Mental Illness Recovery Series: Story # 85

Anonymous is from Houston, TX and loves music, he said, “I listen to it almost all day, everyday. All types of music from rap to R&B to soul, even some indie rock.” He also loves art. Anonymous said, “I grew up drawing and painting.” Five years from now he would like to have a career he loves, that will keep food in his stomach and gas in his car, with new Ralph Lauren threads here and there. He said, “I see myself as a freelance Web designer taking piano lessons with the love of my life.”

Image from: healthy place.
Image from: healthy place.

Anonymous self-diagnosed himself with depression and addiction. He said, “I think that they both fed off of each other which created a terrible monster inside of me that I couldn’t shake. I still fight with addiction, as anyone will tell you it’s a day to day process, but I try to keep the depression at bay.” His addiction started as a way to cope with life. He said, “I’m very sensitive to things and when I start to feel too much, I go straight to my medicine cabinet. Originally I started taking Vicodin for a bad back, then of course I started taking them to feel better about the situation I was in. Before I knew it I was hooked.”

He had to battle terrible depression symptoms, such as; sleeping all day, feeling lethargic, felt pessimistic, and some days anonymous would feel upset because he didn’t die in his sleep. This affected his daily life because he stopped going to social events. Not only that, but he began stealing and pawning things. Anonymous was borderline suicidal. He said, “I didn’t want to wake up in the mornings, and would sleep until 3pm. This was a cycle I was stuck in for about 3 years.”

Image from: the-healing-nest.tumblr.com
Image from: the-healing-nest.tumblr.com

Thankfully even though anonymous felt suicidal he never followed through it because he still had faith that one day, things would work out. He said, “Also I could always see my mom crying at the funeral of her oldest child and I couldn’t give her that pain. Although one day the pressure got too much to bear and I sat in my closet, cried, called the National Suicide Hotline, hung up and swallowed 9 Xanax. I’m still here by the grace of God.” His relationships with others became a little affected, due to the lack of trust. He said, “Friends would call to check on me to make sure I wasn’t dead, other friends stopped checking up on me altogether. But it also brought me closer to God than I have ever been in my life.”

Source: unknown
Source: unknown

Anonymous felt trapped, angry, desperate and sad. It was a vicious cycle, his depressive cycle didn’t allow him to leave drugs a lone because it was his way to cope with it. He said, “I was upset due to the fact that I had helped people everyday from the age of 16 when I first got a car, but no one would come near me with a 10 foot pole. I felt stagnant because I couldn’t even find a job. It was just horrible.” The turning point for anonymous was back in 2013 when he ended up in jail. That moment made him think that things may not be so bad after all. In jail he found a book called The Purpose Driven Life which enlightened him.

The strategies he used to help maintain control over his mental disorders is to pray every morning, keep a routine throughout the days, getting out of the house and keeping mind over matter. Not only that, but anonymous had friends who heard him out when he needed to speak. He also had friends who showed him how they comped with their depression that didn’t involve drugs. This is the lesson he learned from this ordeal: “The storm doesn’t last forever and there are others going through the same struggles as you. The grass isn’t always greener, sometimes it’s astroturf.”

This experience changed him, he said, “It showed me who my real friends are and what real friends do. I’m still as pessimistic as I was the day I was born, but now I’m happy to wake up at 7am again and see the sun rise and get some work done during the day and be active.” Anonymous is not sure if he can stop any of this from happening again, but he plans on going to therapy once he gets a job.

This is his advice for those who are also battling with mental disorders.

“As cliche as it sounds, try not to give up. I’m not the type to say suicide is selfish nor do I advocate for it, but if you feel you as close to the edge, pick up the phone and call a friend. Text a friend. Tweet your feelings, maybe someone will hear your cries. Write in a journal. Find a new hobby to pursue. Pursue an old hobby. Do something that will keep your mind at ease and keep you calm whether it’s depression, addiction or anxiety that has a hold on you.”

Mind over matter. All of those old cliches your parents and grandparents and English teachers used to tell you in school, they start to make sense after you turn 24, 25. There’s light as the end of the tunnel. You have people who love you, and if you don’t have anyone who loves you, love youRself.”

Anonymous would also like to share this:

Finding employment in 2014 also helped boost my self esteem because I no longer saw myself as just an addict, I was once again a functioning member of society, waking up and going to work downtown every morning kind of gave me purpose. I’m 29 years old and all of my life I was told “you can be anything you want to be in life” and all of that other positive crap from the 90s, so when I turned 25 and was out of school and back in my mom’s house and couldn’t find a job to save my life, it weighed on me that maybe I was a failure, and “there is no room for failure”, more bullcrap from the 90s. So finding employment and waking up at 7am every morning to pray and handle my daily tasks helped me keep depression at bay because it let me know that I am more than my addiction and more than my depression.

Help me make a difference by sharing your story. If you or anyone you know needs a safe place to vent out and recieve advice feel free to become a member of the Mental Illness Recovery Series Group on Facebook.

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