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My Depression Is Over.


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15 replies to this topic

#1 oliveira

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 05:23 PM

*Possible triggers warning. Nevertheless, the end is positive. I don't know how mods feel about it, I am fine with pretty much any kind of edits being done to this post.*

I thought not many people come back to the forum once they feel better, and it's not a good thing, because those of us who are on the bottom do need to see there is a way out.

Almost a year ago my second bout of depression has started. I felt my job was hopeless, and there was no way out. I felt bullied by my boss. I was in a relationship that I myself didn't believe would last, as it was largely based on partying together and taking drugs together. I didn't have a clue what to do with my life, and I felt trapped in a situation that was financially very comfortable, but in all other ways was strangling me. And so I became depressed again, despite thinking my therapy has taken care of all that.

I have posted here about the subsequent breakup, about my mood swings, about leaving the company I worked for for over five years. It is time for me to post about what happened next.

The breakup, I feel, was a very good thing for me. The man who leaves you when you are sick and need help the most is exactly the man you do NOT need in your life. I didn't feel like that when the breakup happened, of course; I was in love, and I was unhappy, and very lonely. I tried to cope with the pain by drinking and taking drugs. And then I discovered something that has suddenly re-shifted the axis of my life entirely.

I had what my mom called "a good job", working as a graphic designer, making lots of money and being respected by the society as having, well, "a good job". It was also ******* me, because it wasn't half as creative as I hoped it would be, and I didn't learn anything new in the last two years of it, but I stuck through because I had a mortgage, and because the economy is bad, and because I liked my colleagues. Two members of my family died within the first four months of 2011, and I agonised about being unable to help in any way possible. My brother's wife gave birth to twins in the sixth month of pregnancy, and I agonised about being unable to help in any way possible. Ultimately I ended up spending entire days fending off suicidal thoughts, unable to work, unable to go out of my house, unable to sustain a conversation, unable to put on socks in less than an hour. This was 10 months ago. I felt hopeless, I had no hope left, I thought nothing good can possibly come my way. How wrong I was.

When medication finally started to work, my relationship was pretty much over. I refused to take drugs with my boyfriend, but still, after the breakup, ended doing it because I saw no way out. I thought, the medication works now, I should be 'fixed'. But of course that's not how it works. You need to be fixed inside your soul, be that through God, through meditation, through therapy, through love, through volunteer work... For me, it was what most of you will probably find an unusual way.

I mentioned to a guy I was casually dating that I was always interested in blacksmithing. I never did anything about it, I mean, I was a graphic designer, this just didn't seem realistic. It wasn't even a dream, it was just a laughable idea. Yet, he told me that there was a blacksmith two hours away by train, giving workshops. After two weeks I gathered enough courage to contact him, and I went, and I did the workshop. At the end of the day my muscles were aching, my hands were (literally) bleeding, blisters managed to form, wear off and get covered in coal and iron dust. Yet I didn't care about the pain, because I felt something special tingling in my soul. I have discovered THE reason to go on.

My Christmas was awful. Some members of my family don't accept me being gay, and it was never more obvious than this Christmas. I got home on the 27th, and I took drugs which almost killed me -- they were possibly fatal when combined with my medication, but I felt so bad that I took them fully realising what could happen. And as I was lying in bed, unable to control my muscles, feeling that I am falling asleep and if I do indeed fall asleep I won't wake up ever again, I only could think about one thing: WHY AM I DOING THIS TO MYSELF? I want to be a blacksmith, I thought. And I repeated that to myself, as my body was shaking uncontrollably. Again and again and again and again, for two hours, until the horrible feeling of dying has passed, and I was in control of my body yet again. And I used that body, once I could get out of bed, to get up, pick up all remaining drugs in my stash and throw them in the toilet.

In January I have done a basic course of blacksmithing that took two weeks in the country of my origin. I followed that up by networking in the country where I currently reside, which, miraculously, gave amazing fruit. I now work every week in a smithy in my new hometown, and I am learning at rapid pace. I have started a blog about it -- anyone interested can PM me for the link. I am unemployed, on benefits, much worse off financially than a year ago. I am also excited, extremely happy, constantly coming up with new creative ideas. Suddenly it is easy to network, easy to learn, and all the new knowledge makes me feel younger, positive and ALIVE. It's been less than four months since I have -- realistically -- attempted to **** myself with drugs. It's been less than four months since what wasn't even a dream has become reality. And my life has never been better than it is now.

I am still on antidepressants, and sometimes side effects pop up, like for instance being unable to sleep. Not to mention the weight gain of 15 kg that has stayed with me. It doesn't matter. I have a long-term goal. I have a LIFE rather than pointless existence. I am crazy about my new choice of profession, about the new way my life goes. And I realise I needed depression, in a way. If not for the depression, if not for the burnout resulting in me being unable to do what I did all my life, I would have never been able to discover my real passion. It was the ultimate kick in the ***, that put me on the crossroads with one arrow saying "DEATH" and one saying "REAL LIFE". I chose the latter, and life has been a rollercoaster since then -- one that goes up and up and up.

It's been less than four months since I wanted to die, and I have never wanted life more than I do now. Every day is an adventure. I go places, I meet people, I send emails, I make phone calls, I made my own blacksmith hammer, I worked using that hammer. For me, there has never been anything half as fulfilling as that. I have never lived a life more full than this. Yes, I am poor, I can't afford drugs or going out three times a week or new clothes. I don't care. A year ago I could afford all those things, but I couldn't find a way to be happy. I have proved to myself and everyone around that money REALLY doesn't make you happy.

And... in December I met a man. He makes chainmail, which I found interesting as an aspiring blacksmith, as I thought pretty much any kind of metal work could be useful. I did a workshop with him, and I discovered it wasn't really my thing -- not as enjoyable as I thought, really. But I also discovered he was very interesting to talk to, very creative, a great artist, and... a great kisser. And slowly we started seeing each other for reasons entirely unconnected to chainmail. Since April 1 we are officially a couple, and I am crazy in love. And the same intuition that told me my previous relationship wouldn't last, now tells me this one is for good. He makes me happy, and he inspires me. He takes me places, shows me things, and enhances and enriches my life without help of drugs (he's never done any and doesn't intend to).

10 months ago I was in the abyss of hell. Right now I am happier than I have ever been. It can happen. Yes, I realise my way out has been perhaps somewhat different to what yours will be. But ultimately, it was about finding the reason to live. A year ago I had no reason to live, and I wasn't living, I existed. This year I am living a life fuller than ever. There is so much to discover, so much to learn, and I wake up, for the first time in years, thrilled about the fact new day has arrived and I can get out of bed and do things again.

I'd like to give a big, big blacksmith hug ;) to everyone here. You are probably on the forums, because you feel like I have 10 months ago (and 9, and 8, and 7, and 6, and 5 to be honest). There is a way out. I can't tell you what it is, and how long it will take before you find it. But... whenever you think it isn't there... re-read my post. I honestly didn't think I could ever feel alive again in June 2011. And now? I can't wait to see what I will be up to in June 2012.

It gets better. And I pray to Thor (he's got a hammer, you know) that you will discover that as quickly as possible.

Big love, everyone. Special greetings to LaurynJCat and CottonRox.
  • Trace, lindahurt, StoniumFrog and 6 others like this

#2 lindahurt

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 05:36 PM

Wow! Thanks for sharing your story. Quite inspiring and I know others will be encouraged from reading as I have. You are a blessing!

Lindahurt
Even in the most horrific of situations, one's attitude has an enormous role in shaping what happens ~ Viktor Frankl
In you lies the power to choose, to commit - Stephen Convey

 
The kind of person you want to become is greatly influence by your inner decisions, and not from outside influence alone. We can even under adverse circumstances, decide what shall become of us ~ Brian C. Stiller



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#3 oliveira

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 05:57 PM

Thank you Lindahurt! I tried to be as honest as possible here. My life has been hell last year, and now it's really moved into a totally different plane. I wish everybody who feels like I did in 2011 could feel like I do now, and share it with people here.

#4 andrewfootos

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 06:32 PM

Very amazing and passionate story. The thing I try to remember (at least on my good days) is that WHEN you get through depression (I have to be positive. I can't say IF), and look back and see what happened when you were in depression, a lot of times the things that got you out of it are the things you will take for the rest of your life. When you're depressed, you look for anything to cheer you up or almost any avenue to try and make a connection with happiness, and if something works when you're in a negative mental state, clearly it will be good enough for you to keep when you're in a positive mental state. In your example, it would be being a blacksmith. For me, I would have to think my recent partial "coming out" and my reaching out to friends I haven't talked to in years and rekindling past friendships are two main examples of what I can carry into the future with me.

All in all, wonderful story and I'm grateful to have been given the privilege to read it.
  • miss_blondie likes this

#5 StoniumFrog

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 07:09 PM

oliveira,
You're a f**king legend! For two reasons
1. For making your recovery
2. For sharing it with us
Am in kind of a similar place at the mo, and it is great to realise that the blinkers we throw on ourselves can be cast away and we can reclaim our individuality - and I don't think it becomes more individual than being a blacksmith :smilingteeth:
Keep in there and just be aware of any signs of relapses, but the way you are talking about getting rid of negative influences and replacing them with really positive ones, think you shouldn't have to worry. Think there does come a stage though, where we do ask ourselves when we are stressed is this a return of the black dog or just normal stress and more than likely, it'll be the latter.
Keep the post you have written here or better still, elaborate on it in your own time ... it is so well written and really can act as inspiration. And so what if you don't feel like coming back to the forum until you might need to - I think what you said about your change in attitude will be more than enough to help people in your own community i.e. so long as we help each other in our daily lives, that's perfect.
An inspiring read - kudos and good luck in your new career, relationship and more importantly, life
  • oliveira and TwinMommy like this
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#6 LonelyHiker

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 08:06 PM

Thank you for sharing your story, oliveira!
You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf. - Jon Kabat-Zinn

One day at a time, one step at a time, keep rolling that stone. - Me

Normal is someone you don't know very well. - Anonymous

My diagnoses: Dysthymia, MDD
My current meds: Wellbutrin 300mg, Trileptal 600mg
My previous meds: Serzone, Prozac, Lexapro, Effexor, Cymbalta, Paxil, Tegretol

#7 bigMMA

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 08:24 PM

Wow, your story is very inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change,

the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen.


#8 ArthurP

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 08:53 PM

I'm actually crying now both from the hope that I might be where you are right now and also from the fact I feel so very far away from it. Thank you for coming back here to share with us. I know there's a section for just that, but honestly I never go to it because I'm afraid it will just make me sad. I'm grateful for you coming to me here.

#9 giveup

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 11:53 PM

Thank u for ur story. And a big blacksmith hug back to u.

Edited by giveup, 22 April 2012 - 11:54 PM.


#10 Frog154

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 12:39 PM

I think you've kinda crafted your own life there :D

I feel like my own is the works, it still needs a lot of hammering out...
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#11 Sho Kai

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 01:17 PM

i think its great you came back to tell people about it, the only way ive gotten thru my depression is i have a really good memory and can remember being really happy from around 4-10 and i hung on to how i felt then. so i know its perfectly possible to get out of depression and that its not a natural state, if it werent for that hope i think i may have ended up ending it.

heh now my only problem is finding what you found, i just sit around the house all day (and i only have a few months to get a job so i can sustain myself without parental help). and i dont have any friends to support me cuz i moved around a lot and stuff untill 5th grade and moved away and back to the same place (also the place im at now) like 3 times, and i cant seem to get in contact with the only real friend i had. hard to get out of the house when the only human contact u have is a parent whom you are constantly uneasy around.

always was curious about blacksmithing (but then again im curious about a lot of things and if i had all the time in the world id learn to make and do just about everything and anything whether or not i enjoyed it).

#12 taysmom1016

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 01:44 PM

LOVE that you've come back with a success story, we all need to hear that it IS POSSIBLE! I've often made bargains with the higher power and promises to myself that if, no, WHEN I kick this depression or at least go into a decent remission, I will NOT desert my DF family, that I will come back and inspire as you have and share my success story too, to help others find their way out of the darkness. Thank you for sharing yours, congratulation, and I'm very happy for you. I hope I'm next.... :bestwishes:
Taysmom


Major depression, generalized anxiety disorder, PTSD, insomnia, chronic pain and neurological damage from legionnaires.

Medications: Mirtazipine, clonazepam, ambien, and various vitamins and supplements.

#13 oliveira

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 04:34 AM

Thanks for your replies everybody, it's so good to see it helped people to read what I had to share. I was a bit worried you'd think I'm boasting or something, and of course that was absolutely not the goal. I also promised myself I'd be back here when I am well, and it took me a bit longer than I thought... :$

@andrewfootos From the start I told myself, it's WHEN, not IF. But when I felt so awful for weeks and months it was hard to believe. And even once the meds started working, I still didn't feel well, and I wasn't stable. Yet I kept believing, because... well... there wasn't much else I could do. And then it finally came true and in a way it was a surprise when I realised, a few days before my original post, that I haven't felt any symptoms of depression for a month.

@StoniumFrog Thanks for all the kind words! When I had my first bout of depression years ago, and beat it, I thought I was a success story and it would never return. And then it did, and I felt like a failure. I went to my therapist and he told me: you are a success! You beat this once! You will beat it again! And I did. And maybe there is another relapse in my future, who knows. But I can beat it again.

@ArthurP I actually didn't know there was a section for that...! But I am glad you're grateful... and keep on the hope. It will happen.

@Frog154 Love your choice of words! :D

@Sho_Kai When I was depressed, it was so hard to remember I used to be happy before... like, THEORETICALLY I knew I used to be happy, but it was just such a... distant feeling. And now it's the other way round... I remember I was horribly depressed a year ago, but it's hard to believe I felt like that.

I know the feeling you are talking about. There were always many things that I could theoretically do, yet none of them really spoke to me. I thought of being a fitness trainer, cage fighter, architect, blue collar worker of some sort, coach... I have a lot of interests, but it is blacksmithing that really embodies all I love. When I told people around me about the change I wanted to make, they initially worried I went really crazy ;) and then they saw the change in me, from depressed, sad and unable to enjoy anything, into joyful, energetic and excited. It's funny to think it's only been four months, I feel as if I was supposed to do this all my life. And if not for depression, I would still be stuck in my old job, refreshing Facebook and wishing something interesting would happen...

@taysmom1016 It is a WHEN! And please do come back once you're out of the dark. :)

#14 andrewfootos

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 04:16 PM

@andrewfootos From the start I told myself, it's WHEN, not IF. But when I felt so awful for weeks and months it was hard to believe. And even once the meds started working, I still didn't feel well, and I wasn't stable. Yet I kept believing, because... well... there wasn't much else I could do. And then it finally came true and in a way it was a surprise when I realised, a few days before my original post, that I haven't felt any symptoms of depression for a month.

...
@Sho_Kai When I was depressed, it was so hard to remember I used to be happy before... like, THEORETICALLY I knew I used to be happy, but it was just such a... distant feeling. And now it's the other way round... I remember I was horribly depressed a year ago, but it's hard to believe I felt like that.


To me, this kind of go hand in hand in my case. Whenever I feel REALLY down, I try to remember that even in the midst of when my depression started to get bad, there were days where I was extremely happy and felt like nothing can stop me. They were few in far between, but I remember both, that, and stretches in the past where I was happy with myself and with life even though the circumstances were basically the same as they are now. So even though I feel terrible now, there will be points where I will be happy, and I can use those to build off of it and work myself out of this.

In fact, two of what I would consider at least top 5 best days/moments of my life occurred within the past 8 months, so I know there has to be something good coming.
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#15 bigMMA

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 04:57 PM

People come into your life for a reason, season or a lifetime. I'm so glad that you posted your success. You are far from boasting. People like us......throughout our troubles, we need to know that we aren't alone. More importantly, we need to see that there is a way out. The impossible is in fact very possible.
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God, grant me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change,

the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen.


#16 Crayboy25

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 09:00 PM

wow that was inspiring. gives me hope to continue battling my depression!




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