I am so glad that I failed/new lease on life

Discussion in 'After Effects' started by Brikka, Sep 6, 2009.

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  1. Brikka

    Brikka Member

    I haven't posted in this forum for a long time. So much has happened, but I must share. This is going to be a long post, but I want to post it anyway.

    I had suffered from depression from the age of 12 (i am now 26). Prior to suffering with depression, I had childhood epilepsy. I had been misdiagnosed with temporal lobe (area which is responsible for impulse control) epilepsy and on the wrong medication for it. Years later, I was diagnosed with absence epilepsy (seizures that interrupt your concentration), after being on meds for a bit, I was taken off of them. At 14 years old, I was raped at church camp by a counselor who was studying to be a pastor. I lied about the situation and said that I just hooked up with him, but it was a lie that slowly broke me down. I started cutting/binging/purging when I was 12 years old because I couldn't cope with the way that I felt. It was something I only did alone and very infrequently, but my behavior scared me. After the rape, I got worse, I tried to stay positive and keep my secret life to myself. I still played sports and I loved them so much and was very good at them. When I was 16 years old I ran away from home and took an overdose of anti-depressants and cut my wrists and landed myself in the hospital for the first time. I became very promiscuous in high school. I skipped many days of school to hit up the Chinese buffet to binge/purge. My situation was not helped by the fact that my best friend was a heartless sociopath and manipulated me and was verbally abusive, even sometimes physically. All of my other friends ran away because they couldn't take her behavior any longer.

    After graduation from high school, I became more depressed. I had to tell my dad that I couldn't play soccer anymore even though I loved it, because I knew there was something wrong with me. I slept for up to 16 hours/day and was not eating well. College was kind of a blur for me because I was so messed up, I was drunk a lot and my eating disorder got really bad. I managed to alienate just about every single person in my life and I lost friendships and it was very painful. Some nights I was afraid to go to sleep because I was scared that my heart would stop while I was sleeping. I joined a triathlon club so that I had an excuse to obsessively exercise for hours at a time. I spent class time making lists of foods that I was going to cook/buy to binge/purge. I would leave class and go to 2 or 3 restaurants to eat meals at each one and then find a bathroom to throw up in. I started to binge and purge even when I was happy, it was so odd to me. I started to fast for days at a time. I came up with a rule that I was not allowed to eat Monday - Friday, nothing but water, gum, tea, and diet soda. If I wanted to drink alcohol, I would have to fast the day before and the day after. Eventually my restriction got so bad that I couldn't work out any longer unless I ate more. So I stopped working out, and I made a rule that I was not allowed to eat more than 200 calories/day, however most days I would eat one 90 calorie yogurt, half in the morning, the other half in the afternoon. My weight dropped very quickly, my hair was falling out, I would get intense pain all over my body (from low potassium), and my face looked sunken in. I went to study abroad where I stopped restricting and went back to binging/purging at least 3x/day, but some days I was doing it over a dozen times/day. I almost didn't finish college because I was hospitalized for my eating disorder because it was so severe and my physical health from that was not good. I joined a day treatment program and moved home. I did graduate from college though, and even did manage to keep my GPA above a 3.0. I traded in my binging/purging for alcohol, and was drunk just about every day by myself at home, hidden in my room.

    I got married on an impulse (so far things are working out though), and then enlisted in the military. I thought that I needed a big life change in order to get better. It did not work out well. I ended up in another hospital for a month while I was in the military and got discharged from the army because of my mental health in general and eating again.

    My husband and I moved home to my parents house. I slept all day long unable to leave my bed because I was so depressed. Sometimes I would wake up and it would be 5 o clock in the evening. I would wake up to eat and throw up, get drunk and smoke a cigarette, then I would go back to sleep. I was losing hope. After about 4 or 5 months of this, I decided that I no longer wanted to live. It was then that I took a very large overdose of many medications. My dad somehow figured it out and I ended up in the emergency room for two days, where they couldn't pump my stomach because it had been days since I took the pills so we just had to wait it out. I don't remember this at all. I don't even remember deciding to overdose, which is really very frightening. I was then transferred to a psych ward and I realized when I was cognizant of what was going on, that I had failed to kill myself. I sobbed uncontrollably for an hour because I was so upset to be alive. That was the worst moment of life, and there was no comfort, no consoling it. I felt so alone.

    I had no job, no insurance, and the hospital didn't make me pay for that. Afterwards they wanted me to go to rehab for the alcohol, I got kicked out after a day because they didn't want to deal with someone who had mental health issues/eating disorder. I was sent to intensive outpatient rehab for substance abuse. I did that for six months.

    I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder, recurrent, severe. The military thought that I was Bipolar, and my therapist thought that I might have some form of Bipolar because of how severe my depression was. My psychiatrist thought that I had Borderline Personality Disorder. I was in out patient group therapy 2x/week and saw two separate therapists 2x/week. Eventually I stopped going to therapy and just went to get anti-depressants.

    A few years passed and I stayed with my parents because I was not well. I worked but on my off time I laid in bed, and I hadn't done any type of fun activity for years. My husband and I did go to Europe to travel, but I spent most of my time feeling suicidal, getting drunk, and sleeping. I couldn't even enjoy a trip to Europe.

    This past January my husband got a job on the west coast, and we moved across country. I knew before we left that it was going to be more of the same, and this time I knew that changing my location would not change my situation. When we left home I hugged my parents one last time and was crying so hard, because I was thinking that it could possibly be the last time that I saw my parents.

    We got to California, and I was worse. I had given up on anti-depressants because I knew that they had never helped me. I didn't leave the house for days and I couldn't sleep at all at night. I started to starve myself and was losing weight, which was partly because I thought I was fat, and partly because my depression was so bad that it was very difficult for me to even cook ramen noodles. I lost hope. I started to get angry that I had an obligation to stay alive for my family. I was so pissed at them, why couldn't they just accept the fact that I had to commit suicide?

    I talked to my parents every single day because they called me. I couldn't even muster up the energy to dial their number, and it was also very difficult to pretend that I was okay. They didn't believe me at all. I almost went home. There was a week that I would call them and say, "I am coming home, I will be on the next flight"...and then I realized that I wouldn't be able to pack my own suitcase, so we decided that my dad would come out and get me. My husband did not want this, so I considered just asking for a divorce, I was going down, and I wasn't going to take him down with me. I spoke with a friend (more like kindred spirit/sister that I had just found the past November) every day on the phone, and I am so grateful that she talked to me, that even though I was so down with no hope, she would sit on the phone with me.

    I looked into finding a last hope free religious type residential treatment program, because I figured it was my only hope. I wasn't keen on the idea of being brainwashed with radical Christianity, but if I had to do something like that, then I would. I knew better than to sign myself into a hospital because I would just be put on a psych ward for a week or two and then get discharged back to my same situation, my living hell, with an added bonus of being over $30,000 in debt for it. I also extensively researched getting shock therapy because nothing else had helped me.

    It was then I decided that I was going to commit suicide. I believed in terminal mental illness and I decided that I would not go home and do it there, because it would be all the more painful for my family. I believed that when people say that "suicide is selfish", they don't truly understand what it means to be severely depressed for years, with no hope of getting better. I had only little spurts of time that I had enough energy to actually plan my suicide, but I figured that if I did a little each day, I could eventually plan it, but I wanted my life to be over so badly, I never wanted anything more than to just die. I would cry myself to sleep and then wake up in the mornings and cry because I woke up, cry because I was still alive.

    This time I decided that I would not waste my time on an overdose. I was investigating more efficient ways in killing myself. I was trying to desensitize myself to the event, so that I wouldn't chicken out. I was torn as to whether I wanted it to be quick, or if I deserved to suffer. Part of me thought that I had suffered enough, that I could afford myself a quick end.

    I wrote out my suicide letters to my family and closest friends. In my letters I apologized to my loved ones and told them to keep going for me, to be happy for me, and also to not let anyone tell them that I was in hell. I told my parents and my husband (in the letters) that I loved them so very dearly and that they meant the world to me. I sealed them, so that I couldn't read them and get upset over them.

    I prayed constantly to God to forgive me for committing suicide. I rationalized that no God would let me go to hell because he would understand that I had suffered enough in life. I have never prayed so much in my life. I prayed for him to make the pain go away, the same prayer that I have been praying since I was 12 years old. I would passionately talk out loud and say, "Please, answer me this once, I want to be better so badly, please I beg of you." In the meantime, I asked people that I knew prayed, to put me on their prayer list. I did not even tell them how bad I was, or really what was going on. It didn't really matter.

    I decided that I was going to commit suicide after my brother got married in May. I would not do it before because I did not want to ruin one more holiday or event in other people's lives. I knew that going to the wedding would be very difficult, watching other people being happy, having hope, toasting a future for them when I knew I didn't have them, and pretending that I wasn't falling apart.

    I was so angry and depressed over the fact that I had once been a fun loving, friendly person, and that I doubted my ability to hold down a simple job, even though I had so much potential many years ago.

    In the meantime I had been job searching a little bit. I had been frustrated with it, and didn't really care about it seeing as I was going to be dead soon, but I posted my resume on Craig's List nonetheless.

    My husband and I were moving from a surbuban area to a big city. He was at work during the day so it was on me to get us packed and moved. Every single day he came home angry at me because I did not do one thing. I would call my mom and tell her how much it hurt, and let her know that I couldn't get one thing done, not even the tiniest task. I would get up to try and pack a box of things, but then I would sit down on the floor and just start crying. We did move, however I didn't even have enough energy to help him, most of the time I was standing there or sitting down because physically I did not feel that I had energy to do it.

    I got called for a job. I was scared because I was unsure that I would be able to hold one down. I interviewed and got it. I was getting trained by another girl at work.

    It was then that my life changed.

    She was there with me showing me how to do things, and made one simple observation that has since changed my life. These were her words: "No offense, but it seems like you may have ADHD or OCD, because it takes you so long to complete one task, and it seems like you have to do everything a certain way."

    That night I went home wondering, What if...it wasn't depression I was suffering from?. I was curious. I figured that I might as well investigate it, wouldn't hurt would it? So I started researching the signs and symptoms of ADHD. The first time I read them, I broke down in tears. I had exhibited every single symptom of it severely my whole entire life.

    I scheduled an evaluation with a psychiatrist. I went in and told him what I thought. He doubted me, told me that it was probably just depression. He was also skeptical that I could have ADHD and graduate from college with a major in foreign language, because it takes a lot of concentration to learn a foreign language. He was also treating me like I was seeking out ADHD meds to get high.

    I left the appointment very disappointed. I felt motivated though because the more I researched it, the more I knew that without any doubt I had severe ADHD. I went home and wrote a two page list of every single symptom I had experienced my whole life. I then went back. I got through reading half my list when the doctor stopped me and said: "let's do a med trial with you".

    He then started me on appropriate medication for ADHD. I noticed results right away.

    It is absolutely a miracle. I am no longer depressed at all, I am actually happy. I cry tears of joy because I feel so grateful and so blessed. I do things that I enjoy, I am making friends, I have a social life. I can function!

    I am so glad that I did not die, or take my own life. I can't believe that I had to fall so far before I was able to begin to live again. I had nothing left to live for, no hope, no faith, no purpose in life.

    Now I have every reason to live. I still have days that are rough, and I need to work through the fact that I have lost years of my life because of this, but I know that I will get there.

    I have faith for the first time in my life. I was broken down slowly to the point that the only thing I had left was prayer. Sometimes I sit on the bus and laugh to myself about the ridiculous things that I have done in my life.

    I am not sure what my purpose is exactly in life, but I know that I was spared suicide for a reason, that there is a reason that I had to know what it means to suffer. All of this past pain has made me grow into a compassionate person, something that I would not know on the same level if it wasn't for that.

    There are too many stigmas that exist with mental illness in our society. That medication is a crutch that doesn't help people, that if you wanted to get better enough you would. For me at least, it was not a matter of not wanting to get better, I wanted it so badly, it hurt. So many people do not know what it is like to live with a severe mental illness. I hope that they never have to either.

    I am working towards knowing what my life's purpose is. Maybe I will be an advocate for the mental illness, or ADHD. Maybe I will eventually get into advocating for a different healthcare system, one that can actually give people proper treatment for mental illness, instead of putting a band aid on it, or treating one problem and letting the next one get worse, and to actually have proper psychological evaluations to rule out every single mental illness. I am even thinking about going to law school.

    I wanted to say thank you for this community, for the support. I did not post much, but there were people who reached out and it was lifesaving. Knowing that I was not alone in this provided me with so much comfort.

    I am not going to be coming back here though. I think that it is best for my well-being to distance myself from it, and I do not want to get triggered.

    I wish everyone here the best. Please keep on fighting. I believe that everyone here does have hope and that it WILL get better for you. Keep searching for answers, whatever answer it may be for you.

    I wish you all happiness, and I will keep everyone here in my heart.

  2. Littlewiji

    Littlewiji Well-Known Member

    That was...


    I'm speechless. And I'm never, ever speechless.

    I'm glad that you found a way to life.
  3. total eclipse

    total eclipse SF Friend Staff Alumni

    Thank you for this post and for showing others there is hope. You took matters into your own hands you wrote out all symptoms and you pushed your doctor to take a second look and you got him to listen.. You worked very hard and i am so happy that the meds help you get control back of you life. Stay well and happy thanks
  4. silent_enigma

    silent_enigma Well-Known Member

    Awesome. It's amazing what the right med / treatment can do for people.
  5. Oceans

    Oceans Well-Known Member

    Thank you for sharing your brave story.
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