I can remember the very first time that I began to experience what were the silent warnings of depression. Low moods, dark thoughts, that kind of thing. I was 14, in the ninth grade when I had my first spell of this. It was the first time I began to hate my body, to starve myself, to hate who I saw in the mirror. It was, in hindsight, the beginning of everything for me. It is however the “typical” age onest of low self esteem and body issues in young girls. Slotted into that category perfectly. Because I was not eating enough to sustain normal bodily functions, these dark moods set in, and I became, what I know now, depressed.

At the time, I thought it was just normal. Was I wrong.

I discovered when I was 15 that a diet consisting of apples and diet coke was the way to go. Actually, no it wasn’t. I fainted at school that year. And it was horrible, and humiliating, and emabarrasing, and I was put on “at risk” watch by the school nurse, who, after this episode insisted on giving me a full check over and subsequently sent me to the shrink. That lasted all of one session.

I was sick, depressed, and on top of that, I guess I could throw in a feeling of, oh I don’t know, maybe wanting to die… It was a lonely place. It was that year that I discovered that self harming was a “great” way to allow myself to feel something other than this horrible self loathing and darkness. It didn’t work. It only made things a hell of a lot worse in the following months and years to come.

16. God awful, horrible, Uni entrance subjects, 16. I think I spent the whole year crying, and hating myself and dieting and. Just god damned awful.

I was finally diagnosed with depression when I was 17, about a month or so after my first miscarriage. my year of being 17, it was indeed a long one. I met a guy- Lily’s father- fell in love, lost my virginity to said guy, all for him to up and leave one day, with no word, to move 4000 kilomiters away from me. At this time, I suspected I was pregnant. And it, of course, turned out that I was. June, July, August of 2006, I struggled with the relisation that I was going to have to do this alone. I was struggling to stay on top of things, mentally as well as physically. I was juggling a heavy study load, tutoring after school 2 days a week, debate team prep weekly, as well as keeping this amazing secret to myself, until I knew what to do.

I spent many many nights crying myself to sleep. I also wondered about my baby, pictured her in my mind, and attatched myself to her. The “what if” of her anyway.

I lost her at 10 weeks. My world was shattered, and I was shattered. I was exhausted, for lack of a better word. Exhausted from school, from my ex-boyfriend leaving me, grieving the end of that relationship, discovering I was pregnant, debating abortion, adoption ( as ashamed as I am to have typed that, I was weighing them up as options) and keeping the baby. And telling my parents. Physically exhausted from the experience of a miscarriage. Emotionally shattered from all of the above.

Just shattered.

I had a follow up appointment in September of that year with the my GP. I told him how I was feeling, the mood swings, the crying, the shatteredness.

He diagnosed me with depression, and popped me on the happy pills straight away. I guess, looking back, he didn’t want to listen to the woes of a 17 year old, crying, teenager who had just miscarried her baby. It was probably a quick fix for him.

I went off the drugs in December of that year. I have not been back on them since then, but it has been a long road.

I struggled through Christmas that year, where I SHOULD have been 6 months pregnant, but wasn’t, and then to have my baby cousin born that day. Well. It was hard. It was so fucking hard. The come down off the meds, and the temptation to go back onto them. “The script is still there…” I kept saying, desperate to escape actually, finally, feeling something.

January came and went in a blur of “should have beens” and tears.

February came and I finally called the number of a therapist that I had been given, and booked myself in for an initial session. This initial session turned into 10 months of CBT- cognitive behaviour therapy, essnetially changing the way that you think about situations, yourself, everything. I knew it was worth it when I was finally able to go from ” It is my fault I lost my baby” to ” There was no explaination, and you got through it the best you could”

That was in 2007. I haven’t talked to a therapist, or gone back to the happy pills since then.

And the lead up to this post?

Well, for years, I fought dark moods, feelings and thoughts; I fought my depression.

Knowing now that I suffer from it helps me fight these moods like crazy. Mostly I win. Somtimes I lose.

Right now, I am losing. I am losing so friggin’ badly. I feel so…oh god, there isn’t even a word for it. I just feel like a mess.  And I am scared that I won’t be able to pull myself out of it, this time.

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