This an anonymous story of the Mental Illness Recovery Series. She has lost many dear people in her life, and could not see a way out of her mental illnesses. Anonymous has been able to move forward. This is her story:
Anonymous is from Petaluma, California and due to depression, she hasn’t enjoy much these passed years. Although, she likes reading The Little Prince, The Book Thief, and I’d Tell You I’d Love You but Then I’d Have to Kill You. Her favorite movie is Little Miss Sunshine with Sandra Bullock. Anonymous is fond of knitting and her favorite music has always been country, but lately she has been listening to metal, punk, and alternative. She remembers that tacos used to be her favorite food. Her goal is to graduate from college and marry the love of her life. Anonymous used to want to be a politician, but within the past week, that has changed to book editor. She said, “I have chronic stress and high anxiety levels, so I think I would be happier as an editor. Plus, reading for a freaking living would be awesome), but we’ll see.”
Anonymous has obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) since she was four years old and within the past five years, she has developed chronic stress, and her major depression developed about three years ago. She has no idea what caused her OCD, anonymous said, “I just started having random tics and being an extreme germophobe.” Her chronic stress was due to school, because she wanted to get good grades on every subject so her parents wouldn’t be disappointed. She said, “I volunteered a bunch, had a job, and I took all the AP and honors classes, and all that work and pressure really got to me.” Her depression sprung from the death of loved ones. Anonymous said, “It all started in my sophomore year of high school when my French teacher, suddenly passed away. I’ve had to deal with death before, but never ever like that. From seventh to ninth grade, I had lost my four great-grandparents; but they were sick for a while beforehand, so I had time to get it through my head that they would be gone soon.” In the year of 2015 anonymous had a major breakdown, her best friend of many years passed away. She said, “[best friend] had been poisoned by her girlfriend with pentobarbital five days earlier. If I didn’t have my boyfriend at the time, I would have gone off the deep end, and I don’t know what I would have done to myself.” The hardest thing anonymous had to do was sit at the funeral and realize she would never be able to hug of hear her best friend’s laugh ever again. Not only that, but she and her boyfriend decided to break up, making her plummet deep into depression.
A mental health professional suggested therapy for anonymous, but she never went to it. She said, “I never went though, I knew it wouldn’t help; I like to do things on my own and don’t like talking about myself because it feels like a pity party.” Anonymous took Prozac for about four months, but it made her feel crazier and worsened her symptoms, so she stopped taking it. She always felt tired, making her oversleep. She felt guilty and ashamed of herself. She said, “My self-esteem was at an all-time low, I stopped doing all the things I loved doing before, I lost my humor and imagination, I either ate too little or too much and recently, food doesn’t even taste good anymore, which is bizarre ‘cause I lived for food a couple years ago.”
This affected her daily life, anonymous said:
“It made daily life a real struggle. Getting out of bed in the morning was the hardest part of my day. I didn’t want to face reality, but I eventually forced myself to get up, because my thoughts were too much to handle. Throughout the day, I would have to distract myself from my thoughts literally every second of the day, so I could be a functioning human being. When I wasn’t doing something, my bad thoughts, like I’m a failure and not good enough and I won’t get anywhere with my life and just feeling guilty, would pop up instantly. I would spend all day wanting to go to sleep so I would get a break from my thoughts and so I would have that slight moment of bliss in the morning when you’re not yet aware of the stuff you were trying to forget. But I dreaded nighttime and felt scared, because I would be alone with my thoughts and wouldn’t have any distractions. It took me forever to fall asleep too, because my mind just kept racing, and I couldn’t get it to shut down in the slightest.”
Anonymous wanted to die, she would wonder how it would feel to get hit by a car. There were times when she felt scared to drive because she just didn’t trust herself. When she felt overly stressed she wanted to take a bunch of pills and sleep forever. But thankfully anonymous never tried anything because she sees suicide as a coward’s way out. Her only mistake was making her happiness dependent on her boyfriend, so after the breakup it caused a mess in her life. Thankfully anonymous received help from a close friend. She was able to talk to her whenever she needed and felt her friend understood her.
Anonymous felt angry all the time, she said, “Losing those loved ones made me even angrier at the world and always questioned why all this was happening to my family and friends and me. It just seemed incredibly unfair; I mean, an eighteen-year-old isn’t supposed to be able to visit her friend’s grave, that’s f**ked up. She also said, “It felt like everything happened all at once, and I didn’t have time to recover from the last thing before the next thing happened.” The turning point for anonymous to overcome her OCD was after the death of her teacher and best friend. It made her realize that it was unnecessary to count stuff and washing her hands exactly for a minute was waste of time. Although she is still struggling with her chronic stress and depression, she has been able to lower it by changing certain habits in her life. Anonymous said, “I try to eliminate stress-inducing factors, like leaving my house on time and not waiting until the last minute to do my homework and such, and I’ve been doing breathing techniques to calm myself when I do get stressed.” She now congratulates herself on her achievements, not matter how small it is and she has learned to not take anyone for granted ever.
This is how her experience has changed her:
“I’ve become a completely different person. I’m much more open and adventurous and more optimistic and I look for the bright side of things instead of focusing only on the negative and I’m more loving and try to act more altruistically. I just want to be happy for no reason in particular (being happy for a reason is dangerous—your happiness can be taken away in a split second). My best friend is the biggest goofball I know and always does funny stuff, so my motto for my life is ‘what would make my best friend laugh?’ and I try to do something every day that she would find funny. I’ve also stopped seeing myself as very unlucky. I’m actually incredibly lucky; I’m incredibly lucky that I’ve had so many genuinely good people in my life that I’ve loved dearly and whose mere existences have changed me for the better.”
This is her advice for other struggling through similar situations:
“Don’t f**king give up on yourself. Only you can change your life, but you have to truly want the change. And I know it feels things won’t ever get better and you think your future looks bleak and you don’t feel like there’s any point in living anymore. I’ve been there done that, and I can honestly tell you that it does get better in time. I know you’ve heard that many times already and truthfully I didn’t believe it either, but it’s actually true. Just gather the courage and strength and trust you have in you to hold on for a little longer. Please.”
Anonymous would also like to share this:
“Never ever hesitate to tell someone how much you love them or appreciate them or how much you just simply enjoy their existence and their involvement in your life. You don’t realize how much guilt you will have when those people are no longer in your life and you wish with all your being that you could go back in time and just say ‘I love you’ one more time or give them a random hug. Don’t take their existence for granted, and don’t be fooled in thinking you have all the time in the world to do those things. Because you don’t. And you never realize it until it’s too late. Please stop worrying about other people’s opinions of you and don’t pay your insecurities any attention. Life is way too short to not be yourself. I used to be so freaking insecure, but now I’m just like ‘f*ck it, I’m gonna say and do stupid stuff whenever I want and you can bet you’re a*s I’m gonna be singing along to the song that’s playing in the grocery store.’ Trust me, life is way more enjoyable when you actually be yourself and have fun, no matter what age you are.”
Anonymous story is a sad one, but I am happy she has been able to turn her life around and find meaning in it. It is not easy, but I hope she can recover fully from it. Help me make a difference by sharing your story.