52 Weeks of Gratitude: Week Thirteen

This weeks topic is: A challenge you’ve overcome.

The biggest challenge I have ever overcome is my depression and anxiety. I have struggled with depression and anxiety since I was in middle school. I wasn’t diagnosed until I was in high school, and didn’t start medication until college.

That meant A LOT of years of trying to figure out what was wrong, thinking I was crazy, and just plain giving up.

Over eating, not eating…over sleeping, not sleeping…cutting, and even a suicide attempt, were all actions of my mind trying function and make its way though a tangled path of darkness.

My lowest point was in college when I turned to smoking weed, and dropped out of school. Weed was the perfect escape for me. I could feel nothing, yet everything at the same time. It allowed my brain to acknowledge there was a problem, but just as it was acknowledging it, the problem drifted away as the next thought approached. Smoking gave my mind and emotions a chance to slow down, and allowed my body to slow down and relax. I stopped cutting because being high gave me a different kind of control; For a little bit anyways.

After a few months of smoking, my anxiety became heightened. Anxiety attacks became panic attacks, and soon I could not emotionally function unless I was high. I hated it but did not know where else to go from there. For two years I was stuck in that rut.

After a turn of events, I ended up moving back to my hometown where pot wasn’t readily available. I went weeks with out smoking, and gained a little clarity on what I was doing to myself. I did not plan on being completely sober, but then a guy (My boyfriend now) told me he didn’t date girls that smoked. I could already feel he was a good guy, and that if I was going to go after him, I needed to be a good woman; That he deserved the best, so that’s what I was going to try and be. So I stopped altogether.

I started working harder at my new job, and got promoted to full time. I started doing online classes at the local community college. –I still didn’t trust myself to walk into a normal classroom with out a panic attack.– I finished 2 semesters online and then made the jump to a classroom. Suddenly options were opening up again. I had a few classes until I got my A.A. then I could transfer back to a 4-year university.

Fast forward to today, right now…. I’m sitting in the Starbucks on campus of a 4-year state college, working on my blog because I finished my homework. –Yes, I know I have other things to do, but hey I’m human!– I am back where I want to be with school, I only have 2 semesters left until I have my first bachelors.  I don’t smoke. I am off medications. I feel like I could take on the world now.

The last thing I am working on that has been affected by my anxiety is my weight. I have already talked about what I am doing Here and Here!

I am so proud of myself for overcoming depression, and I do feel I have actually overcome it. I still have rough days, but I am no longer turning to self-mutilation, or substance abuse to deal. I am keeping my chin and heart held high, and dealing with the speed bumps as they come.

5 years ago if you would have told me I would still be walking this earth today, I would have laughed at you. Now, I not only look forward to my future… I am excited about it.

Life is good.

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