I believe I had my mood disorder all my life. When I was little, I knew I wanted to feel better. I was shy and socially awkward. As I look back I see the signs were there all along, I just didn’t know what they meant and nobody else did either.
When I hit puberty I had deep, deep depression. I wanted to hurt myself. I didn’t ever hurt myself. When people would say hello to me I would say hello back begging them on the inside to recognize that I was hurting.
As I got older, I had trouble with friendships, and middle school, like so many other girls, was a torture chamber for me.
The things that happened to me that hurt let me to believe there was something wrong and defective about me. I questioned my intelligence and my appearance.
I can remember one time looking in the mirror and thinking I looked like a monkey. Don’t laugh, it’s for real. It was like I had looked into the mirror for the first time.
I was abusive to my sister. Mean and cruel and physically abusive. She grew to loathe me and that continued into adulthood, and fortunately right now we have come to some peace about it I believe. But I look back now and think that the anger I felt was pain.
I was in a loving, nurturing environment, and I think that helped to mitigate the emotions I had.
I can remember trying very hard to not feel anything. Intentionally trying to stuff it down and make it go away,. Night after night. I tried to never cry. I wanted to be a tomboy, but i wasn’t. I knew that too, and that bothered me as well.
So, leaving the safety of home into the college environment was a huge eye-opener to me. I cried all the time. Then I started to drink.
And drink and drink and drink.
Until I couldn’t anymore.