I feel very lucky that in hosting the Life is Sweet series that people feel comfortable enough to share their stories with me, and anyone who reads this blog. The feedback I've gotten from the series this year has been an incredible reminder that we are not alone. Thank you to Ashley for joining the writers this year and sharing her story.
Everywhere, in all things, and of course, sadness. For as long as I can remember, my world has always been tinged with an underlying layer of anger. Whether the anger was the catalyst for the sadness or the other way around, I’ll never be quite sure. One thing I do know is that my view of reality has always been a little skewed.
Despite the trouble it’s caused me, I’m convinced that this rage is what got me through my younger years. There were a whole host of issues I was dealing with. I’m part albino and I was classified as legally blind until the end of high-school with no help to be found from glasses or contacts. I was also diagnosed at the age of 10 with something called Tactile Defensiveness, a sensory disorder that caused me to be bothered by things that no one else would notice. I had a hard time making and keeping friends and became an easy target for bullies. I couldn’t wait to grow up and have a better life away from all my problems. Too bad I didn’t know that things wouldn’t necessarily get better just because I got older.
Over the years I slowly learned more about the various disorders that I was dealing with and that knowledge did help me but I was still sad and most of all underneath everything was the anger, the rage.
A little over a year ago I made the decision to try medication. This was a really hard decision for me. I’ve tried other things in the past, talking to a therapist, doing mental “exercises”, nothing seemed to help, in fact, they just seemed to make things worse. The biggest thing that held me back from taking medication was the fear that I would become a different person. Would I even still be “me”? That rageful undercurrent that accompanied everything I did was what propelled me through all the difficult time in my life. Who would I be without it?
It might not be for everyone and I must admit, the beginning was not easy but the overall effects have been more than worth it. Something I’ve come to realize is that you don’t know how bad you’re feeling until you don’t have to feel that way anymore.
The story doesn’t end there. I still have my low points, but before it was only down and lower down. A large part of this journey has been accepting that depression is a part of who I am but it doesn’t have to own me anymore.
Something else that held me back in my decision was knowing how some people perceive people with depression. It is my sincere hope that outlets like this blog and other initiatives will assist others to feel more comfortable with themselves and safe enough to seek the help that they need. As much as I am ok with the fact that I need medication there are still times that I find myself hesitating to admit the truth. “Are you taking any medications we should know about?”..Ummm…. I hope that very soon I can say yes without hesitating and wondering what that person will think.
Ashley is a 34 year old country loving girl trying to making a living in the city. She is an avid crafter, artist and writer who believes that the best is still yet to come.