I guess mental illness is similar to addiction in the sense that admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery. I’ve taken my first step 3 or 4 times now.
I was born in California in 1988 to two wonderful parents. They had my younger sister in 1990. We moved a lot for my dad’s work, he worked construction and went where the jobs were. All in Oregon and California, but we still moved quite a bit. They got divorced when I was 7 years old and my mom, sister and I moved back to California. My sister and I spent summers with my dad wherever he happened to be working and thanks to that we had a lot of really great adventures and had the ability to travel up and down the west coast.
My mom got remarried when I was either in elementary school or just starting junior high. While I was happy that my mom was happy, the guy she married wasn’t that great to my sister and I. And his kids were no picnic either. They got divorced when I was in high school. But I think it was sometime during their divorce, with the seriously added stress of high school, that got me started on the road to depression.
I’ve always been anxious. For as long as I, and my family, can remember. As a kid my family just thought I was shy, but it was painful. I couldn’t ask for my own to-go box at a restaurant until I was in high school. Every time I went somewhere new, or unfamiliar I got so sick to my stomach I thought I was going to vomit. I always thought that was normal, but as I got older and took some college classes I realized that being that anxious about things wasn’t normal. So, in addition to my depression, I have some serious anxiety issues.
After high school I moved to live with my dad and lived there for 4 years before moving back to live with my mom. I started going to school and did really well for a while. My sister had a baby in 2012 and she is an amazing little girl. Unfortunately for my schooling my sister and her boyfriend (the baby’s father) started having problems and I felt less and less comfortable leaving them home alone with the baby. Whether my fears were realistic or not I eventually dropped out of school because I was too afraid to leave for class if they were fighting, and they fought a lot. I promised myself I’d go back to school and get my degree once things settled, but life got in the way and 2 years later I’m starting up again as soon as January gets here and the new semester starts.
I’ve always been really good in school. It’s something I’ve always been really proud of. I feel like I’m an intelligent person and I feel like I’ve been wasting my brains doing nothing these last couple of years. I also regret not going to a 4 year college and getting my degree as soon as high school was over. But at the time I needed a break from school. Now, looking back, I feel like I missed out. I also feel like isolating myself by barely working and not going to school added to my depression. In moving to a new place pretty far away from everyone I knew meant I lost almost all of my friends from high school. And thanks to the internet and social media I had to watch them get closer and closer and forget about me.
On top of all the other little things that were adding up to my depression I was gaining weight. A significant amount of weight. Not so much that I’m morbidly obese but I’m overweight enough to be unhealthy and incredibly unhappy with my body. It’s something that I’m still working on and struggling with and not really able to cope with.
I know this is a lot, but please bare with me…..after all this is more about me writing all of this for my therapy than about me actually expecting anyone to read this.
As of now I live with and take care of my great-grandmother. She is 92 years old and was recently diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gehrigs Disease). I’ll go into what all of that means in another post. As horrible as this sounds, I’m essentially watching my grandmother die. I know she’s 92 years old and I know she’s in a sense suffering but she’s not ready to die and I’m not ready for her to die either. But it will happen, probably sometime in the next year and it’s something I am in no way capable of coping with right now.
As I mentioned before I’m starting up school again in January, due to my job it’ll be all online classes, but it’ll still be a step in the right direction. I’ll be working on an AA transfer degree in English because I really want to work on getting at least my bachelors, maybe even my masters someday. I’m not sure yet what I’ll do with my degree when I finally get it, but English is more my passion than anything else I’ve discovered. It has always been my favorite subject and the thing I was best at in school.
I’ve also recently starting going back to therapy. I’ll give a background of my therapy situation in another post but my first session went really well and I’m already scheduled for my next, have a plan for this month to work on an issue I have, and am scheduled to start a group therapy class on anxiety. One session and already there are lots of plans.
I think I’ll sign off for now as I’ve written approximately one thousand words which isn’t a lot for me to write, but is a lot for anyone to read. And eventually I’ll have to read it too. I’m going to work on another post or two later today since I have a lot to say and don’t want it all to be crammed into one post. Hopefully as the blog goes on my posts will get more creative and will look more interesting.