Where I Belong

I’ve stared at the blank screen for days now and the words I want to write still won’t resonate on the screen. The right words are in my head, but for some reason, I can’t seem to type them.

My second college term is officially complete, but in my psychology class a couple of weeks ago, we talked about where we belong in the world. All of my classmates were answering without hesitation. Some answered church or other group, others with their best friend, children, husbands, and wives.

I couldn’t answer. I honestly have no idea where I belong.

Yes, I have my dog, I know, but it still gets lonely since he can’t talk. I don’t have any friends that I talk to regularly or hang out with. I feel like a complete outcast in my family, both immediate and extended. I don’t belong to a church anymore. Even when I went to church, I didn’t belong.

I know this looks like I am begging for sympathy, but that is far from the truth. I don’t need attention. In fact, I hate it.

Where do I belong? Where can I feel like I’m not completely worthless? I don’t belong at home, at church, at school, even online. I try to talk to people on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, even on Xbox Live, and I get nothing. I don’t have a husband or kids. I just truly do not belong anywhere.

I never knew I was having this problem until that particular class a couple of weeks ago. Being a psychology major has opened my eyes to so many problems within myself that I never knew I had. I never really realized that I had them, so I’ve never talked to a therapist about them. But now I can work on fixing them.

So, positive? I know I have this problem of unbelonging so I can hopefully fix it.

Negative? The problem itself.

What about you? Where do you belong?

Twenty One Years

I am having to talk about my early childhood in my psychology class, and I can barely get through it. I break down crying. I have to take breaks while writing sometimes.

A few weeks ago in the class, I had to talk about what was happening psychologically. I didn’t know what was happening back then, but I know now, and honestly, I don’t know how I’m still alive.

I had suicidal thoughts at the age of 6, but I never thought it was a big deal. By the time I was 10, it was a normal thing happening in my head almost daily. I don’t remember much from before age 6.

School was always so difficult for me. I always had a hard time focusing, but it wasn’t to the extreme of being ADHD. I could focus enough to get the assignment done. My brain always felt like it was on overload, and still does to this day now that I’m in college.

I’ll be 27 in October. It’s scary to know I’ve been battling depression for at 21 years. But while I have that unfortunate statistic under my belt, I have a life ahead of me that could be without depression. Maybe in another 27 years, I’ll be a happy and healthy 54 year old. Maybe with a husband a couple of kids. A dog and a cat. Maybe some chickens in the backyard and a horse in the stable.

It’s something to look forward to, and to pray for. God may (and probably does) have a completely different plan for my life, but the people (and pets) in my life need me, right? Maybe in the future when I’m feeling worthless, I can go back to this next paragraph.

Yes, you battle depression. But it doesn’t have to be forever. Fight hard. Fight with your fists in the air and your feet firm on the ground. Don’t let it move you. If you let it move you, you only go backwards. Your future is waiting for you. It wants to meet you. It wants to celebrate the good times with you.

If you’re in the same boat as I am, don’t give up. We’ll fight this thing together.

 

We’re Not Crazy!

cra·zy

ˈkrāzē/

informal

adjective

1. mentally deranged, especially as manifested in a wild or aggressive way.

I hate the word crazy when it comes to mental health. It’s the epitome of mental health stigma. People believe that just because someone has a mental illness, that they are “crazy and will kill someone.” While obviously that has happened in the past, it doesn’t ring true for a lot of the mental health community.

Most people that suffer from a mental illness, like myself, do not want to hurt or harm others. I can’t speak for others on some of this, but for me, the only person I’ve ever thought about harming was myself

I’ve been asked (indirectly, might I add) to stop working with children at my church because of my mental illness. I’ve been called many names, including “batsh*t crazy.” I’ve been stigmatized, and I admit: I don’t know how to handle it.

I try to put it in the back of my mind, but it always makes it way back to the front. I try to play it off like it didn’t or doesn’t bother me, but it always did and continues to.

Depression is such a nightmare. Not even just depression, though. Every single mental illness diagnosis in the world is a 100% NIGHTMARE.

Last year when I was talking to my doctor, I told him what was going on with me and then told him, “I hate the word crazy, but I know I sound crazy when I tell you all of what’s going on with me.” He then proceeded to tell me, “You’re not crazy. You’re a regular, normal person who is going through a hard time.” That hit me like a brick wall and I’ll never forget it.

I remember walking out of his office trying not to cry because I hate crying in front of people. But when I got to the car, I let it out. Here was someone who I had just met only a month or two prior to that visit that didn’t think I was full blown crazy. 

People I had known for years or all my life called me crazy, but not Dr. B. He showed empathy. I’ll never forget what he said to me. I remember even telling my mom what he said and after a few seconds of silence, she said, “Wow.” Neither of us knew how to handle it. I had never heard such a kind, gentle statement made to me about my mental illness.

I’m not crazy. We’re not crazy. We’re humans with a problem invisible to the blind eye. But we need help just like someone with cancer needs help. Obviously different kinds of help. But both are invisible. Stop treating us like we’re not human.

We’re not crazy.

June 22

3 years ago today I was able to walk out of a mental hospital, still alive and breathing. A week before that, I attempted to take my own life. During my 5 day stay at the hospital, I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder and Social Anxiety. My life was changed after my diagnoses because then it all made sense. Things started connecting. I immediately started outpatient therapy. 
In 2017, I went back to the mental hospital, but I still consider June 22, 2014 my first day of recovery. Why? Because that’s the day when my life started. I knew what I needed to do to stay alive now and being in therapy was one of those things. I started taking antidepressants and trying to turn my life around. 

So I want to thank all of you who have put up with me during not only all these years, but especially the last 3 years. It’s been a rollercoaster ride of finding the right medications, the right therapist, in group therapy, out of group therapy, losing friends but making new friends… Recovery is not all candy and rainbows and unicorns. It’s hard work and I couldn’t be doing it without all the support, so thank you. ❤️