30 Days of Truth: (Not) Giving UpPosted: September 5, 2014
30 Days of Truth, Day 26: Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Yes. Yes. A thousand times yes.
I struggle with depression. I have ever since junior high. And ever since then, I have fought off the overwhelming impulse to end it all–to just bow out. When I was a teen, I couldn’t handle the pain of rejection from my parents and peers. I was lonely. Even when I did have good friends, I still struggled with sadness. I did not feel like I was good enough. I struggled with being bisexual, for a good long time. It is something I felt made me broken. My hormones were out of control, and this too made me feel like something was terribly wrong with me. I was constantly horny, and because of stereotypes about males being the only ones with appetites like this, I felt sinful–even if I didn’t act on my impulses with anyone but myself.
Every so often, in the wee hours of the morning at a sleepover, friends and I would open up. It’s safer in the dark. I slowly began to realize that I was not all that unique. We were all horny. We all thought about sex. We all thought we had the libido of teenaged boys, even though it turns out that we had pretty typical libidos for teenaged girls. But I still felt wrong. Dirty, and wrong.
Mainly, I just felt like living was an enormous effort.
I engaged in cutting for awhile. I tried to numb it with weed and liquor. My parents sent me to counselors who I refused to talk to, because I couldn’t. Back then, my feelings could not be expressed verbally, but only through writing. I was desperate to tell someone “I cannot tell you out loud, but I can put it to paper for you to read”, but I couldn’t bring myself to say those words either.
Depression has been a lifelong battle for me. Somewhere around the age of 19, after slogging through 6 or 7 years of hellishness, I took myself to the doctor. They prescribed one medication, and then another, and before long I had one that worked. Things got worse before they got better, but once it regulated in my system I found I could handle life better. I no longer flew off the handle. I didn’t internalize every little slight or every setback. I was able to finally engage in life.
I have been on meds for ten years this fall, and I couldn’t be more grateful. Though I still get depressed, usually the week before my period, I can manage it. Even when I have longer bouts of depression, brought on by life events, I can force myself to just keep swimming. There are times I know I would have benefited from being hospitalized, but thishasn’t happened yet, and I’m hoping it never will. One thing I have learned from all of my depressive episodes is that it will eventually pass. I will not feel like this forever.
When I want to give up, it is simple: I just don’t. I just choose to live. Life can be unbearably painful, but sometimes just the simple act of breathing in and out is a triumph.