Better

Wow, my aunt and uncle sure did have a hard time raising me.  At age 12, I moved out of state to live with them and lost my warning label and instruction manual along the way.  With no kids of their own, they were unaware of what they were getting themselves into.  I mean, come on now,  a 12 year old!  That is puberty and a preteen/teenager mixed in one.  I will always be eternally grateful that they always stood by my side without giving up.

Right away my grades began to drop at my new school.  Maybe, it was due to finally having friends for the first time.  I doubt it.  Something was brewing in my 12 year old mind and it would take several years for the pieces to connect.

I began to hate homework and studying.  which was unusual since before the move I loved to do my school work and made decent grades.  Even more, I hated receiving help with homework.  I would become very defiant, angry, and defensive.  ADHD medication did help me focus, but it took my personality with it.  I could stare at a magnet on the fridge for an hour unaware that my mouth was probably hanging open.  I still did not want to study and would much rather spend all my time on the phone with my friends, watching the TV, or reading a book.

After a rough year of being bullied, I switched schools right before my freshman year.  Switching schools didn’t help my grades either.  I had to stay after school most days for tutoring in algebra.  That teacher and I had a mutual dislike for each other and that caused me to be even more defiant with my failing school work.  The only classes I exceled in were advanced English and science.

I had friends, a lot of them actually.  I was not bullied at my new school, nor was I alone.  I looked happy and normal to those around me.  However, the unknown monster hidden deep within me was still plotting his escape.  I stayed out of trouble at school for the most part.  I was an above average prankster and some pranks were not very nice.  I wasn’t thinking of anyone’s feeling but my own.  At that time, I didn’t feel to much of anything.  All of that changed when my best friend unexpectedly passed away in a house fire.

The “monster” was ready to make his debut and destroy anything that stood in his way of destroying the host that he inhabited.  At first, I became more of a bully at school.  I thought since I was “pretty”, I could do what I wanted.  I was very conceited.  My attitude towards my aunt and uncle continued to go downhill.  I remember having an argument with my aunt one evening and I somehow ended up backed against the hallway wall begging for help.  I needed help and didn’t know where to find it.  I’m sure she thought I was just being a dramatic 16 year old.  Working on the weekends and after school helped to keep my mind busy for the most part and the “monster” seemed to give me a little space.

A year later, in my advanced English class, the “monster” decided he was ready to be noticed.  I ran out of the classroom crying and screaming heading straight to the girls bathroom.  I tried to get as far under the sinks as I could while a classmate tried to coax me into talking to her.  My brain wasn’t registering what she was saying or what I was doing.  I continued to cry and scream until a likeable teacher rushed in and got down under the sinks with me.  At this point, I’m wondering what she is doing since she isn’t sitting that close to me.  She let out one quick scream and told me that sometimes you have to let out the bad emotions somehow.  I wasn’t laughing, but I wasn’t crying either.  She asked me a few questions without receiving an answer other than me telling her I wanted to go home and that I needed my aunt immediately.  She didn’t hesitate to call my aunt at work and have me picked up less than ten minutes later.

Depression.  That is what  the psychiatrist labeled my monster as.  He sent me on my merry way with a prescription for Zoloft.  Zoloft is what killed the little bit of my former self  that was left after I snapped.  That Zoloft was good, too good.  It numbed me in such a way that I didn’t have a single emotion.  I remember my friends urging me to hang out with them, to have lunch with them, or to just be with them.  Zoloft was all that I thought I needed.  With the medication coursing through my veins, I sat alone while everyone passed me by.  As the days went on, my friends began to give up on me and would no longer invite me to hangout with them.  When weekends rolled around, sleep was the only thing I wanted to do.

I became a high school dropout my junior year and had my GED a month later.  I have never looked back.  I often think that if I had stayed in school I would have chosen to end my life.  I had thought about it plenty of times, but never acted on it.  The depression didn’t magically disappear when I quit school, but it did get better.  For years after that I would still call my aunt crying about the things that would haunt my thoughts.  Nightmares became a normal part of each night and I would often stay awake as long I could before falling asleep.

I became a mother at age 18 and knew I couldn’t allow my infant to feel my pain.  I’m now 28 years old and haven’t been on antidepressants in almost two years.  As the months fade into the past, I get better and better.  Not every day is a good one, but the bad ones come less and less.  My husband bought me a dog and I haven’t had a depressed day since the dog has joined our lives.  My kids no longer fear that I will break at any moment.  My husband still walks on eggshells around me and I hope that I can show him just how happy I am.  He makes me happy, the dog and kids do too.

**I wrote this post because the word prompt of the day was “better” and I knew I had to write about something that so many others silently struggle with.  I wanted to let others know that they are not alone and shouldn’t feel that way even though that is often how depression makes you feel and think.  I know reaching out to someone while being depressed isn’t usually an option since most people don’t understand.  I understand.  And just because I’m better doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten.**

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3 thoughts on “Better

  1. Better. And though I may be better, that doesn’t mean that some days I won’t be worse. 💝 I loved reading this, and can relate to your words.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m glad you found something that helps. Dogs actually give me more anxiety. I can’t handle a dog. I do like having a cat though.

        Liked by 1 person

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