Thursday, March 8, 2012

Day 5 of 30: A Time You Thought About Ending Your Own Life

Today's topic could be deep and loaded, but I can honestly say I have NEVER thought about taking my own life ever.

I do suffer from anxiety and sometimes bouts of depression, but I take medication to treat the symptoms and do my best to deal with the underlying issues every day.

I swore for a long time after seeing the effects anti depressant medication had on family members that I would NEVER take medication.

Then shortly after moving out on my own and starting my career, I started having panic attacks. My darkest moments were when I would sit in the middle of my tiny kitchen in my apartment with my dog at my side staring at me, and cry uncontrollably. I would cry in the shower every morning and have to get out of the shower to catch my breath and avoid panic attacks. I would cry on the way to work, as I sat alone in my room and ate lunch, and every other moment I found myself alone.

I felt lost and hopeless. I felt as though I had wasted four years of my life studying to become a teacher because I wasn't knocking the pants off of everyone like I'd hoped. My heart and my soul hurt. But... NEVER did I EVER consider taking my own life.

When I was in sixth grade my uncle took his own life. I remember how that felt. I know the void it has left in our family. I know the pain it caused people. I saw the pain. I still see the pain. I would and could NEVER do that to people I love or to myself.

I have lived through hardships and challenges. I was a resiliant child who overcame many obstacles and I still struggle with things. When I hit bottom though and sat there crying and feeling like I was going to vomit every moment of every day from the anxiety- I refused to live like that. I knew in that dark hour that I needed help and I had to get it so that I could be me again. My mom helped me a lot during that time, she would come sit with me at my house, talk to me on the phone, offer to stay the night so I would feel okay. I have an amazing support system of family and friends, but it felt very shameful and embarrassing almost when I started to suffer from depression and anxiety. I can tell you now though that I have no regrets in asking for help and going to my doctor to get medication. I was very open with my doctor and let him know exactly how medications made me feel and we worked to find one that would work for me. The OCD traits and diagnosis came about later, but it is treated with the same kind of medication.

No matter how hard things get or how hopeless it seems, I know that I can get through and that I have something to live for even if I don't know what the future holds.

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