I am Resilient
“My parents got divorced when I was 13, and I decided to move with my mom. At the age of 14 I ran away from home and lived with an ex. My mom worked a night job and would stop coming home in the mornings. Our fridge was never full, and I remember there being just a lemon, an onion and a pack of tortillas. So, I left. The guy who I was dating at the times family took me in.
The guy I was dating started experimenting with lots of drugs. And became very abusive. Every day from that point on until the July after my 18th Birthday was my own personal Hell. He choked me out, kicked my shins if I said something wrong, called me a horrible names, and raped me. He stole money from me to fund his drug habit. And he’d lock me outside for hours out of pure enjoyment. I didn’t know what to do. I had nowhere to go and no support system.
I finally left him. And immediately moved into another relationship. That is when I went into a deep depression. I had thoughts no one should have. I wanted to kill myself and end it all. I couldn’t bear the pain anymore. I had anxiety over everything, constantly apologizing for little things like chewing too loud because my ex before him would make me sit in another room. If a door was locked I would instantly feel this pain in my chest and have a total meltdown. I cried a lot. I couldn’t function. I hated everything. I was skipping class and doing poorly at my job.
One day I decided that I needed to do something. This wasn’t going to change. I talked to my PCP, and told her about my depression. She prescribed me my first antidepressant. It made me want to cry tears of joy. This was the way I was supposed to be feeling my whole life! I could never imagine another day of feeling how I did. Later on she ended up diagnosing me with ADD on top of the depression and anxiety. My medication I soon realized wasn’t working as well and she put me on a stronger dose.
The medication only did so much and eventually I realized I had to do therapy as well. Talking to someone who HAD to listen to me was so relieving. I love my friends, but they aren’t being paid to hear my thoughts so conversations would turn into how they were feeling.
I ended up breaking up with my ex because I realized I never gave myself the time to heal after my first boyfriend. It was the best decision I had made. My therapist prompted me to write a letter to my first boyfriend because I wasn’t able to talk to him since he died of a heroin overdose. I finally was able to forgive him and most importantly myself.
Depression, anxiety, and ADD were all things I just heard about during commercials. I never thought I would be someone to have a mental illness. Originally when I heard mental my mind goes to “crazy” or “psychotic.” But, that’s not what it means.
People have a tendency to look down on people with mental illness and especially those taking antidepressants suggesting, “well work out more,” or, “mediate.” They can understand that the person with type 1 diabetes takes insulin because her pancreas doesn’t work, or the person with high blood pressure takes an antihyptensive. But, for some reason they can’t wrap their head around the fact that this person takes an antidepressant because their body gets rid of too much serotonin.
So much goes on in the body that things don’t work the way they properly should. Sometimes those things play a role in your behavior. You don’t just “snap out of it”. It’s okay to be feeling depressed, anxious, etc. but it’s NOT okay to do nothing about it.
Now, I am graduating in 3 weeks with my BSN, and I already accepted an RN position. Everyday I continue to prove the stigma is wrong. I am a survivor, and I will not be quiet about how I became one.”