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I Survived Over Four Long Years of Depression.

After an incident that involved an error in scheduling and lack of listening from my mental health team that led up to an attempt on my own life in January 2015, I was single again.  I was devastated and no longer trusted counselors, psychologists, and the like.  It didn't take long for my depression to compound and get bigger and bigger; I tried to figure out how to stop it, but without trust in the very people I felt helped me until the incident, it kept snowballing.  A relationship somewhere around July/August 2016 gave me hope to forget that it ever happened.  Little did I realize at the time that I was using it to cover up and distract away from the utter hopelessness I felt from the end of my relationship in January 2015.  When it ended in September 2016 due to their infidelity (as well as another incident where someone breached my trust a month later), I became addicted to an avatar chat site hoping to escape how hurt I was.  I didn't realize that was the beginning of a depression that would span 4 long years, and that my physical health would go down the drain as a result of the severity of my addiction.

Yes, I've had intermittent periods of mania but nothing lasting enough to consider being permanently out of depression.

Yes, there was a period I attempted college and was manic from my success- so much that I attempted an almost-impossible task in school and threw up every week for 2 months in the middle of it all.  Looking back, my body couldn't take the stress.  And that led to more depression on deeper levels...

No, I didn't have local friends who understood enough to come sit with me.  I had one with cancer, one who liked to force religion, and one who used me often for money or favors.  My family lived anywhere from 1-6 hours away, and the closest ones did more harm than helped.  September 2018-19 I had similar issues with an unkempt apartment, and my mom cleaned my apartment in September 2019, saying "This is why you don't have friends."  Putting in a traumatic statement at a time when I needed understanding actually made things so much worse and more complicated.  She meant to help, and I understand that.  Just, it hurt and I hurt from it.  So I have to acknowledge my own feelings while also acknowledging her will to help.

On top of these conditions, due to budget cuts around 2016 or so, the mental healthcare I was receiving went from intensive to "barely there" per month, and I was switched to a program with different case managers and doctors.  When the mental health team realized how deep I was about to plunge into depression, they tried switching me back to the original program; however, the teams were assured I was "okay enough," that because of my intelligence levels I must be high-functioning (that's a whole other topic) and became negligent with visiting me and their part of the bargain.  I felt like no one cared, and well, there wasn't much that showed otherwise.  So my health went down the drain, as a result of me not caring because I felt like there was anyone who cared.

By the time 2020 came, I had come close to attempting on my life 4-5 times.  I was in clothing that I hadn't washed for months (Sept 2019).  I bathed once every 2 months, and my body was covered in sores in certain places.  My apartment smelt almost as bad as I had, if not worse, because it ALSO hadn't been cleaned since September 2019.  And they were still convinced I was "okay enough"... this would continue for another 7 months before it got better, but it WOULD get better.  After FOUR long years, my case manager finally realized some of how bad it had gotten, to the point she helped me do some things in my apartment's kitchen for TWO full hours, mask and all, during a time where in-house visits were technically supposed to be emergency-only.  That was a huge part of me feeling like someone cared enough to go above and beyond.  

I literally think it was a mix of things, not just one thing single handedly, but that which I've mentioned was a bigger part than most.  Feeling like someone cares is a big factor in this all, but that can be hard to find without a relationship or even a good link to friends or family nearby.  I am finally making a bit more meaningful connections in several places (as well as maintaining my old ones) that make up for the distance differences, but I will still be sure of one thing. No matter how many local friends I have, I still will have to learn to provide that care for myself to better prevent this level of severe depression from hitting me as hard and as long again.

 

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  • The mom in my life has said some degrading comments when I was at my worst too. I understand the sting. You are a fighter 💪 you sought help. And it was an emergency when your caretaker helped you clean. I really hope you find your way back to school. You Excel in the academic world and I would be so proud of you to see you finish. Plus, you would gain independence and could afford luxuries like having someone assist with cleaning. You deserve help. Perhaps you are just toooooooooo creative to be worried with the fuss. I probably see things differently than your mom. Keep reaching out to your mental health team. Stick with treatment. Never give up on you or your dreams. I so hope your dreams come true. I'm praying for you love.
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