How I beat back depression and put my life back on track.

This time last year, things weren’t going well for me. Infact, you could probably say that I hit rock bottom, and you’d be along the right track. At the time, I was having some massive issues with my ex girlfriend, as she was becoming incredibly distant, and forcing herself to move far away from me so she could transition towards this new guy guilt free. At the time, I was pretty blind to what was happening. We’d been together for quite a long time at this point, and I loved her a lot. Despite what was happening, I couldn’t accept the fact that she was intentionally pushing me away for whatever reason. As she never really gave me closure, anything I write is inherently conjecture, but I’ll do my best to assume what was going on by following leaps of logic to what I can imagine would be their logical conclusions. Before I do that, I’ll try to illuminate how things got so bad, with a history as it were. At least of a few things that seem relevant.

 

When I was in school, I had a pretty good time, despite the fact I was part of a crew that would probably be called nerds. But whatever, weren’t you aswell? I never found myself getting intimate or close to anyone because I was too busy playing computer games or something. When I got to college, things got a lot better for me. I was a lot more confident, made a lot of great friends, and all in all had a great time. I had a really great friend called Lauren, who, looking back, I probably really had the hots for her. She was alternative, attractive, and was a confidant when I needed one the most. She had a boyfriend but near the end, was very unhappy with him. Like all teens my age, I wasn’t confident to do anything and let it go. I left college, and abandoned all my friends there because I couldn’t be bothered with them anymore. Exactly the same as High School really. I kept touch with 1/2 friends from either, because I couldn’t really give a shit about the rest. Call me fickle or shallow, but I just wasn’t interested. One of them lives in Canada now. He’s a great guy.

 

After this, I found myself on the inevitable past towards University, as was pretty standard for a middle class white kid. I went there, and that’s when things got pretty bad. For the most part, I enjoyed it. I lived with some great people, one of whom became a pretty close friend, but halfway through the year, things snowballed out of control pretty quickly. I don’t know exactly what happened, but I do remember it was around the release of Mass Effect for the Xbox360. It’s not relevant to the events, but I remember it vividly somehow. Anyway, I kind of…snapped. I had a weird breakdown where I became incredibly recessive and found it incredibly hard to leave my flat. I was very nervous about going out, and I became incredibly paranoid about a lot of things. Insomnia developed, anxiety kicked in, and things escalated very fast. It came to a crescendo when I was taking my anti psychotic medication (Haloperidol) and I overdosed on them. I lost my sight and had to call myself an ambulance after collapsing in the street. Being that I lived in a city called Manchester in the UK, a very big student city, people thought I was just tripping balls or something, and nobody helped me. I dragged myself into an alley, called myself an ambulance, and got taken to, had my system flushed, and it turned out that I was overprescribed by a factor of about 5/10 times the strength I should have been on. I never took medication from that day on, and still refuse to.

But after that “episode”, I had to move back home. I subsequently failed the year at University, despite telling my folks that I goofed on one module, so I had to retake the year, I couldn’t bare the shame of telling them I had to drop out due to anxiety and depression, so I lied, got back to Uni the year after, and completely aced my degree to a ridiculous level. It was in my final year that I met my girlfriend I mentioned earlier, and where I’ll get back to my original point now there’s some context.

 

We were very close during our relationship. We lived together for a long time, loved each other, all the main bits from a loving relationship. What happened with her to make her break up with me is something I guess I’ll never know. All I do know is this:

-She met some guy on her course that she became friends with

-He confessed to her one day and asked her out, but she told him she had a boyfriend and was very upset about it. She sat me down, told me about what had happened, and in a very adult way, explained how she saw him as nothing but a friend, and if he was happy, so was she. Things were fine.

-They began to talk more and more. She’d be texting him a lot on the phone, and always hiding things when I was asking. She still claimed that he was nothing more than this guy she knew, and I was ok with it.

-One night her mother called her out on it, and she broke down in tears. She said she’d never do anything to hurt me like that, and how she wanted to spend her life with me. I felt happy knowing that everything seemed to be alright.

-She became more and more isolated and she started to change. She became very quiet, and stopped talking to me really.

-One day as we I was going into University with her, she looked very upset, but angry on the train in. We got to the train station, she pulled me aside, and said that she had to break up with me. It isn’t hyperbole when I say that I cant remember much of it because it shocked me so much, but I probably ended up begging, and I know I cried. I do remember her saying that “She just wasn’t happy in our relationship anymore” and that it was just something she had to do to preserve her own happiness. Like that, everything we’d shared together just kind of ended. A lot of things died that day, and I was naturally very upset.

The next month or so I remember being an incredible haze. I managed to get by with some of the best friends I could have asked for, but I didn’t get out of things without taking some serious losses. I developed incredibly self destructive behaviour, and relapsed back into a state of perpetual insomnia which unfortunately pervades to the time of this writing. I lost about 90% of my friends, as I lashed out at anyone who tried to help me, or just didn’t wanna deal with the outside world. Work was a chore, and everything passed in a sea of grey and faces. My volunteer work as a teaching assistant kept me relatively sane, thankfully. The kids were very good, and their innocence kind of helped me out a lot and got me through a lot of rough times. Between that, and a few great friends, I weathered the storm of the first 6 months or so.

Over time, I managed to learn to live with what had happened, as the breakup hit me in a very surreal way, looking back. What exactly was it that made me so bad post relationship? Was it my past of potential depression? Did I get too invested in her to the point where I let things elsewhere slide? I’m not sure.

But let me get to the main point of writing this entire thing: I got over it, and so can you!

Yeah, I was incredibly upset about the whole thing, but once I came to the conclusion that it was over and wasn’t changing, I managed to make my peace with it. A close friend told me something that stuck with me, even now:

“Before you met her, you didn’t even know she existed. Now that she’s gone, think about the next one that’s out there. You don’t even know she exists either, but she’s out there, and you’ll have better experiences”

It really stuck with me in a meaningful way. The fact that things that are completely out of my control…are just that. No man can determine his own future, in so much as he can prepare for all eventualities. Sometimes you just need to kind of take a deep breath, re-assess your life, and…move on.

And look at me now. I’ve been accepted to a very good university to do my Post Graduate degree in Teaching 7-11 year olds in the next 5 months, and after that, I’ve made the plans to teach English as a second language across SE Asia, to the point where I’ve got a lot of the groundwork already sorted out. Yeah, I had a bad time, but I, like you, can get over things with time.

 

Do I miss the time we spent together? In a way, yes. I miss the intimacy I could share with one person. But that’s not to say I look back on the relationship and despair. I’ll treasure the time we spent together, and be a better dude because of it.

 

Just because things seem bad at the time, doesn’t mean that you won’t get over it. Smile. Be happy. Don’t judge. Learn lots. Be nice. Seek happiness!

 

Thanks for reading!

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