I’ve always suffered from a small amount of depression. It started back when I was a freshman in high school that I noticed “hey Kels, you’re brain is being a little funky and you look like your soul is eating you from the inside out, get help”. I ignored all of the signs, because I didn’t want to help me, help myself. I denied that I was depressed because it wasn’t accepted.
The countless times of watching Stacy be put in hand cuffs while she was laying on the ground, and then visiting her through a television screen while she guilt tripped me (a fourteen year old) for HER mistakes, started to really get to me. I remember answering the phone after she finally went to prison and hearing, “if you guys don’t talk to me I’m going to kill my self, how can you just shut out your own mother?” Each time I heard these words… I felt guilty. I felt depressed. I felt like screaming until there was nothing left in me to scream with, and I started question what I was doing wrong for Stacy to be in prison. What was I doing to make her do drugs? Years later, I now know it’s not my fault, but that didn’t stop the self destructive behavior I put myself through.
My dad was diagnosed with cancer my sophomore year of high school, between cheer, school, relationships, taking care of my dad and my brother and who ever else… I lost my self. I went to bed everyday feeling exhausted, and woke up the next saying feeling worse than the day before. I remember walking out of class and going to the parking lot of my high school and taking shots of vodka before I would return the reality of “hey kels, your brains being a little funky again… you should get help.” But again, I refused to help my self because I was A. Embarrassed, and B. It was my role to help the other people in my life.
College rolls around. I ditched every single day, to be back in grand junction to day drink, night drink, and self medicate myself with hangovers, because I couldn’t cope with the fact that I moved to steamboat to start my college degree… only to be put down by the ones I loved most, and to figure out how the hell my step mom took my place in my dads life. It ate me from the inside out for years, and once again… I found my self saying “get help.” But once again, I refused.
I got married when I was 19. It was a decision that wasn’t thought through. It was an unhealthy depressing marriage after the first six months. I was home alone 24/7, my spouse had other partners, and after a while, I got tired of holding on. He got tired of me trying to hold on, and he got tired of holding on as well. We both got tired of me crying, and asking why I couldn’t be the only woman in his life, because neither of us could find the answer to that question. Neither of us knew why everything was happening. We fought and fought to change it… but nothing ever changed. I came home, and went back to the self destructive behavior that had become home for me. But I never asked for help.
My ex husband passed away in 2015, and I almost lost myself. From the marriage that was toxic and unhealthy… we formed a really great friendship like what we had in high school. It was devastating to me, I never realized that while I was suffering with coping how our marriage went, he was suffering as well. The grieving process of both the person who had broke me and now the person that was gone… was to much for me. I had so many questions I wanted to ask, I wanted to say that I forgave that person so he wouldn’t carry around the guilt anymore… but I was to late. I found myself laying in bed one night and pleading with the universe to take me. But finally, I got just a pinch of help for myself…
In august of 2016, I had breast surgery. There was a lump in my right breast that was causing it to hurt, and become swollen. Right before this surgery, I went to my doctor and said “hey, I’m depressed. I’ve been depressed for years, I need help. I need someone to talk with. I need to get myself back, and I need to get my brain back to fully functioning”. I was balling because although I felt weak for asking for help, I finally did it. I went through surgery, came out, had one hell of a recovery, had a mental break down, and drove to my parents house for a break to finally breathe. It had been three weeks since I started my antidepressants, I was standing in front of a mirror at my parents house looking in the mirror and the bruises and incisions from my surgery, and instead of crying, I started laughing.
My doctor told me that after about three weeks of medication for depression, I would have a break through moment. I would seriously wake up, and be like “holy shit, I’m alive. I got help. Here I am. I’m breathing, and laughing. Wow, I can smile again”. All of this happened randomly, while I was standing naked in front of a mirror. September 1st, 2016…. I made depression my B**ch! I took my life back. I woke up feeling thankful for another day alive. I woke up for once, not hiding from myself or my thoughts. I woke up wanting to breathe, and live, and handle shit. I started therapy not long after, I started to gain back my appetite for LIFE. I wanted to LIVE. I wanted to leave my house. I wanted to work. But most of all, I didn’t want to self medicate with alcohol. I didn’t want to be negative anymore. I didn’t want to spend three days hiding in my house, in the dark and not eating.
Everyday, I live with depression. Everyday, it tries to take back just a small piece of my being. Depression, is not who I am. It won’t define me anymore.
Have faith, you’re not alone. Those dark stormy clouds that manage to occupy your life wherever you are…. they are temporary. I went face to face with my depression, and although I still have to fight with it some days… I won.
September 1st, 2016.
The first day of the rest of my life.