Jessica W.

I never knew what depression or anxiety was until late high school(I am now 30). My first depressive episode was when I broke up with my high school boyfriend after a year together. Sounds pathetic i know but i was young. I was obviously sad for a long time, but from that time on things were just never right again. I became very self conscious and worried constantly what people thought of me. I thought I was never good enough, for friends, boys or my family. I lived the next few years pretty normal, I dated other guys and graduated high school.

I went to a community college my first year and that’s when I met my first “real” love. He was 2 years younger than me. Anyways I decided to transfer to a University after my first year of college. I was so excited to move into the dorms with my friend and start what i thought was “real” college. So I moved into the dorms and I was nervous of course. Well a few days after moving into the dorms I was sitting on my bed, literally looking at my boyfriend sitting at my desk chair, I blinked my eyes and my world changed. My thoughts started racing, I couldn’t get it all to stop. I felt like my head was going to explode. For the next few days I worried non stop about everything and most of all being alone physically and emotionally.

I went home to visit my parents and was sitting there and all of the sudden i couldn’t breathe, my heart was racing, I was hot and couldn’t calm down. My mom not thinking it was anything like anxiety called my dr thinking it was something with my respiratory system. Well the doctor said everything was fine with an EKG and everything and that she thought it was anxiety and depression. I was put on an anti depressant that day and have been on them ever since. so 12 years now.

The next few days were absolutely miserable. I was scared to death to be left alone, i couldn’t go to my classes, i didn’t want to leave my house and i couldn’t even sit in a room alone. Someone always had to be there or i would have horrible anxiety. It came down to me moving back home with my parents and just commuting to school. I noticed after that episode i started checking things more than just a double checking it would be 3 or more times. I would check my emergency brake in my car thinking i forgot to pull it up, i would check my hair straightener thinking i didn’t turn it off and would burn the house down. If i was counting something, after i was done counting, my head would still continue to count until i fixated on something else. I’d lay awake at night thinking of anything and everything, my mind just didn’t know how to shut off.

My main thoughts were that i didn’t really love my boyfriend i was with and it made me feel horrible. I’d sit around and think for hours and hours, do i love him or don’t i? if i really loved him i wouldn’t be thinking this and so on. This went on for a very long time. I eventually got attention from another guy and cheated on my boyfriend. The guilt was so bad i told my boyfriend everything and he forgave me. The only problem was it happened a few more times after that with more than 1 person. Each time my boyfriend forgave me. It was never that i didn’t love him or wanted to be with someone else, i just had been with him so long that attention from another guy was exciting. Its still no excuse. My boyfriend had to go to Japan for work for a week and i wouldn’t get to talk to him very much. I had cheated on him the night before and told him the next morning. And he said he didn’t know if he could be with me, he would think about it while he was away. That made me lose my mind. I was constantly anxious thinking he was going to come back and just not want to be with me anymore.

Everything i had known for the past 4 years would be gone over something that i could have stopped, it was all my fault i thought. I emailed him while he was away bothering him about staying with me and he was giving me vague answers so i freaked out even more and told him i couldn’t live anymore without him. He instantly found a way to call me because he was worried. A few times after that i had threatened my life to get him to stay with me. Finally in July of 2009 for some reason i told him i thought we needed time apart to figure out what both of us wanted. At this time i lived with him and his parents until i would move into my apartment in the next few months. The morning after i told him this, my anxiety got the best of me and i told him i regretted what i said and i wanted to be with him and to my surprise he finally said no i think this is what we need. I guess i was expecting him to take me back like had all the other times before that.

Anxiety hit full strength. I thought i was going to explode. I ended up writing him a letter on my computer, and told him via text that i couldn’t live anymore i just couldn’t handle it.  I then proceeded to take my bottle of xanax dump it in my hand and get in my car and try to drive to my parents other house 800 miles away. I stopped answering my phone and started swallowing a few pills every few minutes(in the end it was 26 pills i had swallowed) i stopped remembering bits of things as i drove. I ended up getting about 250 miles away before the police for that state pulled me over with guns in the air. My parents had called the police in our state to find me and they contacted the next state overs police. So i got out of my car, the police asked me what was going on and i told them. The officer asked me do you want to go to the hospital and i said yes.

I don’t remember the ride there but i remember being in the ER and having to drink charcoal to counteract the xanax i had swallowed before it killed me. They asked me if i would voluntarily commit myself for a few days or would they have to make me stay which would mean i would be there longer. so i volunteered. I decided pretty quickly that i didn’t want to stay after all because they told me originally 24 hours and then someone said 72 minimum so i freaked i tried to leave and the security guard tried to stop me and i was like um no i’m leaving get the hell out of my way. I ended up staying for 5 days. my parents visited everyday and i spoke to one of my friends on the phone and my aunts. no one else knew what was going on. Well it was time to go home and home meant going to my boyfriends and getting my stuff and moving out. I tried to get him to give me another chance but he said no this is whats best. The anxiety was so bad for the next few months i was scared to be alone again. I missed a lot of work. I drank a lot and did promiscuous things that i am not proud of. All to mask the pain i was going through.

Today i don’t think it was all the breakup that was causing the anxiety. I think it was also the fear of never finding someone else and never being good enough. Well I eventually got the anxiety under control after a few years. And years went on until just recently the end of last month. I woke up the day after my 30th birthday party with horrible anxiety that i hadn’t felt in over 5 or more years. Something was wrong i just knew it in my gut. Well i found out that day that my husband had cheated on me the night before. All i wanted to do was lay in my bed. I couldn’t get the anxiety to go away. It was much worse the time before i had found out. After i found out later that afternoon the anxiety felt different. I was scared of what to do, should i leave him should i give him another chance. Would he fight to keep me or would he walk away. Thoughts just raced on and on like before. I ended up having to go back on an anxiety medicine to take when i had attacks. And now i am back to worrying constantly and thinking the worst of everything. My world was turned upside down all over again.

Now a little more than 2 weeks later, i am here surviving living day by day constantly worried about what he is doing and who he is talking to. I want to question him constantly but i know i have to take control and just live my life and take on whatever is thrown my way. Some moments are better than others. And i don’t know if the anxiety will ever go away again, but i know i wont let it debilitate me again. I have a daughter i have to live for and take care of. I had a few years in between those 2 events where i had hope that there was a chance of living life free of anxiety or at least the severe attacks now i am not so sure again. I hope i make it out of this alive. But i know i am not alone and i have people to support me and push me to get better. There is hope. and when you think everyone would be better off without you around or wouldn’t miss you if you weren’t alive anymore, think again, someone wants you, someone needs you and someone out there lives for you. To me those people were my parents. People would tell me not to be selfish and commit suicide but as i thought about it i wasn’t being selfish i was doing what i thought i needed to do for me and me only for once in my life. I put me first for once. Luckily i got the help i needed. Every day is a struggle but i will get through it and so will you.

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