Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Unfinished Notes

About a year ago, I was in the midst of a depressive episode that ended up lasting about a little more than a year. During that time I wrote a bunch of posts that I never really finished but didn't really want to publish after the fact because they were no longer relevant. But in honor of mental health month I might just publish the raw, unedited notes. You can read it if you want but it's mostly incoherent and unfinished thoughts. I don't know how much you'll get from it, but I thought it would be good to get them off of my chest. For me personally, it was astounding to read some of the things I wrote at the time, and I am so glad to have come such a long way from there. May contain some sensitive material so I'll put in a break.

The Depression Series (Old Drafts)

friends are great. best friends are greater. but i have this problem, where I'm not able to keep a best friend for more than about two years. i know its something wrong with me but i don't know how to fix it. i have serious trust issues, so it takes a while for me to be able to trust a person, but once i do, i trust them completely. i guess it gets a little overwhelming for them, so i actually have to tell myself that i need to give them some space, but i have a lot of stuff to share and i don't have anyone to tell it to but that one person because i just can't trust anyone else to think that I'm not weird. so after a while, things start falling apart, and then its like i don't even know that person anymore. off the top of my head i can think of at least 4 of these people that used to be my best friend, and now i don't even talk to them or see them at all anymore. its really frustrating for me and i feel really bad because i don't know if i should try to be friends with them again or just let them go.

so friend, you know who you are, and i hope you understand. we've gone through laughter and sadness and chaos and chem class and everything in between. i know i haven't been the nicest person, because i try but i can never be perfect. i'm socially awkward and i don't know how to interact with people. i just want to say that I'm sorry for being mopey and negative all the time. i'm working on it. i'm just going through a really rough patch right now and I'm just lost. and i'd like some help. but i understand if you've had enough. I'm fed up with myself too, but i don't know what to do about it. i don't think i can do anything about it right now. all i can do is hope you understand and that time will make things better. i swear inside of me theres still the happy person i once was. i just need to find it again.

What to do During a Mental Health Crisis

Hello lovely readers! I don't want to distress any of you, but this issue is something that I wanted to talk about for a variety of reasons.

Yesterday, I had a mental health crisis. I've struggled with depression and anxiety for a while now, and I've had similar panic attacks in the past, but this one was different somehow.

Anxiety is a feeling of being tense all of the time, the sensation of imminent doom, that something is about to attack at any second, even in a situation where logically one knows one is safe. General anxiety is a little different from panic attacks, as panic attacks come out of nowhere for almost no reason, whereas general anxiety is the result of constant stress, frustration, worry, and unease for whatever reason. In this case, I am apprehensive about upcoming college applications and the constant stress of parents (it's a little more severe than that, but I don't want to go in depth here).

Believe me, I've tried all the methods for combatting anxiety, but it really does little to help. For example, the common tip people try to give me is to "take deep breaths." Unfortunately, this doesn't really help, because during a period of heavy anxiety, the brain and body are in "fight or flight" mode, and the extra oxygen only serves to amplify this reaction, often culminating in a serious panic attack.

What I do find to be helpful in these circumstances is to chat (online, not in person, because sometimes talking in person is even more stress) and discuss all the things that aren't going well. If someone is chatting to you for help, it doesn't really help to talk about sunshine and rainbows and all the wonderful things in life, because for one, it's absolutely irrelevant. Also, in a way, it's saying, "Look, everything that you're going through right now is ridiculous and insignificant, because there's no way you can be sad when there are bunnies in the world." The worst thing to do is to trivialize the problem, because that can make

 understand that it's ok to

Sneaky Tricking

I am not happy. But I should be.

At least, according to society, I should be.

I am in the high school version of the corporate world. I am on a large speech and debate team, the equivalent of a large company. I have a high ranking position. I have a well run program. I am looking to climb up the ladder. I earn awards.

To be honest,

I am doing everything right, as far as I know. So what's wrong?

Sometimes I feel very bad for purposefully manipulating people to say nice things about me.

But what if I told you that maybe, perhaps, I actually needed to hear nice things said about me constantly, otherwise

I get that I have everything to be grateful for

The monster of depression is back, and it tells me I am worthless
but they just don't understand depression and I feel like I'm drowning as a result.

I used to be the best, somehow. But that was when I did everything right and never disobeyed anyone and I wasn't a person, I was a robot.

It's not seeking "attention," it's a cry for help.

I legitimately fear that I'll be messed up for the rest of my life. I don't know what to do.

Getting Help
catch 22 tell people = "less depressed"


i can't even keep up with my thoughts

Depression, Pressure, and Why I Haven’t Snapped (Yet)
Exploring tragedies of society through the eyes of a person surviving despite fear and depression; what is wrong and what can be done about it.
Warning: May contain material that is distressing and/or mildly graphic. Please read with discretion.

Look at me now, and you will see that I am not dangerous, I have not killed myself, and I haven't killed anyone else. Really, everything would seem normal. I live in an upper middle class family, earning decent grades in school, have friends, have life goals – yet, there is sometime seriously wrong with me. Three things actually. I was physically and mentally abused as a child, I have major depression, and every day I am living on the edge of exploding.

I'd like to take a dive today into some deeper, darker material, because I feel like it needs to be addressed. Not enough people talk about it, and as a result, not enough people take action. If you prefer to maintain an unblemished view of the world, I would strongly suggest that you do not continue reading. If you are willing to open up to see some of the things that are wrong with society and willing to do something about it, I plead of you to continue.

I've wanted to write this post for a long time, but I was not sure how to say address everything. Depression and suicidal behavior is such a vast, complicated, heavy matter that no one really understands, but nevertheless, I will do my best. I realize that very few people will ever read this, but I still want to write about it so I can get it off my chest, and so these thoughts can be here for me to reference later.

As a current survivor of depression who still fears a relapse at any time, the sudden recurrence of such topics as the Amanda Todd suicide (Youtube video), and the Santa Barbara massacre (news article) have left me questioning bullying, depression, violence, and the part society plays in these tragedies. Initially, I was only really bothered by the opening of the news article, which reads, "Before he exacted his revenge." Let it be clear that there was no "revenge" involved; what the perpetrator committed was purely cold-blooded murder which I do not condone in any way. However, that should be no reason to disregard the factors, both short term and long term, that contributed to the end result of the unnecessary loss of innocent lives.

A Child's Account of Child Abuse (I Am A Victim of Child Abuse)
I have never discussed the complete extent of my childhood trauma with anyone. I still am not entirely comfortable sharing this information, but as a more confident person who is aware of the resources available, I am willing to take the risk.

I will be straight to the point with the physical abuse. My mother owned a variety of sticks. Most of them were innocent bamboo backscratchers lying around the house, that could pack a punch on an unsuspecting bottom, back, or hand when used with the flat backside. Another one that came later was a thick rod, cleverly covered with fringed material so it wouldn't leave a bruise, but hurt viciously  nonetheless. Any minor disobedience would merit a few sharp thwacks, to be endured silently, until the dissatisfactory behavior stopped. Any crying or noise would result in more hits, until I could hold my breath and tears long enough so that the silence was acceptable. I distinctly remember an incident when I was seven years old, just about two weeks into learning piano, when she was so angry with me because I did not understand a concept in music theory. I screamed and cried as the backscratcher came down relentlessly on my back and my hands, until they were on fire, and then they were numb. One whack landed sideways on the piano bench as I tried to hide my hands under my legs, and the dent (which is no small dent) is still in that bench to this day.

There is a very obvious line between discipline and abuse, and I define it as this: discipline is when the recipient is aware of what the punishment is about, while abuse is when there is no clear reason why the violence is being inflicted, other than the general idea that the perpetrator is angry. During this incidence of abuse, the image that I saw of the bright light coming though the window, reflecting off of the yellowish green wallpaper, and through my blurry tear filled eyes as I wailed towards the ceiling is an image I will never forget. It reminds me of the only thoughts going through my mind at that moment, "Why is she hitting me? Why won't she explain the concept? Why won't she tell me why my answer is wrong?" It was not until I ignorantly repeated the right answer and continued with the lesson that the violence stopped. I still did not understand the concept, until years later when I finally learned music theory out of a textbook.

On a scale from one to ten on the severity of the punishment, ten being the most severe, I would rate that incident as a four. "Major disobedience" under my mother's standards, would merit worse beatings, ones that I would rate around a seven or eight. I remember very few details about those events, because mostly, those memories are repressed. Brains tend to do that sometimes. I don't remember what the incidences were about, but I do remember at least once being shoved onto the floor of a small, dark bathroom, and then being beaten until I was asked the question, "Do you know why you're being punished?" Initially, I would answer, "No," because I did not understand why. This answer would result in about five more hits, and then I would be left in the dark for an indefinite amount of time, until she came back and asked again. Answering "no" would result in another couple of hits and another period of darkness. I quickly figured out that I should respond with something along the lines of, "Because I lied. Because I was being ungrateful. Because I was being selfish." These answers were the magical correct answers, and upon uttering them, I would be allowed to exit the bathroom and continue working on my homework.

As I grew older and a little bit stronger, I was able to turn the bathroom from a place of punishment to a place of refuge. If I moved quickly enough, I would be able to close and lock the door and hold the lock in place so it couldn't be picked from the other side. Eventually I would come out with a promise of no more hitting to eat dinner or finish homework if it was a weekday, but once I stayed in until three A.M., awake and tense because I feared they would bust in the door at any second. I slept downstairs on the futon for the rest of that night, afraid that the creaky stairs would alert them of my attempt to return to my bed, a luxury that I didn't deserve. Even to this day, I have a "strange" affinity towards bathrooms and other rooms with doors that lock on the inside, a "weird personality trait" that my mother doesn't understand.

Yet no locked doors can shield me The tortured screams of other victims, my siblings

semi enclosed area such as the carAny attempts to aid the victim were also met with a few hard whacks. This has left me with serious trust issues and self esteem problems that are not aided by the fact that I am still mentally abused. For the most part, I am no longer physically abused because I am strong enough to fight back. There simply isn’t enough support for children. I have been to countless assemblies over the years, discussing how not to be a bully and how to avoid bullies at school, but never once have I been told that if I am suffering abuse at home, I should find someone to help me. 
That I would be safe, would be placed under protection, have my claim fairly and thoroughly investigated with no precedence on the word of the adult.
I have not cried in pain since that day.

Vacation in Canada trying to sit up but so dizzy that i could not

Sexually abused people, what they’re just harmless, oh these poor victims, they need our help (but let’s shun them in society too) But depressed, abused people, oh no, if they don’t get help soon, there’s a high chance that they’re going to turn violent, so let’s just keep ignoring them.

The thought that I would have to deliver those notes to those people killed those

incredible self control and strong conscience

To those who think someone saying "I want to kill myself" is a plea for attnIt most definitely is a plea for attention, for help, and should be taken seriously and be addressed in the
Taunting people by saying, "Oh you're not going to do it anyway," is seriously distressing

I did not understand it before but I understand it now, that my mother probably has a severe mental illness as well. I wish she would get help, but she refuses to acknowledge that there is anything wrong with her, and she is too selfish to realize that I am trying to help.

I am a survivor of Depression
every person that lives to tell the tale is an example that others can follow to lead them out of the world of darkness
I am struggling to stay alive
Look at me now, and you will see that I am not dangerous (yet), I have not killed myself (yet), and I haven’t killed anyone else (yet). Hopefully it can stay that way.

This is my story, and I know that I am far from being the most abused and neglected child. But suffering should not be a competition. Every injustice is weighted equally

I was bitter and sarcstic and took it out on my friends. Luckily at that age, everyone is sarcastic, so the effect was not as bad, but i was never really popular. im nice now because thats who i want to be as a person

To my friends that may understand me better now, please don't treat me any differently than you have been. You are all wonderful people and I value your friendship and time more than anything in the world. I prefer to be happy whenever I am able, to make up for the times that I am not able. I am who I am now despite my past, not because of it. To the people who have suffered similarly, know that no matter how atrocious the present is, live for the promise that it will eventually get better, and that you have the power to do something about it and change the view of society. Writing this in a way helped me make peace with my past, and understand some of the reasons why I feel the way I do sometimes, It's a secret that I've been carrying for way too long, and it is unhealthy to pretend that everything is fine when it really is not.

I began writing this on June 24, 2014

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