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My depression...read it, learn from it
posted at 02:06 am on 08-27-2011
So my depression.
It legitimately started in 7th grade, but the roots stem back to 6th grade, and that is where I'll start.
In 6th grade, I got my own tv.
You gotta understand that my parents were some of the strictest people around and that one piece of freedom was one of the few things I controlled in my life at the time.
So what did I do with the new found joy?
At first I wasn't too bad, and for most of 6th grade year, I kept it in check.
But, another thing happen.
I started to notice things about my food.
Yes, I was becoming a vegetarian.
By third quarter of 6th grade, I was a full-fledged, non-carcass consuming kid out to face the world and all it's problems, while watching a few episodes of friends along the ways anyways.
Then it started taking over my life though, the tv.
I didn't even have cable, yet there were still SO many interesting shows to watch.
I became pretty addicted, but it wasn't something that I couldn't overcome, just a small problem in my otherwise normal life. (at that time).
Then the next thing came along: puberty.
I started growing taller, feeling awkward and having things happen to me.
As if my body wasn't already messed up from my creative diet and semi-sleeping issues... this added to it.
The summer from 6th to 7th grade started the transition to a new set in life.
I held on for a while because of a really good best friend.
We had been friends since I moved across the country to start 1st grade.
I remember how I asked her to be my friend:
I was sitting in class, and I saw her.
I decided that I she looked pretty trustworthy, and set my sights on being her bff.
I wrote her notes, multiple times a day "Will you be my best friend? Circle yes, no, or maybe."
Within a few weeks, she finally circled maybe.
We were inseparable from then on.
We shared everything and life was good.
It was hard on her too, me going through all these changes because we felt each other's joys and pains, losses and gains.
But bless her heart, she held on for as long as she could.
How long was that?
Till about half-way through Junior High.
We didn't have any classes together, and we had had the same teacher all throughout elementary school.
It was ok though, we could hang out at lunch and outside of school.
Nevertheless, that was another let-down.
In fact, if I remember correctly, none of my other friends had classes with me either.
The classes that I took, some of them were hard and some of them were easy.
All had mean teachers trying to exert control over me and my life.
Especially advanced math.
I felt confident in my math skills, in elementary school I got Math Blasters twice and won a few class-room competitions.
Not the most superb skills, but something.
The minute I walked into that classroom, I shuddered.
It was cold, and dark....and that teacher was there.
For safety reasons, I'll call her Mrs.F
She disliked me.
Then again, she disliked most of all students.
But she disliked ME most of all.
I don't know why, maybe it was because I had transitions to wearing big baggy t-shirts and jeans with my bangs grown out over my eyes....but she hated my guts the minute I went in there.
She hated the way I was organized and gave me after-school detention every.single.day for not bringing a red pen to school.
Never mind that I had issues with just getting some type of a writing utensil to stay with me.
I was bad for that, and I needed to be punished.
She hated my attention span.
I'd sit in class and let my mind drift a little. Just looking away from the screen occasionally (after all, the homework is where I learned everything)...and she'd nag:
"Look at the screen!"....5 seconds later..."Look at the screen!" ....5 seconds later...."Look at the screen!"....5 seconds later..."Look at the screen!"....5 seconds later...and it went on like this, throughout class.
Still, I endured it. Junior High was supposed to be crap anyways, right? That's what I'd been told.
One day I broke though.
She let every other kid in the class pick their own seat, but not me.
I needed to sit in the front where she could watch me.
I complained, and she went on a T.I.R.A.D.E
Screaming in my face, spit flying everywhere, 2 inches away from me, hands on desk.
It was all-out war.
And right as I was about to swing up and deck her in the face, the bell rang.
Is stormed out and dropped that class.
Turns out, that was the second to last string holding my best friend's friendship together with me....since we had both always been pretty good at math.
The last string was my autism diagnoses.
From 1st to 5th grade, I had been diagnosed with ADHD, taken some meds, and stopped them because they didn't work.
Something was wrong with me though, and my parents were dedicated to finding it.
They took me to an autism/aspergers sensory place out -of-pocket ( because I had many sensory issues back then, I couldn't even take a shower every day because it was so bad).
They did this so it wouldn't hold me back from anything I wanted to do in the future.
I was diagnosed as "being on the autism spectrum"
That was the last string: I was tired (because by now my tv addiction was complete and I was getting 2/3/4/5 hours of sleep a night), I was hungry (because of being vegetarian and not knowing to handle a diet then), also I was slightly anorexic (all I ate was a bag of popcorn every day), I was picked on (because of the teachers), I was going through puberty, and I didn't have my friends by my side to make it slightly better, and now I was weird.
One more thing I forgot to mention, the opposite sex.
Of course. I had crushes, but it didn't matter because:
One day as I was driving home from mutual(an activity for teenagers every week in our church)..it happened.
The guy I had a HUGE HUGE HUGE HUGE crush on in 4th/5th grade.
I had a semi-crush on him in 7th grade (I know, trying to play it cool, right?)
Well, some girls in my ward that I thought were my friends rolled down the window and said: "Woot, woot! Carissa has a crush on you, she liiikes you, Carissa and bla-bla (not saying) sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G...(etc, etc), Ow, ow, baby".
I was MORTIFIED. For life.
I didn't know how to act around the opposite sex.
All I knew is that I NEVER wanted that to happen again.
So I told nobody the thoughts of my heart whenever I became enamored with a boy, and that crushed my soul a bit.
With all that going on, I thought:
I honestly thought: why am I still living?
What is the point?
I mean, my siblings hated me (well my brother didn't, but he had his own troubles going on). My parents yelled at me every night. My friends weren't there. I couldn't be girl. I couldn't be a boy. I couldn't be a student. I couldn't, I couldn't, I couldn't do anything.
I gave up.
Music was my only release.
I'd lie on the ground, listening to music. Letting it chew away at my soul as I became a numb source of life.
Occasionally someone like a cousin or a friend or even my brother would try to pull me out.
But it didn't work.
I threatened suicide to my parents...it didn't work.
They didn't care.
Life was pointless.
I was a waste of air and everybody knew it but was too polite to say anything.
Strangely enough, I never actually tried to commit.
The closest I ever got was when I started going into hysterics and pulled out a scissors and started to try to cut my thumb off. I called my best friend and my mom while they were busy doing important stuff and told them.
I think that might have pushed her away the most.
A few days later, my best friend says she has to move schools.
Why? She's depressed.
I knew it was my fault.
When you are THAT close to somebody and all that crap goes on...of course it's gonna have an effect.
Nothing was working.
I acted out, got suspended a few times, got in trouble multiple times.
Then I became a shell of a person.
I just lived to be empty.
I wouldn't even sing along to the songs anymore.
And you KNOW there is something wrong with me when I don't want to sing, because that is my second passion before drawing.
I wouldn't interact with others aside from anything that was absolutely necessary, and I wouldn't care what went on around me.
Life was purposeless and the only thing that could make me forget that I existed was the music that reminded me of my hatred for people and things.
But, then something changed.
It became 2nd semester, and I decided to take an art class because I made a girl cry because of a rude remark I made in choir. (well, she was in my space and it was sensory overload having her skin touch mine. The chairs were so close together and my teacher refused to move me....so I told her she was fat and needed to move over....not the greatest statement I've made in my life...in hindsight ).
That art class possibly saved me from doing something stupid, because each day I grew closer to making plans.
I even had a will written out, and notes to all my family members and some friends.
I contemplated it every day, and it was about time that I acted it.
But the minute I walked into that art room, I knew something was different.
For one, the teacher didn't care where we sat.
For someone to ACTUALLY trust me enough to make that decision gave me enormous respect for them.
Then, I was pretty good at art, and other kids wanted to talk to me (whereas in other classes I scared them off with my signature look).
Life started looking up.
I knew it was still going to be hard.
Life is just that, always an evolution.
But I had one thing to stick around for, maybe not people, and maybe not things...but a talent, something I could contribute to the world and feel good about.
I know that I will always have these experiences in the back of my mind, and I have had similar trials.
I've gone without friends, I've struggled with food, I've thought about death, I've hated people, and I've been the weird one out.
But in complete honesty: it doesn't matter.
For as long as I have something to contribute to this world, as long as there is something for me to live for...I will be here.
Hopefully if you are reading this, you'll stick around too. Just reading this entire thing shows you've got the decency to be kind....something everybody could live for.
I hope if anyone has any of these struggles or a combination of them, they can make it through. I'd just like you to know, that I may not have been where you are at. But there was a time in my life when I lost all hope, and I was able to recover and I think ANYONE can find what they want to live for so long as they stick it out until they find what it is.