I thought really hard about not writing tonight. I am so tired and I have to be up at 3:30. However, there is something pressing on my mind that I want to share with you guys. I've shared this before, but I want to go into a little more detail. I'm telling you something that makes me feel very vulnerable. This is a long post so if you don't have time nor interest, please don't read.
When I was in High School, I thought my life was a hellish existence. I didn't like the situation that I was in. You know, the normal teenage thing. But, for some reason it was always different for me. Yes, I had an attitude. No, I didn't want to tell my parents anything; I still don't want to tell them anything. Yes, I was emotional. However, when I was in High School emotional didn't mean "emo". There weren't any kids dressed with guy-liner, writing poetry, and thinking how awful their life was. Emotional meant that you were just an angsty teen trying to fit a mold that society wanted to place you in. I didn't fit this mold. I didn't like trying to fit this mold. I didn't like the people who tried to fit this mold. I had no idea who I was, nor what I wanted to be. I clung to the people who were in the same situation that I was in- the loners, the rejects, and the freaks. But, like most of them I had a secret that I kept from everyone. I didn't want to tell anyone because saying it out loud meant that I had a problem. I don't know any teenager who has ever wanted to talk about their feelings. It took me a long time to finally be able to say to myself that the issue I was having wasn't going to go away.
I have depression. When I was in High School, admitting to someone that you had it wasn't something that you wanted to do. It was just a tool that somebody would use against you. **side note** I went to a very judgement and "clichey" High School...Go Warriors! I kept it inside. I didn't really want to tell myself that I could have it. My brother had been diagnosed...so had my mom. I wasn't going to follow the same path that they were on. I didn't need drugs to help me feel better. But, looking back, I'm sure drugs would have helped me cope better. I had terrible thoughts haunt me. I felt so alone. I felt like I didn't belong anywhere. Honestly, the only thing that kept me from finishing myself off were the loners, rejects, and freaks that I hung out with. They kept me from taking a drastic move. They won't ever know that because I don't even talk to any of them anymore...except for "Khay".
So, I kept it to myself. Eventually it just went away. I didn't feel sad anymore. I was genuinely happy. I was excited for the adventures that life had set before me. This lasted for almost two years. Then, one day when I was a missionary for the Mormon Church, everything changed. I was laying in my bed feeling as if the entire world had pit itself against me. I cried myself to sleep. It was something that I started doing every night. That happiness that I felt was suddenly gone. It didn't ever come back completely (damn, I'm so dramatic). It got to the point when I was on this mission that I just wanted to go home. I didn't want to be out in the mission field with such sad and miserable thoughts. Thoughts that were taking that drastic turn again. I knew that at home I had found happiness and I wanted to find that again. I finally expressed all of the feelings that I was having with my mission president (a person assigned to lead a mission and guide it's missionaries). This was the first time I had ever told anyone how I felt. This was the first time I had ever allowed myself to be this vulnerable. I put everything on the table with him. He told me that he didn't want to send me home, but instead sent me to a psychiatrist.
I talked with this psychiatrist for one hour. I sat in a huge black computer chair. It was his equivalent to a couch. I talked, he took notes. He didn't say anything to me for an hour. When it was finally over, he went to his cabinet and pulled out some cymbalta. He told me that after listening to me for an hour, expressing every dark desire and secret that I have ever had, that I had clinical depression. He told me that the pills would help and that I needed to take one every day. He then let me go. I met with him two times after that.
The cymbalta helped me feel completely different. When I started taking it, it was like my whole existence had changed. It was almost as if the drug wasn't letting me feel sad and miserable at all. It got to the point where I felt like my happy self again. There was however, something in the back of my mind telling me that these feelings weren't true. I hated fake people, and that's how I was starting to feel. I felt fake. Every feeling that I was expressing wasn't my true feeling. I didn't like it. I felt like I had put on a mask and that mask was this drug. I also ate a lot of taco bell, I'm convinced that the two coincided. After my last visit with the psychiatrist, I stopped taking these anti-depressants.
When I got sent home for the third time (a story for a different time), I felt so numb from everything that had happened that I didn't have room to feel sad. I would oftentimes lay on the floor in my room and not do anything. I didn't feel anything. I didn't want to feel. I knew that if I did, I'd only drive myself into a dark abyss from which I probably would never rise. It took me a couple of years to finally allow myself to feel again. I'm being a little dramatic but it's the only way to describe it. When I did, everything came flooding back. I was angry, sad, confused, frustrated, irritated, angry again, and then just blah. I was blah. I, Jeremy, was blah. I just didn't care anymore. I learned to accept myself for who I was. It was hard, but I had finally learned to just figure out that this was a part of who I am.
Now, I know what some of you are thinking. How can you honestly say that you are depressed, or have depression, when you always seem to be happy. I joke around with people. I smile. I laugh. But sometimes, I have to give it every ounce that I have to get through the day. I wake up and tell myself that I'm going to be happy. Sometimes it works, other times it leaves me more tired than I was in the beginning. When I'm in the midst of a depressive episode it usually lasts for a month. I have a multitude of feelings and emotions that crop up. I express them through anger or sadness. I become bored with anything that I'm doing. I'm also always tired. It's easy to blame my baby and his insesint need to eat all night, but in realty he's just a scape goat for how I'm feeling.
I do have moments of pure bliss. It's these moments that I treasure and hold on to. These moments are the ones that get me through my depression. I haven't spoken to another shrink since the one on my mission. I don't need to talk to an empty face.
If you have depression. If you feel that you might, just know that you are not alone. I know it's hard. I feel alone all of the time. But, if I can tell you one thing, it's that you are never alone. When you feel that the chains of hell have ascended upon you and you are about to be dragged down to hell, just know that there is someone out there who will help you. If you can't think of anyone, find someone. Allow them to be the figure-head that gets you out of your funk. If you still can't think of anyone...just know that I'm here for you. Everyone who reads this blog is an inspiration to me in one form or another. You never need to be alone with your troubled thoughts.