Sunday, 18 September 2016

Living With Depression

Writing is my life and it is soooo therapeutic for me, but some days are very gloomy. I was diagnosed with bipolar-depression and anxiety in 2010. I always felt something was wrong while in high school, and I can remember reading Elizabeth Wurtzel's book Prozac Nation, and how it changed my life. I was like THIS IS ME. I feel this way! Granted, the depressive side of my disorder wasn't that horrible in high school, as I think the routine and distractions really worked for me. But I was always painfully anxious. I wasn't even shy. Just anxious and paranoid about what people thought of me and about everything I could think of. After high school, however, when I had just turned 18, things took a turn for the worse. My moods brought me on a roller coaster ride from hell, there were constant fights with my parents, and I just couldn't keep friends anymore. I even ran away from them. Literally, I would turn and run the other way if I saw them when I was out in public. And I just remember blowing up on everybody I came in contact with and being very, very alone, stuck in my room days on end.

I shut down and only found comfort being alone, though it made my depression stronger. It was a monster that kept growing bigger and bigger and more frightening.

It wanted my life.

When my parent's and sister's friends would come over, I was always just that weird girl in her room, the one that only came out to get water.

My appearance changed. I was no longer the fun-loving, bright-colors-wearing Shelby that my friends knew me for. My hair kept permanently tangled, and I no longer cared about fashion, or having a bath for that matter. I must have looked like a street person. Fast forward to 2014, and I had my first hospitalization. Little did I know that it would be just the first of many, that hospitals would become my second home, and that in 2015 I would be rushed there and admitted for downing 60-plus Xanax pills plus a giant bottle of red wine.

Depression isn't easy, no mental illness is for that matter, and I am glad to be alive today. Writing Something (Wisteria 1) was a way for me to escape and find understanding in the things that affected me. It was one of the reasons I kept hanging on. Some days are still really, really hard. I lie in bed and struggle to move and get done what I know I need to get done. And sometimes I still think about the easiest way to escape this life, because I'm scared of feeling sad and alone forever. But I know that isn't the answer, and that I just have to hang on, keep praying, and try my best to appreciate the small things and the people that still love and support me after all I put them through.

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