I was feeling really low this weekend. Even though I had a song of mine recorded on Friday and I felt pretty good about how it turned out, yesterday I felt the lowest that I have felt for several years. I should have tried getting help the first time I felt this way but until now I have always tried to fight through these low points and just get on with it, but I feel like I cannot manage without getting help anymore.
I booked in an appointment to see my GP. Told her my symptoms and for how long I’ve been experiencing these things on and off over the years. I rated severe on both the Depression and Anxiety scale and have been prescribed with medication called Sertaline. I have to take 1 capsule a day, for at least a month and see how things go. I didn’t want to resort to medication, but I will try these tablets and see if they help.
The earliest I can remember feeling this way I was still in school. I was unhappy at home and at school. My father was an alcoholic and a smoker, and because most of the money coming into our house was spent on his habits there was very little for anything else, like, food, and clothing, and soap. So I would be hungry for most of the time, in cheap clothes that were unwashed for most of the time. Which in turn led to a lot of bullying at school.
I tried taking my own life twice. Once I just laid myself down in a cold river hoping I would go to sleep and hypothermia would set in and I wouldn’t wake up again. Another occasion I wrapped my neck with wool, in ever tighter circles hoping to suffocate myself. The discomfort of these attempts stopped me from going through with them fully. Although the lying down in a river one was pretty stupid. Looking back I’m sure if I had stayed there someone would have seen me well before any permanent damage was done.
I went on to university for the first time though straight after finishing school with three A level qualifications. I studied for a year but I wasn’t happy in university. I was drinking a lot, and from that I quickly found myself in debt way over my head and malnourished. My father died during this time and it was a wake up call for me. His alcoholism killed him, and if something like that hadn’t happened it could easily have destroyed me too.
I’m not an Alcoholic. I was spared that curse, I can have one drink without feeling like I want 10 more. And I have been completely sober for a couple of months now and I don’t miss the alcohol. After my father died I moved back in with my mum, dropping out of university and started looking for employment.
The first long-term employment I managed to get was in tele-sales. A completely soul-destroying job. Some people say any job is better than no job. I disagree. I would have been better off mentally if I never worked in tele-sales. But I also would not have met my fist real girlfriend who has now become one of my best friends. I found myself unable to be happy though when I was with her. I felt like a failure because I wanted to make her happy but felt like I was failing.
A long period of unemployment came after that. I had very little marketable skills coming from my experience in tele-sales work. Every day seemed pointless, dull and I would often sleep for most of the day. Often not waking up until the afternoon and going to bed early too.
The depression subsided after I landed a really nice job in a Civil engineering office, doing Data entry and Administration mostly. The work I was doing wasn’t really exciting, but the work of the whole team was much more rewarding. Maintaining roads and bridges, and all the structures associated with those things, and even planning new layouts. It was really great. It wasn’t meant to last though. When the Icelandic banks crashed and we went into a recession in this country the office was forced to make cutbacks to their staff, and I was one of the first to go.
I managed to get 1 other temporary role in Administration, but that never progressed to a permanent position. I was unemployed for another year before it was suggested I should try going back to university.
I decided to follow that advice and spent three years in higher education. The first year went by quite smoothly. In the second year though I began experiencing problems again. And again I decided instead of getting help I would try to tough it out and just get through it. That didn’t work out very well for me though because I failed most of my exams and had to redo the year. The resit of the year didn’t go any better than before, and when it came round to the exams again a second time around I couldn’t even sit down to do them because the stress and anxiety hit me so hard. I ended up dropping out of University again in May this year, with only 1 year completed out of the 3 year course. I’m trying to look optimistically into the future but I cannot see a way out of this hole I find myself in right now.
I’m not going to attempt suicide again. I’ve thought about self harm, cutting, and burning, but what stops me is knowing what effect it will have on my family. I hope the medication I’ve been given will help. I’m hoping even more that I will get the help I need to deal with my Gender Dysphoria and that things will move forward when I meet with the psychiatrist in September. I need something to go right, because I am on the verge of giving up completely, just packing up a backpack with some clothes, filling my handbag with soap, toothpaste and cosmetics, slinging my guitar over my shoulder and just walking right out the front door never to return.