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Old 05-16-2005, 01:09 AM   #1
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SteveJames HB User
Just Hope Please, My Only Message

Hey everyone,

This is my first, and maybe even my last, post. No, don't worry, that wasn't hinting at dying or anything - I just hate making posts on anything, afraid of what people will say sometimes. Plus, well, I guess that goes with my "symptoms" as well, hehe. I have only been on this board a month or so, and only registered a few days, but firstmost I just hope to every God, Gods, if not God then your family, whatever you trust in, even if nothing, I hope you are doing OK. Hours a day I come on here and just read and read. I have probably read your posts if you have been here awhile, and even though some made me have to just put my head down so I wouldn't have to use the "my contacts are trucked up" excuse for my roommates incase they catch me getting, uhm, emotional.

I really don't know what to do now. I could just tell you my meds and symptoms, like usual, so I don't have to bore you with my story, which isn't exactly Braveheart or anything. But if I did that it would not be fair to myself or to this board - and hell, this is probably my last post, so I will try to do a Cliffnotes kind of thing. If you get bored reading it, you can click out (I will never know!) or at least skip to the end - looking at my medicines is pretty cool, I think its about the only thing I am proud of these days

I grew up normal. A white kid, 2 arms, 2 legs, pretty upper middle class family, but my parents are really great, not snobs at all. I have one sister. I was always shy as anything, used to love drawing, making my own books, boardgames, even action figures. My dream was to be an animator, like Walt Disney, because I actually thought he drew all his cartoons, hehe.

I was always real nervous though, not a lot, but around 3rd or 4th grade it really started showing. I got more nervous around people. Sometimes if I said a sentence to someone, I would sorta ghost-whisper it again afterwards, like I was checking what I said. I began to worry about things more, and my parents started emphasizing grades in school. My sister was Valedictorian 7 years older, and there was this unspoken but palpable duty that I had to at least do the same. I tried some sports, like soccer, basketball, you name it, but man I sucked. Let's just say the Terrell Owens gene did not run in my family. I was about as athletic as a cardboard box, and I started worrying more. Soon I had trouble sleeping, and by 5th grade I was worried about even spending the night anywhere away from home, first because of my sleeping problem, then later I just feared going anywhere for a long time entirely.

By 6th grade I think I experienced depression for the first time. Middle school - nuff said. My friends werent the same, I was a nerd, at least I thought so, because my parents had me getting straight A's at gunpoint it seemed. Problem was, it took me forever to do my homework, so I would just come home from school, sit infront of the TV, and try to do work for hours. I got sad, and down on myself, felt like doing nothing - before I knew it, any hobbies I used to do had completely disappeared. My parents and I just thought it was normal rough puberty time, and I was growing up. But I found myself holding a razor to myself in the bathroom near the end of 8th grade.

It's funny, they kept telling me about Herpes and whatever in Sex Ed., but nobody ever told me anything about Depression, Anxiety, ADD, I guess that would unnatural and taboo, right? hehe. Well in high school it was the same, I had some good friends, but man, sometimes I felt like I was wearing a mask. I was never fake, as in being a fake person - I was fake as in faking that I was happy. Ughh, talk about wear and tear. By 11th grade the same. I would obsess about things. For instance, I would always have a girl I would obsess about, always. And if she failed to look at me just one normal afternoon in the hallway, that could ruin 3 days of mine. I would get so down, cry, even suicidal again. I thought no girls would like me, and if I even did date them, I worried about how they would break up with me. Key words - hurt, scared, worry, obsess, and way below even a growing anger.

Finally the beginning of 12th grade, I locked the bathroom door and took the razor blade and looked in the mirror. I said out loud, I still remember it, "Look at me. You are miserable, I don't know what the hell is going on, but your life is unbearable. So change it, one way or the other. Either kill yourself now, or change. How do you change? Face your fears. The worst thing that could happen is that you die, and you will die in the end - why not do it facing everything and everyone you fear, rather than just end it here? There is nothing to lose."

My motto was "the more you don't want to do something, do it." I started small - I stopped combing my hair. I pretended I was already dead, that I had nothing to lose - and I'll be damned if it did not work at first. Soon I was friends with people that before I would not even dare say hello to. I moved up to riding on rollercoasters, I tried to paint again (but it took me forever still). By just the end of high school, I was riding high.

Now I went to college. I had mastered my fear of people, or so I thought. I made millions of friends. I hate saying that, because it sounds so exagerrated, but my god I do not brag much, I hate it in fact, but I swear to you everyone on the campus knew me. By now I was drinking, smoking, going to parties, I even kissed a girl, had a girlfriend for the first time. In a matter of a year and a half my plan was working.

But underneath it was not working as nicely. I would call my parents bawling sometimes. The work at school took me forever, and I hated living with a roommate, I could not sleep. People started joining fraternities, it was a nightmare for me. I was supposedly "the man", but everyone was surprised when I did not want to join a frat like others. That summer I came home and I was in pain - something was still missing. "I suck *** at sports, never in shape, embrassed about my looks" - that had to be it. I worked out like a horse, allll summer, I put what I used to put into schoolwork into working out, running, you name it. By the end of summer I looked the best I had ever looked, but I still had problems.

"The more you don't want to do something, do it" - I joined a fraternity. A guy who never drank until college, a nerd, a boy who still clenches up and fears looking anyone in the eyes when talking, in a fraternity. Either great stunt I had pulled, or slowest suicide I had just signed up for. Somehow I survived. Life was hell - my excuse was the pledging. Then I got a serious girlfriend, but I was still in hell - my excuse was having Mono. Then I was voted "Mr. Wake Forest" - hell. It was everything. Right? I had everything I thought was missing in my life. Now I had the looks and health, a great girlfriend, millions of friends, I forced myself into hobbies again, and to top it all off, I still had a great GPA. What was wrong? - oh, only one thing - That summer, I was in the bathroom with tears again thinking of suicide.

I was desperate. What was the last thing I could do, that I would never do? I got so homesick, never slept well, hated change, scared of people, etc etc. I knew it - I went abroad to Japan by myself (I didnt even know how to use chopsticks, much less speak Japanese). That is the last piece in the puzzle, I knew it.

When I got to Nagoya (where I stayed) it was great at first, the first 2 days. Then it was overwhelming. I had no friends. I could not talk to anyone. Just finding a toilet seemed like an episode of Indiana Jones. I was in my room crying again, a pitiful crying 20 year old. Then my girlfriend, the serious one, called me to tell me she had "hooked up" with another guy. OK, this is getting dangerous now, knees wobbling. Then unsuspectedly, someone rushed to my door, telling me something about America and New York. Moments earlier, on the other of the world, two planes had smashed into the World Trade Center, another into the Pentagon. On September 11, 2001, so many lives were changed, I still feel for everyone, as sappy as it sounds, its true. But that day, I knew I had a real problem, not something to be trifled with only by cute cliches or morale boosting self-egotism. I had no idea what was to come. All I knew was I had to survive in Japan and just make it home.

(cont. next thread)

 
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Old 05-16-2005, 01:10 AM   #2
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SteveJames HB User
Re: Just Hope Please, My Only Message

(cont.)

I should pat myself on the back, I got back from Japan, and I made it all the way until April before my mom had to come get me and give me medical leave. I thought I would return in August. I was right - just not August of 2002.

I was diagnosed with depression, maybe bipolar, they did not know. Prozac was my first little drug, and I thought it was going to work like a tylenol. I remember getting so down after trying my 3rd medication and not having it work. It was so hard to get appointments, it was like a lottery. I went through so many drugs. I could not talk to some people about my problem, some still never knew why I disappeared. Some acted as if I was poisonous after I told them. But my parents still stood by, and it also showed which of my friends were true to me - Some I expected, some I never would have dreamed. I had to learn that just because a person turns their back on me and seems to run away, its not because they are bad or not as good, they could be great people - it was most likely because they did not understand, maybe just as scared as I would be. Man, it took me awhile to accept that, I still have trouble.

No medications worked, I went through tons, 2 at a time, sometimes combos of 3. I would have side effects, sometimes my depression would come and go (why they thought I had bipolar) but something was always there, and the depression always came back. By now it was August 2003, and I began to try to drink my troubles away. Soon I was going through at least a handle every day or so, I am not trying to endorse it, but as terrible as it made me, I think it may have saved my life some days. A lot of times I could never even move from the couch, I would never change clothes, cry, every minute seemed like a stretch of an era. I got hospitalized twice, we were desperate.

With not many more ideas, the doctors and my parents and I agreed we would try ECT. I was too depressed to care to be scared of it - they told me it might effect or cause me to lose some of my short term memory - haha! I said Jesus, then I'll let you do that even if it doesn't cure me. But it was not bad at all, in fact it was nothing. Going to the dentist is worse sometimes, and I actually looked forward to the sleep medicine they give you before the procedure. Now THAT's some great stuff. With a combo of my meds and great doctors, and plus an amazing counselor who just helped me stay in the fight, I lost some of my depression went back to school in August of 2004.

Bad news is, now here I am. A month ago I had to drop all my classes again, the anxiety and depression roared back. Good news is, my doctor here in Winston-Salem is the best I have ever had, and he was the first to really think this disorder might be more than just simple depression. I tried some anxiety and ADD drugs the past month or two, and for the first time, I feel like someone hit the nail on the head - I almost had a normal week, where I could call a friend, wash my clothes, even just go out to eat lunch without fighting sadness or fear - for the first time in over a decade. I am not too good currently, but things are looking up. I am on 6 medicines currently - yeah, I know, but don't worry I am a veteran now I hope - Lithium, Xanax, Clomipramine, Adderall, Celexa, and Inderal. If we can finally sort things out after this breakthrough, the doctor is going to begin dropping the medicines that are not effective.

I hope this is not a bad story, I was just wanting to finally tell it to someone, sorry for being so long. I do not know what disorder I have, you know, I don't really care anymore about the names of it, only that I can fight it and win. I did not know what board to put this under, but I just felt more close to depression.

I hope on everything whoever reads this message, if you are feeling pain or down, I know I can't be there in person, and I don't know who you are, but if there is a God, I am praying for you right now. If there isn't, well, I am still praying for you. And don't feel bad, I used to always hear people who went through tough times say "But yeah man, I never gave up". Thats great if it works for them. But me, wow, I gave up so many times. I am anything but that kind of role model. But I also got up so many times, including even tonight. I don't want to hear more medicines I should try, more behavior therapy, or any diagnosis, new treatments. Mainly all I want to do is tell the people on this board I am there for you. I know I said I would not post again, but that does not mean I will not read what you write, and I will be thinking of you. And who knows, maybe I will get over my fear and post again. I don't know what any of you are going through, it's impossible, it's each your own fight. But what I do know is this - it seems that it is its own hell for anyone, and I honor anyone who fights or helps others with this disorder.

To finally sum it up, I just wanted somebody to please give me hope. It is rough today, but hell, there have been worse, right? Its just you guys handle everyone so well, I wish I could, maybe selfish or stupid for me to say, have someone hope for me, or just tell me they are there for me. I was never raised very religiously, but I am proud to be who I am - but man, I guess this is where religion can really come in handy for many people, hehe! So instead of going to my pastor, priest, shaman, mosque, I went online tonight to ask for hope, and to say I really do hope so much for whoever reads this, if anyone. Thank you so much, I will keep hoping for all of you.

 
Old 05-17-2005, 07:22 PM   #3
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emmy27 HB User
Re: Just Hope Please, My Only Message

Hey,
I actually read your other post first. Intrigued to read more about your story, I conquered the two pages and am thankful for being invited into that little window of your life. Perhaps I should first give you a little bit of my background. Where to begin .... well, I come from a divorced family. Both parents were on again off again alcoholics, but overall good parents. I probably have some type of repressed feelings about all this, but there still repressed so I don't know what they are. I have a close relationship with both parents today, and that's the way I like it. I remember little things that just weren't right about my childhood, like everytime we went to a social gathering I would either beat my legs literally until they were black and blue, or cut myself with anything sharp enough to puncture my skin, leaving little scratch lines of dried blood all over my thighs. Everytime my dad threw a birthday party for me I would hide and cry for hours because I hated all of the attention everyone gave me. I never felt good enough, or that I was worth all of the attention. As I got older I'd spend hours alone drawing or writing in my journal, which I would tear up whenever I read because I hated the person who wrote those words, only a stupid person would think such a way I'd tell myself and cry and cry and cry. In highschool I started doing this really weird meditating thing. One day after crying so much, I sat in front of the mirror and just stared at myself until my face became distorted and unrecognizable. I'd cry, mediate and then pass out on my bedroom floor, because when you sleep you dream, and dreams were better than any reality I knew. I'd make up seperate lives in my head and pretend I was actually living them in my dreams. In high school I just acted and did anything not to feel. I slept around, believing the attention was more than what it was, I experimented with drugs to numb myself of reality, I got into trouble to make me feel alive and rebellious, but really, I was lost. I've been living with my boyfriend now for almost 3 years, we've been together for 6. We bought a townhouse together, we have a dog, I have a good job, I work out, I have a loving and supportive family that I talk to several times a day, I have a few really close friends that love and support me, I'm not in any kind of debt or struggling for money, my boyfriend loves me, all in all I have a pretty good life. However, since we've had the house I've watched myself deteriorate. I started spending more time in bed, less time going out, stopped going to the gym, became increasingly paranoid and guilty for no reason, lost interest in everything, plus I finally came to the realization that I do in fact have an eating disorder, something I denied myself for so long. I finally realized that there was something wrong with me, so I went to a doctor .... oops, I have to go, gonna have to finnish up tomorrow, sorry. to be continued ...

 
Old 05-17-2005, 08:29 PM   #4
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ambitious HB User
Re: Just Hope Please, My Only Message

Very good story and well written too. I also read your other post first and I had posted there. After reading your story, I would have to say compared to me, you have been a luckier person! haha. Don't know if this helps at all or not. Well, I can related to you on everything except for becoming popular in college and getting good grades. I had to work many more hours than other people, similar to you, but I still got grades all over the board from As to Cs. I think I too have ADD.

I have a handful of friends that I am close to but I definitely don't have hundreds of friends or know hundreds of people like the more "popular" people do. Maybe that's just my style. I'm 21 and I've never had a gf. It's kinda of sad. I'm not bad looking at all but I never did try to put myself out there or try to look for one even though I would like one sometimes. I am shy and kind of have anxiety problems when meeting girls I find attractive.

From your story, it sounds like you got depressed because you were pressured into doing things you do not want to do such as joining a frat because everyone expected you to. Maybe that is causing you to not be happy?

I hope what I said have helped you and give you hope. From what you have said I think that as long as you know that you can fight it and win, that is a very good attitude and good things will come out of it.

 
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