doesn’t hurt to hope. Guys are stupid!

 

*Changed names for privacy.

 

 

Get to Know Me

I realize that no one is reading this or likely will ever read this, but even so I think this will be beneficial for myself. I need to focus on who I am apart from mental illness and health problems and identify with that rather than with my illness. So here we go!

I am a 22 year old female from Suburbia, USA. I am 5’4″, blonde, painfully sarcastic, terribly idealistic, and highly emotional about everything. I was raised catholic and went to a catholic grade school (have since become an atheist, buddhist hobbyist). Then I moved on to a private all-girls high school where I excelled in school, but not so much in socializing. But that’s ok. I realized my passion for science and for literature. My obsession with reading was born within those walls.

I then went on to college at a gigantic public university in my state. Many of my classmates went to school there with me, but I was certain I would distance myself from them and start anew. I am studying cellular neuroscience with a minor in bioethics and I have a passion for genetics. I have done research here at school, and I help undergraduates to get involved with research as well. I have many different life plans, all of which sound equally appealing. That’s something I like about myself (one of the few things I can say that I like about myself), I could genuinely excel at most any job. I could do anything I want with my life, which overwhelms me and I end up not settling on one option. However, at the moment I want to get my PhD in clinical genetics. This is the most practical option for me, but here is a ridiculously long list of other things I want to do: move to the Virgin Islands and become a bartender, move to Florida and become a waitress, move to the mountains and become a writer, an event planner, interior designer, journalist, novelist, doctor, lawyer with a focus on bioethics, get my masters in bioethics, get my masters in bioinformatics, get my PhD in neuroscience, get my PhD in genetics, become a genetic counselor, study to become a therapist, fashion designer, work in politics as a lobbyist for mental health issues, become a lawyer as a patient advocate, neurosurgeon, get my PhD in neuroscience and JD at the same time, and finally, PhD/MD programs. That’s just to name a few. Maybe I will eventually do all of those things (ok maybe not, but a girl can dream).

For fun, I like to read classic literature and self-help books, incessantly watch Gilmore Girls and Parks and Rec, obsess over makeup and subsequently purchase makeup that I can’t afford, listen to podcasts, and write. I am an extremely organized person when it comes to school and life, but not when it comes to my room. I love to learn and I love being in school. I love going to bed early and waking up early, but I also love to stay up late and read. I absolutely love the rain and thunderstorms and nature and hiking and the outdoors, but I hate leaving my apartment. Irony is just about my favorite thing in the world. Podcasts are my life and my day is not complete without at least listening to part of a podcast on the way to work or class. I hate taking showers and doing laundry. I am horribly claustrophobic and I despise tight clothing for that matter. I am an old soul and always have been. I’m always thinking about deep, daunting topics that cause me horrible grief and anxiety, but I enjoy it.

So that’s a little bit about me. This was a lot of fun so more fun facts to come later, I’m sure!!

My Story: Part One

I was fifteen years old when I first noticed something was wrong. Fifteen. I had the rug ripped out from under me as my friends disappeared with my feelings. Starting high school was the chance I was waiting for to start something new, and start something new I did. Disclaimer: I do not have much memory of this time, something I have learned occurs with severe depression. Either I specifically black out this time in my life or my brain did not form memories effectively, I will never know. The more salient parts are carved in stone in my memory, unfortunately. Thankfully, saliency was not often a part of my catatonic experience.

Before my freshman year of high school, I was coerced (forced) into breaking up with a boyfriend I was disgustingly dependent on. In hindsight this needed to happen, but at the time I was devastated. I had defined and lost myself through him. I had all but lost my best friend when she went to my mom and told her how worried she was about our relationship. I ended things and I went into full emotional tornado. However, my best friend and mother were constantly there for me. I had lost my first love and it crushed me. To make matters worse he moved on to a girl that looked exactly like me and was also going to the small high school I was to attend in the fall. Luckily, I had high school sports to keep me distracted.

I spent my entire summer training for tryouts for my high school volleyball team. Volleyball was a religion at my school and we were nationally ranked and expected to win state. Freshman could only dream of achieving a spot on the freshman team, the positions highly sought after by the girls at my single sex high school. A summer of training and extensive work outs culminated when I was told I made the team. This was HUGE. I always was very athletic, but mostly considered average. I always made the B-team and was the star. To make the equivalent of an A-team made me soar. Had I not made this team, my outcome would have been very different. Practice every day and games every Tuesday, Thursday, and some Saturdays kept me busy. Not to mention the amount of school work I had as a student in all honors courses at a prestigious private high school. I had no free time, but I was doing what I loved daily and I was actually playing. I had no time to come up for air. Volleyball was my passion and I played with all my heart.

The day high school season ended was when things started to get blurry for me. Club volleyball started, but I have little to no recollection of this season. I began excelling in class. I would cry if I received a 99% on a test. I was obsessed with school. I studied all night and all weekend, I was not social, and I sat alone in the single stall bathroom whenever I was free at school. I didn’t think anything was wrong with me. Neither did my mom. I believed all was normal, I was simply going through a transition in my life and I was growing up. I thought this was just who I was becoming. I thought I was just destined to be miserable and I figured that’s just what adulthood entailed.

It wasn’t until we had a speaker in health that I learned about mental illness. Granted I did know a little bit about it because when I was young my aunt committed suicide, but depression was something that was unclear to me. Suicide was clear, depression not so much. A speaker in health introduced me to the rest of my life, little did I know (had I known at the time eight years later I would still be deeply struggling I probably would not have made it through this time in my life). Curiosity took over and I went to the internet to learn about this depression she talked about. This ten letter word would become my personal hell.

I cried the entire way home from school, deflecting pestering questions from my mom. Crying was commonplace for me so my mom suspected nothing out of the ordinary. I was more than aware of the stigmas around depression, so I was ashamed and terrified. I was weak and faulty. I went to my room and started on homework, my favorite distraction. For the first time, I wasn’t able to do my homework. Depression. Depression. Depression. Nothing else went through my mind. I wanted to die, I wanted to end it all, but I know I couldn’t do that to my family again because of my aunt. I didn’t know what to do. Eventually, I decided to write my mom a letter, because I was too ashamed to tell her this face to face. I wrote “I want to die. I need help. Please help me.” And I put it on her pillow so that she would see it when she went to bed and I would act like I was asleep. My mother instantly came into my room, knowing that I was awake and we both cried. She suggested therapy and, although not too keen on the idea, I agreed.

I wish I could say that this was the lowest point of my first depressive episode. Things kept getting worse. I experienced one of the most painful things of my life at this time, adding insult to injury. My best friend since first grade gave up on me. She told me the usual “snap out of it,” “stop being so sad,” “life isn’t so bad.” My mom and her mom were inseparable as well and her mom started talking to my mom about me, about how I wouldn’t snap out of it and it was affecting her daughter. This climaxed with a “come to Jesus” meeting in my dining room with the best friend, the best friend’s mother, my mother, and myself. Tears were shed by all but me. I just sat there. I remember where I was sitting, where I was staring, and feeling absolutely nothing. This was when I turned into a shell of a person. My rock, my best friend, the one I was going to go to college with and always live next to, rejected me, denied me, destroyed me. I was told there was something wrong with me and I was not the kind of person she wanted to be friends with. Her mother supported her and they agreed that depression was not real. I walked away from that table with my head down, no thoughts in my head and no person within me.

Once my best friend went, the others left me one by one. I walked down the halls of school blank and numb, all while pretending to be a ghost in order to avoid the hurt from never being acknowledged. I was a ghost as far as I was concerned. There was nothing that proved otherwise. Insomnia began and I could not muster up enough homework to fill the times I laid wide awake in my room. My distraction was no longer working as well as it was before. To add to everything else, my sister told me I ruined the family and my dad rejected me as well. He probably saw his sister in me and was so afraid of another suicide that he just avoided the feelings and acted like nothing was wrong. He does not like feelings to this day, but he had rejected someone who already thought she was as worthless as a grain of sand.

I went to therapy once a week, but I didn’t talk. My mom went with me to make me more comfortable and to help get words out of my mouth. Tracy, my therapist, was incredible. But unfortunately, no one knew how serious things really were. I laid in bed at night planning my suicide, contemplating how I could make it look like an accident so as not to destroy my mother. I set dates and wrote suicide letter drafts. I stopped eating entirely. I began trying to cut myself with very dull objects (didn’t work very well and I ended up sort of burning my skin). I came home from school and just laid on the floor staring at the ceiling. Laying on the floor staring became a daily thing, from my mother’s recollection. I was catatonic. I was a robot. I was a ghost. I was sleeping so little that I would fall half asleep in class and I started to see my dreams in real life. Multiple times I hallucinated my dreams and screamed in reaction. Didn’t help what existed of my social status at school.

A psychiatrist gave me this drug called an antidepressant. He told me in four weeks to six weeks I would feel like a new person. I pushed back my suicide date and waited. My first drug only lasted a day because my teacher accused me of being high. This drug lasted me about two months. Six weeks came and went and I only got worse. Another drug. Another six weeks with no results. Another drug.

At this point I started losing hope. I already had undetectable levels of hope, but this pushed me over the edge. I started drinking. I started going to parties. I started hooking up with guys, an obvious expression of my newfound “daddy issues.” Rumors spread about me, a new one after each weekend. I was a joke. I was taken advantage of. When I was blacked out, I couldn’t feel the pain. I was free in those moments, even if it did make the sober moments worse.

Eventually a drug slowly but surely began to work, a cocktail of drugs of sorts. Slowly the fog cleared, but it didn’t go away completely. I began to remember things. With only my mother by my side supporting me, I started to rebuild.

Welcome to Introvert Introspections

Welcome to my blog (if there is anyone reading this other than myself)!

I am a victim of introspection.

                – Sylvia Plath

I started this blog because I have been struggling immensely with the concept of being chronically mentally ill. I also am so frustrated with the systemic failures of psychiatry and mental health care. I am in need of a platform to work through these feelings in the hopes that one day I can help others and actively work towards changing the system. I don’t know the direction this blog will go, which I believe to be half the fun. I am not sure if this is something anyone would want to read or if it will end up being a journal of sorts just for my own personal benefit. But it must start somewhere, of course!