Depression and I: By Kierstyn King
HA note: The following is reprinted with permission from Kierstyn King’s blog Bridging the Gap. It was originally published on July 16, 2013. This is the first of Kierstyn’s three-part series on mental health. Read Part Two here and Part Three here.
Trigger warning: suicidal thoughts.
I’m going to be doing a series of posts about depression (my depression). I could do one long post but it’d be a small book…
I’ve struggled with depression since puberty. That’s about as far back as I remember anyway. At the time, I had no words for what I was feeling/going through, my parents dismissed it as “adolescence.” I thought it was normal — normal to hate myself as viscerally as I did and continued to (on new deeper levels as time went on), to completely shut down my emotions and stop feeling, to live in a constant state of melancholy and numbness.
I didn’t understand mood swings because I didn’t have any moods to swing from.
I alternated between meh and grumpy-meh. Nothing moved me, nothing made me cry. As time passed and I went through more changes, I began to loathe myself more, I began to believe that I was worthless, didn’t deserve to be human or treated as a person or with respect.
I was nothing more than a tool in my parents toolbox — a tool that would never please its operator.
When I started my period, and I was “fully a woman,” I added shame to my already hated existence. I hated that [bleeding/fertility] about myself — more biology that I couldn’t fix. Biology that would haunt me forever, end my life as I knew it [because children, eventually] — the debilitation (after I moved out and was no longer running on adrenaline) added so much negative to my already non-existent body image, and self worth.
I would lie in bed for a week, and just fantasize about plunging steak knives into my uterus and ripping it out.
When I was 17, I was borderline suicidal for 6 months.
I thought death would be better than continuing my existence at home — my shameful, guilt ridden, broken, worthless existence. Because of friends (and knowing that killing myself would defeat the purpose of my impending escape) I managed to stay away from self harm, and ultimately, suicide. I had a gun (16th birthday present), I knew where it was, I would imagine using it.
But I never took it out, I never tried anything, I just liked the thought.
To be continued.