Truth be told, this story started a long time ago.
The Japanese have this great tradition called Kintsugi, which is putting cracked objects back together with gold, as a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object rather than something to disguise.
I’m not sure if its hereditary, because my grandmother seemed to suffer from depression on and off, or if it affected me over a long period because of hormones and the like.
I have always been slightly more sensitive to teasing and stuff that happens around me, to which I found solace in art. From the beautiful age of 13, I started feeling less worthy of the opportunity to live. Why was I here? Why was I always the butt of everyone’s jokes? Why could I never be loved as much as I loved people? These aren’t exactly things you would talk to your friends about.
My cheeriness and hyper-activeness made me an easy target, and it went to the extent of another mother telling my mom that I needed to toughen up when her son bullied me to tears on my school bus for months on end. Luckily as we grew older we became friends, and I guess bullying is often a mask for our own insecurities.
A few months ago, I started feeling lost. I didn’t want to work, eat, sleep or do anything really. I just wanted everything to end. Of course, this happened on and off for many years, but this time I felt truly lost.
I couldn’t draw anymore. Looking at a blank page scared me into panic attacks – if you don’t know what this feels like – imagine lying down and having a mask over your mouth and nose with a super heavy weight on your chest. It’s pure fear. Like when you have a car accident and the adrenaline kicks in. But imagine that happening at random times without your control.
I cried constantly when I was alone and I felt like a disappointment to my parents. I felt like my friends either pitied me or just used me when they needed something.
I wondered if anyone would notice if I just disappeared. As fate, always has its way, I got offered a job on a project involving depression and even though I had thought of it before, once I saw the signs on a website, I knew something was wrong. It took a lot of energy, but I spoke to my mom and told her I wasn’t feeling right and I wanted to talk to someone. So, we found a doctor and I set up a session.
This is the most important part – LISTEN TO YOUR DOCTOR.
My doctor gave me a ton of advice and I was brutally honest about my lifestyle and life in general. It was not before long after the doctor’s visit that I started the “dreaded medication”. I google-d everything and asked 5 million questions, just to be sure I knew what I was taking.
This pam, that pam, and everything in-between. Vitamins, minerals, no spicy food, but food every 2 hours. If you have questions, ask them. If your doctor dismisses you, find a better doctor. There’s no harm in a second opinions, and there’s no reason to feel sad all the time. No drinking, no smoking, no late nights, more exercise and stay on your meds, were some of the answers that I found.
It’s hard to quit things that you do on a social level, especially since alcohol and smoking have become such a big part of how we hang out these days!
I told my closest friends about what I was going through and what I had to give up to feel better. Now I have found the courage, now I’m sharing this because I hope someone reads this and realizes help is out there. It’s scary enough to feel these things, but it gets easier with some love and comfort food.
It’s been 3 long weeks and it’s been an effort, but I feel better. I’m drawing again and I don’t have constant fear running through my mind. I’m even cooking and gardening and walking around in the sun, because I need lots of Vitamin D.
I go to clubs and enjoy my snacks and iced teas and I’ve never had more energy or focus. I wake up in the morning with ideas and happiness and that’s something I never thought I could feel on a regular basis. Hopefully one day my body will re-balance enough to get me off these meds, until then, here’s me. All broken, but sunlight is golden and so is life. Time will fix me, and I can’t wait for all the adventures life has in store for me.
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