Depression. Anxiety. Self-harm. Not knowing if you want to live or die. Afraid to speak up because people don’t understand.
This invisible illness is very real indeed. It may be invisible to the blind eye but to those who suffer with it or have family or friends that deal with it, it is a very visable and painful illness.
It’s hard for people who don’t suffer with it to understand why one doesn’t want to go out, why staying in bed all day is the most they can accomplish that day. Or for those who are able to get out and work, volunteer or leave the house for a period of time, that that can take everything out of you and you just want to stay home and rest and not socialize.
I was introduced to the horrifying world of depression, anxiety, and the constant need to self harm at the age of 14. I just recently turned 29. I have come so far and I am able to work part time again. But, what a lot of people don’t realize is that most of the time, the little bit I’m out living a “normal” life, it can take all the strength I can muster and when I go home, all I want to do is be at home away from the world and work on my self care so I can go out and do it again.
My anxiety took away my self confidence and I was seen as a target. I was bullied and teased all through out 8th grade into high school. I became very depressed and withdrawn.
I was told that I probably had this strange thing called “Borderline Personality Disorder” I had no clue what it was but quickly realized it had an ugly stigma attached to it, and being a teenager I could not be diagnosed or treated for it.
The next four years were ones of despair, self harm, and suicidal thoughts and attempts. I was so withdrawn. No one could possibly understand how messed up I felt inside. I didn’t even understand it myself.
My journey changed drastically when I turned 18. After my first real suicide attempt, I was forced to see a doctor. It was then I found hope for the first time. I met my NP, who to this day still monitors my meds, and she listened to my mom’s cries to help me. She started treating me for BPD, and referred me to a therapist (who I see today) that would be able to help me.
By the time, I was finally able to get the help I needed the damage had already been done and it would take years for me to become the person I am today.
I spent the next few years, being off and on my meds, in and out of psych wards for various suicide thoughts and attempts.
Things happened. I was sexually assaulred. (Found under MY STORY) and I started to turn my life around.
It has been one hell of a journey, but things have finally started to level off and I’m making so much progress.
Here I am out and about doing things I love. My job and my volunteer work. Underneath that bright smile and social butterfly attitude lives a young lady who sometimes still cannot get out of bed, is depressed, anxious, and feels very alone.
The good news is it’s not a life sentence. I used to think so, but I know that it has helped me become the lady I’m supposed to be. Yes, I’ll be on medication for the rest of my life and may never be able to work full time, but if I keep working on being the best Katie I can be, I’ll keep doing amazing things and hopefully inspire others along the way.
This is part of my story!