Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 18 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

33 years ago

I marked an anniversary a couple of days ago. It was January 30th of my junior year of high school, and I had had enough. I had fought a losing battle with depression since the age of 15. My home life was a chaotic mess. My father, with whom I lived, had no clue as to my mental state despite many, many signs and a few direct warnings from other adults. I was miserable and ready to go.

On January 30th I decided it was time. It was a few days ahead of plan, a plan I had been working on for at least a month. I had finished all of my finals. I had played what I knew was my last basketball game. I had said goodbye to the couple of people closest to me. On January 30th I tried to end my life. Fortunately, I didn't succeed.

I can say fortunately now. I don't recall feeling that way then. I do recall, of those around me, most were shocked I had attempted suicide. Depression wasn't recognized as it is now, and I certainly didn't fit any sort of person-about-to-commit-suicide profile. I was a straight-A student, an athlete, and had many friends. But I also had severe, debilitating depression. And despite communicating my intent more than once to more than one person, people were shocked. I hope the awareness is better today.

I don't always remember this anniversary. It's not a day I mark on my calendar. For some reason, I remembered it this year. I reflected on how desperate and alone I felt, how low and pessimistic I had become. And perhaps that's exactly what I need to remember when I reflect on that day.

When I reflect on surviving a time which felt un-survivable, I'm reminded I'm resilient. I've been through the wringer, more than once, and come out the other side. And I'm fortunate. I don't feel desperate, alone, or pessimistic today. I have depression, and I don't like it, but I'm okay. Today I'm living with rather than suffering from depression. I'm grateful for that. Things could be so much worse.

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