An all Time Low: the Biggest Wake up Call

It seemed as though doing the simplest tasks required so much energy. Waking up in the morning, running errands, spending time with my family. Everything required too much work for me. The only thing I wanted to do was lay in bed with my curtains closed and remain in isolation from everyone. When I imagined coming home for summer vacation, all I wanted to do was relax and spend time with my family. To me, that was my ideal summer. Little did I know, what I envisioned was not going to be my reality. 

In the beginning, I started to notice that something was off about how I was feeling. I attributed these feelings to just being bad moods and angry outbursts because of the transition back home, but it was more than that. 

It was a lot to go from living alone and doing as I pleased in college, to living in a house with four other people. My daily routines had to change, just as family’s had to as well. They adjusted to life without me, and vice versa. I was trying to be mindful of their transition but felt as though no one was considering mine. It was difficult for me to communicate that, so instead I just retreated to isolation. I found myself spending countless hours locked in my room, trying to stay out of everyone’s way. My feelings consumed me and when I was put in situations where I had to interact with other people, it showed. 

 

 

When I left for college, I took the opportunity to look at it as a fresh start, and I neglected all of the pressing issues in relationships I developed with people in my hometown. I went to college and changed, and the people I used to interact with, didn’t understand that so naturally, I fell back into old habits. I found myself making the same mistakes over and over again and I felt like all the progress I made while I was gone had been erased. Hanging by a thread, I finally reached my breaking point. I was so disappointed in myself that it devoured me. 

I was not happy, and this was not the summer I envisioned. I spent almost all of my time in my room alone, and slowly my communication with friends, siblings, and even my parents lessened. Getting up in the morning to go to the gym, make breakfast, taking a shower and even going to church was an uphill battle. I turned down every attempt my siblings made to spend time with me. Physically, it was getting hard for me to go out in public without crying on my way out the door. I was struggling with depression, and I couldn’t find the words to tell anybody what I was going through. 

Within one month of me being at home, all I could feel was sadness. My body felt weak, I felt unwanted, and interacting with other people became a daunting task for me. I found myself waking up every morning with my eyes filled with tears, and those tears flowed throughout the day. Eventually, everything I was feeling emotionally took a physical toll. I tried to search for a feeling other than sadness in whatever I could find, and it seemed as though nothing worked. 

Whether I spent hours watching Netflix, lying in bed all day, or suffering through social interaction, I always wound up sad and exhausted. It wasn’t until I almost gave away my body in which is the most sacred, valuable, and precious gift I have, to a toxic, individual, did I realize that I hit rock bottom. I was self-destructing, and I couldn’t find the energy or motivation to breathe. Everyone around me started losing faith in me, and I couldn’t blame them. At that point, I had lost all hope in myself too. As time went on, I became okay with not getting better, and with living in isolation, sadness, and anger forever.

 

 

There was no denying my depression, and I couldn’t hide what I was going through anymore. My sisters started distancing themselves from me, my best friend was done having sympathy for my destructive behavior, and I could feel myself being swallowed by the pain I was feeling on a day to day basis. I found myself thinking that nobody understood what I was going through. I felt as though everyone was at fault but me. At this point, I had bottled up all of my emotions, and I started projecting them onto everyone around me. 

The path I was headed down was lonely and dark. There were so many things I wanted to accomplish this summer, but the struggle of depression took over. All of the growth I felt as though I had achieved disappeared, which put me back at square one. It was that realization that pushed me to think deeper. The only person stunting my growth was myself. 

Getting to rock bottom was the biggest wake up call I could’ve asked for. My friends and family sharing that tough love with me was something that I needed to take me off the destructive path I was headed down. Although I’m not in the same place I was a month ago, there are still a lot of active steps I need to take in order to get better. 

I’m sharing my story not only as a form of release for myself, but also to help other people who may be struggling with depression. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to deal with, and there have been days where I felt as though I wasn’t strong enough to get through it. Through it all, though, the most important thing I needed to learn was that everyday is different, and no act of progress is too small. 

 

To anyone struggling with depression, it doesn’t have to be something that defines who you are. Embrace your process of getting through it. Depression isn’t the end of my story, and it doesn’t have to be yours either. You will get through it, but the first step starts with you and you only. You can do this.   

Xoxo, 

Elizabeth 

 

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