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And Here We Are.........

December 19th, 2010

I'm not going to share my name because I know that I'll be writing things here that would break my loved ones' hearts if they found it... and I've done that enough already. You can call me Ms. Nightmind. I will share a little of my background though so you'll see what got us here to this point. How, despite having friends who love me, parents who would do anything for me and the best boyfriend in the world, I got to feeling so alienated that before most people have had their first cup of coffee, I finally decided that I needed someone to listen so badly that I'd resort to an online community. No, resort is the wrong word because so many people find a solace there that is unattainable in the real physical world. A solace I envy and hope to share. But enough about that, without further adieu ladies and gentlemen the moment you've all been waiting for..... my story.

I'll never forget the way I described depression to my father for the first time. I was 10 years old and at that point had no idea what it was or that it had a name, just that it hurt. "Daddy, most people are happy until something makes them sad. Well, I'm sad until something makes me happy." 10 years old, the daughter of two loving, successful, and still (miraculously in this day and age) married parents, and aside from dealing with your average middle school bullying, given every reason to be happy. And then IT came. Impregnating my innocent, adolescent life with the darkness that only someone who has felt it before can understand.

My mom is a doctor so I was quickly prescribed an arsenal of medicine and by the time I graduated the 8th grade I’d been dragged through more therapists’ offices than most people see in a lifetime. Not that any of it helped.

A little less than half way through my freshman year of high school, November 1st to be exact, I experienced my first intense manic episode. I was attending a small a private boarding school at the time. I don’t remember all of it (memory loss is a common side-effect of manic episodes) but I’ll never forget that night. It was the first time I’ve felt so betrayed by my own mind and body. Part of me knew I was acting insane, screaming, threatening violence, crying, cutting myself, and generally scaring everyone, but I couldn’t stop. My parents had to drive an hour to come pick me up at 1 a.m. Afterward I spent two weeks in the teen psychiatric unit of a local hospital.

For over 4 years IT took a backseat and graciously let me live my life. I had a few breakdowns but nothing my parents couldn’t help me manage. I was even med-free for the entire year I took off from school after I graduated! I worked 2 full-time jobs for the first six months of my education hiatus after which I moved to Panajachel, Guatemala and lived off my savings for the last six. While I was living there I met the man who would offer IT a perfect doorway back in.

He was actually American, visiting the country with his friend and we met while I was out bar hopping with two of my best girl friends who’d come to visit me from the states. We spent 12 full days together after which I had a boyfriend, he had my virginity and I was in love. It was the quintessential summer romance. I flew out to visit him less than a week after I got home from Guatemala. We sat front row, third base line at a professional baseball game, we took a private helicopter ride, we went to the beach. Truly a fairytale. But since our names aren’t Sandy and Danny, our summer lovin’ ended.

And it hurt.

Not to mention the fact that since I’d been doing so well off my antidepressants I thought I could handle collage alone and when I realized I couldn’t I was too ashamed to tell anyone. The situation was ripe for disaster. As if to make up for five years of lost time IT hounded me day and night until I went from wondering how no one could see that I was breaking to believing they could and didn’t care. And then Monday, October 26, 2009: IT’s masterpiece, IT’s tour de France, IT’s magnum opus, IT’s pièce de résistance!

 

 

 

I woke up the next day in the ICU.

 

 

 

I had an IV attached to my hand, a freshly pumped stomach, and was the proud owner of two very painful bruises on my chest, courtesy of the paramedics who tried to revive me. And one day I’m sure I’ll write more about it. But for now at least you know how I got where I am today.

“Where,” by the way is sitting in a disgustingly messy apartment that I share with an amazing boyfriend (he’s out of town for Christmas). More generally, it’s dealing with my disorder as effectively as I can through meds and talking. I have a wonderful support system but there are some times that they just don’t “get it.” I don’t blame them of course! The most empathetic person in the world can’t understand how manic/mixed or major depressive episodes really feel or what it’s like to live with MDD on a regular basis. Sometimes I need to be able to talk to somebody who gets it. And that’s where you come it. Hopefully this will satisfy that need for me and maybe you’ll get something out of this too!

Thanks for reading,

Ms Nightmind


 

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