Though it's not so bad these days and I'm not taking any medication, I've had depression come and go for the last ten years. I too used to cut myself, when I got particularly sad or angry (or both) or what's called an 'episode' I would grab a knife and start carving my arms. The physical pain I caused myself took my mind away from the emotional pain I felt and couldn't handle, it was a temporary reprieve. That probably sounds crazy but it's the best way I can explain it.Depression isn't just feeling sad or down, it's struggling to find the will to even get out of bed in the morning, no energy to want to see your friends, fighting to try to keep control of your emotions and a general disconnect from yourself.
Some days I didn't feel like myself at all, everything seemed to move slower, like I was in a daze. I would cry uncontrollably, sometimes for no reason, small things would make me feel so angry I just wanted to smash everything up, and like Grace in the story I found it hard to talk about my feelings and what was wrong, I kept it all bottled inside until I couldn't hold onto it anymore and that's when I would start cutting myself, to let it out.
Though I had friends, though not any close ones, I felt lonely, I 'went' with men - mostly older men - because I thought I liked feeling wanted and the attention and, to be honest, it didn't occur to me that I could just say no to them, though it hurt when they didn't want to be my boyfriend after, or in some cases went home to their wives or girlfriends. I'm certainly not proud of that now, or a number of other things I did, that I won't talk about here.
I didn't always handle it with cutting though, I also drank a lot and used drugs (cocaine mostly), which, thankfully didn't turn into addictions, and, like I said there were men, and then some more men
Later when I started taking Prozac I'd double dose if I was feeling particularly bad, though the medicine did help most the time I did still have bad days.
Eventually I did settle down, especially when I had my first child, the anti-depressants did help a lot and my episodes were further apart, I was encouraged to talk about things and my feelings, even now I still struggle to talk about how I'm feeling. I was able to quit the pills for a time, I stayed in more and didn't drink so much and I stopped taking any kind of drugs permanently.
After my first child I did get depressed again so bad I had to quit work and started taking medicine again, but this time I had someone to support me and I got past it. Even now when I'm upset I sometimes get the urge to cut myself still but I stop and think about my three beautiful kids and of how happy they make me and how lucky I am and I feel stronger than ever and the urge goes away.
I have my 'down' days but they're completely outweighed by the good ones, so I'm proof that you can come out the other side of depression, maybe not completely unscathed, but I've learnt from my mistakes and will never be 'that' person again.
I stopped taking any kind of medicine a long time ago and have learnt ways to handle in by myself and recognise when I'm feeling 'bad.'
This was a really difficult piece to write because it's so personal so I hope it at least gets across what I'm trying to say. If you have questions, personal or otherwise, then please I welcome them...
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