My Depression Story

5:07 PM Shannon McLeod 0 Comments


This is a different post for me to be making. This is extremely personal, and I am happy to open up on my blog in an effort to share my experience and help others who are in need of it. Please remember that if you are depressed, you need to talk to others about it and possibly look into getting professional help, depending on your situation. I have only recently started turning to others about my depression, and I wish I would've done so sooner. Always know that when on this blog, you are loved by all that are here. If you wish to, please comment and share your own personal experiences with depression. You can get in contact with me personally via Twitter or Facebook, or really any of my social media sites, if you do not want your story to be posted publically.

As a disclaimer, please know that I am no expert when it comes to depression. I am only stating facts that I know about depression and my own personal experiences with it.
When I had my first episode of depression, I didn't know what was happening. It was summer 2007. I had just finished my freshman year of high school. I had friends, but my first "official" boyfriend and I had broken up a couple months before. I often wonder if my not knowing what to do after my first breakup caused me to become depressed or if it was a combination of things. All I know is, I was sad. I constantly told myself that I was worthless and that I would never amount to anything. I would often look in the mirror and flat out tell my reflection how much I hated it. I don't remember leaving my room much that summer. All I remember is writing all of my feelings in a black journal. Writing has always been the way I have coped with intense feelings I can't brush aside. When I came out of my depression that fall, I hid the journal and never wanted to look at it again. I never wanted to feel the way I felt those few months again, and I was going to make damn sure I never had to.

Throughout high school and college I had moments of what felt like depression. I physically could not get myself out of bed. I didn't want to do anything. I became so overwhelmed, especially my last semester of college, that I thought I was going to drive myself mad and do something terrible to myself. I'll admit that my alcohol consumption increased immensely that last semester of college, but I somehow always convinced myself late at night to get my schoolwork done, and I was able to graduate Magna Cum Laude. I can't say the same about high school. I would've dropped out if I wasn't so terrified of getting kicked out and living on the streets. I had some rough moments where I constantly cried because I wasn't happy. Sometimes it would only last for days, other times a couple of weeks. But it was never as bad as that first time. I always made sure I forced myself to do what needed to be done, even if it was at the last possible second.

Flash forward to September of this year. My brother decided to become a monk for the rest of his life. I was definitely not eating right or treating my body right in any way. I wasn't getting enough sleep, or I was getting too much sleep. I completely shut down until the end of October. To put this into perspective, I always get up before 10AM. No matter what. I made a habit of doing this while in college. In September and October, I didn't get out of bed until after 1PM, unless I was working. The bad thoughts I had all those years ago started to return. I have an odd fear of things touching my wrists. I've always been scared of the pain I would feel and the amount of blood I would lose if my wrists were sliced. Well, I started to wonder what it would feel like to cut my wrists. I got into a habit of squeezing my head until it hurt in an attempt to make the pain and hateful thoughts go away. When I was driving up to Frostburg for Homecoming Weekend, I thought I was going to convince myself that driving into the guardrail and into the forest would be a fun idea, but I laughed the thoughts off and kept driving. I hated myself. I was constantly crying. It got to the point where my dad asked me if I was okay because I was not acting like myself. I was someone else completely. And so to cope with how terrified I was of myself, I brought out my black journal. I have a page where I wrote about finally convincing myself to wash my hair after a week and another where I wrote "I don't know how to save myself this time". There were days where I could almost function as normal. I could fool everyone, including myself that I was in a good mood. But the hateful thoughts would always come back.

I can't say the exact day I came out of this bad episode. I remember feeling better around Halloween, but not well enough to do anything except put on Halloween makeup and watch horror movies. I could pretend I was out having fun with my friends, even if I couldn't convince myself to get out of bed. I was still in a slump for most of November. I remember seeing real progress in myself once I started writing on this blog and planning out my week ahead of time. I've always been a list completer. I cannot sleep until everything has been completed. The last factor that contributed to helping was talking to my closest friends. Just being able to say "I'm depressed" and rant about whatever was bugging me at that exact moment changed everything. I'm now a believer that when you start having hateful thoughts, you need to talk to someone. Dealing with it yourself isn't benefitting anyone, especially yourself. We are all here for one another, and we need to put that into perspective. Human interaction is required for humans. I'll admit that I consider myself a loner, but humans are naturally social beings. We need people to talk to, even if it is not constant. Have someone in your life that you can rely on to help you through this difficult time. Trust me. Everything will get better with help.

I feel good as I write this. My worst episode of depression is over. Now that I have researched, I know it will keep coming back during intense moments in my life where I cannot process what is happening. I will be keeping my friends in the loop, hopefully now more than before. I don't think I need to consult professional help at this point. Bipolar disorder runs in my family, and I have lately been wondering if I suffer from Type 2, as I have never experienced the intense mania needed to be diagnosed as Type 1. I have gone through time periods where I am irrational and cannot stop myself from doing irrational things, but it has never been as intense as my depression. I may look into going to a professional before I leave the states, but not right now.

I hope my story is able to help you. Again, if you need someone to talk to, I am available. I check my social media sites daily. I am currently working 40+ hour work weeks, but I promise to do my best to be there if needed. Also, please keep in mind that I am not a professional, and I may not know the best thing for you. I may direct you towards help elsewhere, if I believe you need it, while continuing to do my best to speak with you.

I hope you enjoy the rest of your day.

Shannon

Check out my previous post here.

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