Then and Now

I have one more week of this first summer session left. I’d be lying if I said I had little to no anxiety. I can’t even recall a time where I was perfectly calm and had absolutely nothing to worry about, big or small. I’m always on edge about something.

This has always lead me to poke fun at myself and say, “Why am I not on meds? I was made for meds! Clearly I was born to keep the pharmaceuticals in business!”

Which is why I’ve made a decision. I’ve endured this struggle with depression for eight long years without resorting to medication. I thought I could handle everything without it. But right now I am at a point where everything is triggering me and I’m always feeling things spike up to a level 12. I think I’ve gone as far as I can on my own strength. So I’ve opted to try out medication at a low dosage. This is will be nothing more but a trial run for me. It’s not a decision that I made lightly. I don’t expect my problems to magically go away with one pill. But I would love for my anxiety and depression to drop from a 12 to a 7, something more manageable. That might make all the difference for me. I’ve held on to the fantasy that I can lead a depression free life. But if I’m going to be realistic there is the possibility that this is something that I have to learn to live with and I need all the I can get.

I have nothing against people who have to use medication of any kind. I just think that in some cases it should be used as a last resort. Plus I always believed that admitting that I would need it would prove that I am weak or completely hopeless. Let me point out that I’ve endured this depression for eight years. Add up all the seconds, minutes, hours, months, weeks, and days. And yet I’m still here and I made the choice to live. No one can ever label me as weak. I’ve already proven to myself that I’m pretty damn tough when I have to be. Besides this is only a trial run. And if I start feeling weird side effects that’ll be my cue to stop.

I’ve been put on some financial probation or whatever. I did everything that I’m supposed to do. I clicked on the stupid link that made me feel like I would’ve been walking into unspeakable horrors. I printed and filled the appeal form out saying, “This is what happened to me last term. I take responsibility. I’m in counseling and I’m doing all that I can to come back from everything.” Because the people who make this form obnoxiously wrote this question, “What are you doing to guarantee success?” Which I feel is code for, “Why the hell should we help you and give you any money?” I then proceeded to walk all the way to the financial aid office, which is really far from any of the class building, in scorching dry summer heat (in Boone, NC of all places). I had to power through my anxiety that would’ve in most cases completely cripple me. I figured “That’s it! Hard parts over!” But nope…apparently it can take weeks for the appeal to go through. WEEKS. In the summer semesters, which only last a month. I didn’t get alerted about any of this until the very middle of it……these fuckers and their bureaucratic Micky Mouse bullshit really pisses me off.

But I can’t do anything else about it. I’ve done all that I can. I’ve done everything that I’m supposed to do do and it comes down to playing the waiting game…..AGAIN.

I’m doing all right in my classes, but I can’t help but feel stressed out about exams. I got a bad grade in one of my latest exams and I was really bummed out about it. I emailed the teacher and told her about this and I asked, “what are my chances of walking out with a passing grade?” She assures me that everything will be all right. I don’t know if she meant it or she was just trying to calm me down. I told her about my depression. Granted she doesn’t know EVERYTHING about it, but she knows about it. She says she will take it into account.

Oh and I have two ridiculous projects for that same class too. One of which absolutely no one in class understands anything about. At this point I have to believe that the grades will come down to effort put into it. Do I even want to do this project? Hell to the no. But it seems like being forced to do things I don’t want to do is the name of the game. So I have to grin and bare it just like with everything else all while studying for final exams, getting ready to move out, waiting for the appeal to be approved, and preparing for whatever challenges will come my way. Because that is the nature of my journey. That’s how it’s always been from day one.

A long time ago everything seemed impossible for me. I always kept myself locked up in my bedroom and I kept my distance away from everyone. I was always afraid to do something, anything, for fear of failure. Back then I struggled to understand anything, including myself. I would rarely go out into the world and experience anything for myself. Because I was afraid of anything and everything that it had, good or bad.

I can’t help but reflect on that person that I used to be. Back then I never would have thought that I’d be where I’m at now. It was a struggle to break out of the shell I had around myself back then, but I did it. It was a struggle to make the choice to live in a world that’d inevitably would grow ugly and offer more hardships, but I still made the choice to live in it.

Everything that seemed impossible to me long ago, I made it possible. The world that I live in is far from perfect, but it’s a world where I have more possibilities presented to me than before.

I didn’t think that I’d make into any university, but I’m here at Appalachian State. I didn’t think that I’d be able to live on my own without family or friends to always hold my hand, but it turns out that I can handle myself just fine. I didn’t think I could cook anything without setting fire to the kitchen or the whole house, but I actually make for a decent cook. I used to think that I would never be able to get over this one guy that I was in love with, but I managed to do just that. I didn’t think I could do this or that, but I proved to myself that I can.

I’ve had big victories, I’ve had small victories, but the point is I’m not the person that I used to be that believed that everything was impossible to do. A huge part about this depression that I’m dealing with now is that it’s made me feel like I’m changing back into that person again, something I never wanted. During some posts I mentioned that I wanted to go back to being the person that I was before, but I was referring to before moving to Boone where I had friends to go to the movies with, drink coffee with, where everyone liked the same things, and no one was treated like a martian. Not to mention I was more likely to find a future husband over there than I am here.

It’s been a rocky journey for me. I’ve taken some serious hits, but despite all that I’m still here. No matter how much the “suicidal muscle” in my brain likes to kick in, I still want to live. I’m not where I want to be in my life, but it’s still so much better than where I used to be.

I was having second thoughts about everything. About wanting a depression free life and wanting to be happy. It felt like I was getting ready to give up on all of that, but compared to how things used to be and previous challenges everything else seems minuscule at best.

I think I’ve found my second wind. Best not let it go to waste. Later days!

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