In 2008 I had my first grand mal seizure. It was months of doctors and hospitals and medications before I was home with a relatively working brain (though I still don’t have my memories). The doctor’s final assessment: stress and anxiety had brought on the seizures and she thought I might be depressed. Childishly I replied, “Am not!”… then proceeded to break out into sobs in her office.
I was in my second year of university. My best friend was in a horrible relationship with her husband and was living with me instead of her husband and two baby girls, and I myself wasn’t in such a good relationship. It wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle though. I was fine. I was dealing. Or so I thought.
After the doctor made that statement, I did what anyone would do; I googled symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Wait, what? This is starting to sound like me. I had major insomnia, often not sleeping till 3-4 in the morning then waking up at 6:30 only to refuse to get out of bed. Interacting with people was frustrating and I was often snippy with them, and later felt guilty. I could never decide on what to do and antagonized over every decision, and if I failed at something two years ago I’d still be beating myself over the head about it.
The meds were supposed to help relieve this pressure, but I went from no one knows my feelings to “omg, are you okay, let me help” SMOTHERED and watched 24/7. The additional stress left me with panic attacks. I would go to my bathroom, lock the door, and fall flat on the floor in a sobbing mess. It wasn’t pretty and I couldn’t stop.
Finally I had my meds worked out, seizures under control (though I ended up having 2-3 migraines a week still), and back to work. Then, an old habit I had nearly forgotten about popped back up. When I was in Jr. High, I had a habit of scratching my arms or digging something sharp in my thighs when I was sad or frustrated. Wanting to know why the heck I was getting these impulses, back to google I went!
I always thought “self-harm” as cutting yourself with razors, but it’s not. Self-harm is just that; harming yourself in any way. And it’s very addicting, as strange as that may sound. I still find myself itching for a “fix” sometimes. I have a couple of friends who know about this problem. I still don’t know what I’d do if my family ever found out about it, and it’s still a daily battle.
To Write Love on Her Arms is a nonprofit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with deression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire, and invest directly into treatment and recovery.
AKF- Always Keep Fighting
Jared Padalecki hosts this represent campaign for TWLOHA by selling T-shirts. His story and the heart he has for it is amazing.
Kristin Brooks Hope Center
Since the suicide of his wife Kristin in April 1998, KBHC Founder Reese Butler has been on a personal crusade. His mission for the past 17 years has been to offer help and hope, and the option to live, to those in the deepest emotional pain.
Depression is treatable. Suicide is preventable. Join and support our suicide prevention efforts today!