Not many people know of my dark past, besides family and very close friends that I was around the time I went through my dark time.
It was a time of a lot of crying, confusion, anger, and feeling suicidal. A time, that I wouldn’t wish my worse enemy to go through. My family has a history of depression, it runs in and through and it hit me like an arrow hitting the target, I was that target, this, is my story….
I grew up, with no sign of depression, at all. I was happy and felt great, on top of the world, sure, I had my down days, like us all, but that was it. But then, in 2008, I call it, “DARK 2008” because, so far, is one of the WORSE years of my life. You know how you have a bad moment in the day? A bad day? Perhaps even a bad week or month? But then the rest of the time is great? This, wasn’t a bad day, nor a bad week, nor even a bad month, it was a bad year, period.
In 2008, my dark journey began….
My really good friend, that I was friend’s with, for A LONG time, rode horses with, homeschooled some with, and hung out and stayed the night a lot with gave me the bad news, that she was moving. Her parents were even good friends with my parents. Even though, she was only moving an hour away, I was devastated.
Then, I found out, that my parents were divorcing, after about 22-23 years of being together, they were divorcing. I was shocked, I couldn’t believe it, I mean, how could this happen to me?! Thankfully, they get along and talk to each other as friends.
Later on, we got a call from one of our neighbors and he told us to come outside that he saw our cat laying on the ground. At the time, there were dogs roaming the neighborhood. I went out, and there was Morris, ripped in two, it seemed like the dogs used him as a toy. Anger filled within. I came inside with mom and bawled my eyes out saying over and over, “I hope someone poisons those dogs! I hate those dogs!”
I then had to have a 3 -4 hour jaw surgery, I was born with a serious under bite and it had to be taken care of because it would give me problems as I got older. I was wearing braces at the time, and had to wear them for quite sometime, I was banded shut for a month with liquid foods only. Have you ever tried liquid pizza?? Yeah, don’t, it’s nasty.
Then, one of my BEST guy friends, who I went to church with, and I had a hard crush on, died in a car accident. We grew up together since we were kids, and his mom was really good friends with my mom and he had one brother that was a couple of years younger than him that was good friends with us as well. That funeral, was very hard to attend, especially when a few of us were apart of it. I still think about him from time to time.
I started working as a waitress at a restaurant, at the time, called, “Burger Bar”. I started to have panic attacks while working, there was even one time, right there in front of the customers, that I had to run a go get a brown bag to breathe in. At the time, I didn’t really know what was happening. If you ever never had a panic attack, consider yourself lucky, because they’re absolutely terrible and they make you feel helpless. I was even walking my dog once, I ran up to the house when I could feel it coming on, and ran inside and I felt like I was going crazy, my mom and her friend had to calm me down, I literally laid on my bed, while playing soft music and mom and her friend had to soothe me. It was getting worse. Feeding off of each panic I felt, I didn’t know how to control it.
After everything that happened, all the challenges I had faced, the pieces started to come together and it was like it was made into a grenade, a grenade, that officially, now, EXPLODED! BOOM!
Depression started taking over, bad. I finally had to go see a psychiatrist and get tested for things. They tested me for borderline bi polar, OCD, and anxiety disorder.
I was put on medicine and had to be switched out a couple of times.
I then, was sent to see a counselor.
I started to feel helpless, my world was falling apart more and more. One kind of medicine I took, made me feel like I was out of body, and made me feel weird.
Feeling suicidal started to creep in and eat me up, depression was it’s leader.
Soon, my parents had to drive me to my appointments because of concern of me trying to kill myself. I remember, once, being in the kitchen, alone in the house, starring at a large knife, I’d raise it up in the air, like I was about to stab myself, but then, I’d stop.
Another time, as I was driving home on a rainy day, I was so tempted, to wreck my car into a light pole, a voice kept screaming in my ear to wreck it, but then, a song by, Addison Road, called, “Hope Now”, came on the Christian radio, and the words spoke to me….
When my life is like a storm
Rising waters all I want is the shore
You say I’ll be ok and
Make it through the rain
You are my shelter from the storm
I’m not my own
I’ve been carried by You
All my life
The exact lyrics that spoke to me, later on, I sung it for special music.
It was over yet, the medicine I was taking, put me into the ER for “Tremors”. I remember, like it was yesterday, I sat in the living room watching a movie, “Bridal Wars” with my mom and her friend Lisa. All of a sudden, I started to mildly shake, thinking I was cold, I grabbed a blanket. I couldn’t stop though, I started to get worse and panic was setting in, mom and Lisa knew something wasn’t right so they decided to take me to the ER. I don’t remember much of the drive, when we reached the ER, they had to put me in a wheel chair because I couldn’t hardly walk from the tremors. They asked me when was the last time I was suicidal because they were tempted to place me somewhere to get help, I said only a few days ago. I was determined to not go to a center so they didn’t place me in one, thankfully. I remember drinking a lot of water to because of all the energy my body was using from the tremors. They finally gave me a shot to calm me down, I remember seeing dots and having weird dreams, but it finally died down. My doctor was surprised by the reaction I had to the medicine he gave me.
After a while, everything was fading, I was put on better medicine and my counselor taught me how to control my panic attacks, even when driving a car.
I wrote in my diary often and my faith in God grew more and the book of Job really got me through, I was determined to not be defeated by Satan. I even wrote a verse on a small dry erase write board in my room as a daily reminder…
“But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” Job 23:10
I gave myself to God, allowed Him to take full control, it wasn’t easy, my dark journey, but I came out stronger than ever. I came out, as gold. After a while, I decided to turn to fitness, my mom inspired me to with her weight loss, I then changed my diet from meat eater of 18 years, to vegetarian. Then, later on, I was taken off of my medicine and quit going to see my psychiatrist and graduated from seeing my counselor. All because of a lifestyle change. Fitness saved my life, family and friends supported me, but God was the main one that pulled me through.
Sure, I still struggle from time to time, but, if/when I feel the littlest bit of panic attack come on, I switch my upbeat music, if I’m in my car, to calm music and tell myself to breathe, and it always helps. When I’m not around music, I keep doing my breathing treatments, “Breath in slowly and breathe out slowly” and it works every time usually, I think calm thoughts, and remind myself that a panic attack won’t kill me, it’s just because I’m not breathing right.
I still go see my counselor, but when I feel I really need too. But, as long as I stick with fitness, stay on top with my vegan lifestyle, and connected with God and myself, I know that I can pull through. Why? Because I’ve faced it before. Sure, history can repeat itself, my counselor reminded me, but IF it does, I’ll just pull through. Life is going to have challenges, but it’s how I face them and fight back that defines me.
Just remember, whatever challenge that you’re facing right now, it’s okay, because you’ll come out like gold.
I know this, because I’ve lived it.
There is Light, in darkness.