The Hardest Thing I've Written So Far

The Hardest Thing I've Written So Far

The story of my depression
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Over the last week I finally listened to Logic’s "1-800-273-8255" ft. Alessia Cara and Khalid and nearly lost it right there. It was everything that I wanted to say when it came to my depression and anxiety and the journey I’ve gone through with it. From day 1 to where I am today. So as a warning this article is very dark at parts and honestly I don’t recommend reading unless you are comfortable with frank discussion of mental health and where I come from on a daily basis. Thank you.

Since I was a child people’s parents always seemed to like me. Granted I strove to be perfect in the eyes of the adults around me because I couldn’t always connect with the kids in the class. A running joke in my family through middle school was the fact that all of my progress reports were just photocopies because they all always said the same thing ‘Marissa is a joy to have in classes. Because I strove to be perfect constantly and unfortunately it ended up completely destroying my mental health along the way. Being the good kid, the one without problems, the perfect child was a huge stress on the mind of a pre-teen.

Which is where we come to me falling into an eating disorder face first as it may be at 10 years old. I had switched schools the previous year and moved into another Catholic school. The transfer had gone well and I finished out the year doing pretty okay actually, even with changing schools after the winter break (for the uninformed in New York state this takes place the same week as President’s Day in most school districts). So it was surprising to me that when school came back that September I was suddenly an outsider and not included in the social groups due to a myriad of reasons not the least being the know-it-all and as I was the first kid in the class to get braces it didn’t help. Slowly I turned to food and somewhere along the way I started binge-eating. By May of 2002 I was suicidal. I had been pushed too far by the bullies and one night I finally snapped. The next day my parents made the call and I was put in therapy. My first therapist was one of the reasons I’m probably still sitting here. She got through to me and I saw her for about a year until something changed and I wasn’t seeing her anymore.

Middle school continued and I changed schools again. In 2006 the Albany Catholic Diocese closed 6 schools, the most that had ever been done in one time due to decreasing enrollment. To be fair my 7th grade class had 8 kids in it and the 8th grade had 4. So we got combined into one class more often than not. In April the letters went out that the school would not be reopening. I had made my place in the class somewhere and was friends with these kids. We all went to different schools content with the knowledge that in a year when we entered high school we would be back together (at least in small groups). The school I went to was the largest class I had been in at that point, my 8th grade class had 33 kids. High School was another story.

I started my high school career in one of the Catholic High Schools we had in the area. And as I wasn’t coping very well with what was going on outside of school with my parents separation and divorce I became the kid that got made fun of again. That escalated though and suddenly I was being told it would be better if I was dead, we were 14. They got my phone number and would call me and harass me whenever they felt like it. I tried to hide it from my parents but eventually I broke down and told them. When my Dad made the choice to change cell phone providers I asked to change my number and I kept it hidden from all of them. I did try to go to the school about the bullying but in a school where these kids had money and I was basically scholarship and my parents were divorcing my side wasn’t given much weight.

The next school year I transferred to the public school and promptly had my first case of culture shock. Keep in mind my high school was one of the smaller ones in the area so there was only maybe 400 kids in the school but seeing as my previous high school kept the freshman away from the upperclassmen we had maybe 100 kids in this hallway. But the public school was everyone in one hallway and I shut down. I tried to make friends but I didn’t wear fashionable clothes and I was extremely awkward because I had no clue what I was doing.

Needless to say the bullying started up, and lines were crossed. I hid it again from my family until one day I went to my Dad’s and I didn’t know he was there. I think he may have been in his computer room and I missed his car parked outside. But I made it into the living room and broke down sobbing and suddenly there’s Dad in full on papa bear mode as I refer to it. The next day my father was in the Principal’s office ready to probably commit crimes. I in front of my father gave the details that I could and names. The worst part of this is I was under the impression she knew. See one of my Teacher’s had gone to the Vice Principal because of these boys actions in his class and he knew it wasn’t just in that class. He was basically told ‘Boys will be boys’ and so I thought for sure that the Administration was just choosing to ignore this because of the fact that the boys involved were on the Football, Basketball or Baseball teams (and in some cases all 3). I was binging again and hiding it from my parents in an effort to not be a problem.

So back to therapy I went and now we were including medications because I was considering suicide again. The medicine I was on basically just caused me to shut down. I didn’t feel anything. The problem is eventually that causes problems and suddenly I was throwing my pills down the toilet and not taking them when they got refilled. I snuck it around until I finally got off the meds and I moved in with my Dad because my mother was moving 3 hours north and as bad as the school year had been I didn’t want to change schools again.

So my junior year was pretty uneventful, the school suddenly had a Police Officer stationed at the school. But over all, it was a normal year. The summer between that and my senior year I was in a pre-college program at Brown and I loved every minute of it. I came back to upstate NY right before school started back up and was looking forward to being done with High School. It was at that point that it came to light that I had to go back for 2 classes. I was exactly 2 classes short of finishing my high school career and I had to go back for an entire year.

Not long after school came back I was walking down the street with my younger brother and a car that belonged to one of the guys who harassed my 2 years previously was going by and he was screaming one of the favorite slurs they liked to use against me out of his window. He proceeded to drive by me 3 times screaming it every time. Now if it had just been me I would have responded but I had my younger brother with me and I was trying to convince him to ignore it. A few days later an unflattering photo that I accidentally posted on my Facebook and didn’t realize was there got posted on one of the guys pages and there were a lot of comments from people I thought were friends or at least friendly. A couple people did stick up for me and actually it was because one of them had commented I even saw it.

The next day I was informed I could have pressed charges on this guy who did it. Of course I got told that and was expected to make a decision in less than 5 minutes with the guy sitting right there staring at me and to this day I still remember what I told him. “This time I won’t but I want you to go tell all of your friends that the next person to come after me I’m taking down. I don’t care who you are in this town”. I promptly had a panic attack when I got back to class and had to calm down and go back to doing my lab for AP Biology.

Through all of this my depression lurked and on more than one occasion as I stood in our kitchen in the middle of the night staring at the knives and knowing it wouldn’t take much to end it all the only reason I didn’t was because I knew my younger brother would be the one to find my body the next day when he got up for school. Because as badly as I wanted to hurt myself I could never bring myself to hurt another person and I knew it would destroy my brother.

My depression and anxiety are shape shifters, sometimes they are tiny and other times I’m stuck underneath them and can’t move. When I am suicidal I refer to it as the black hole because once you go down that path there’s no coming back. If it wasn’t for some excellent therapists I’ve had over the years and the psychiatrists who listened and helped me when I needed it I would not be here today. Each day is a battle especially with an undiagnosed chronic condition and I never know if today will be the day I discover a new trigger for either the depression or anxiety. My ED is pretty much handled except when I completely lose it and suddenly I am stuffing my face and have no clue how we got to this point. But for those who are reading this and unsure of what to do please reach out. We are all here for you and not a single one of us wants to see you suffer. There are people willing to listen 24 hours a day and there are even text sites you can use if the idea of speaking on the phone fills you with so much anxiety you can’t breathe. Please please reach out. Even one life lost is too many.

https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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I Woke up In The Middle Of The Night To Write About My Fears, They're Worse Than The Dark

One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.

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It is one of those nights when I am tired, but for some reason, I can't seem to fall asleep. So, what do I do? I pull out my laptop, and I begin to write. Who knows where it will lead. It could lead to a killer article or something that does not make sense. I mean it is almost 2 A.M. In my mind, that's pretty late.

Anyways, let's do this thing.

Like many people, thoughts seem to pile up in my head at this time. It could be anything from a time when I was younger to embarrassing stories to wondering why I am "wasting" my time somewhere to thoughts about the future. All of these things come at me like a wildfire. One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.

The thought that is going through my mind as I write this is about the future. It's about the future of my fears. Let me explain. I have multiple fears. Some of my fears I can hide pretty well, others I am terrible at hiding. My fears may seem silly to some. While others might have the same fears. Shall we start?

1. My career

I don't know where to begin with this one. For as long as I can remember, my consistent dream job has been working in the world of sports, specifically hockey. A career in sports can be and is a challenging thing. The public eye is on you constantly. A poor trade choice? Fans are angry. Your team sucks? "Fans" are threatening to cheer for someone else if you can't get your sh*t together. You can be blamed for anything and everything. Whether you are the coach, general manager, owner, it does not matter. That's terrifying to me, but for some reason, I want to work for a team.

2. My family

Julie Fox

Failing with my family, whether that be the family I was born into or my future family, it terrifies me. I have watched families around me fall apart and I have seen how it has affected them. Relationships have fallen apart because of it. I have heard people talk about how much they hate one of their parents because of what happened. I don't want that.

3. Time

This could be a dumb fear. I'm not sure, but I fear time. With every minute that passes, I am just another minute closer to the end. With every day that passes that I am not accomplishing goals or dreams I have, I am losing precious time. It scares me to think of something horrible like "What if I die tomorrow because of something horrific?" or even worse, "What if I don't make it through today?" It's terrible, I know.

4. Forgetting precious memories

When I was younger, I had brain surgery. It is now much harder for me to remember things. I am truly terrified that I am going to forget things I will want to hold close to me forever, but I won't be able to. I am scared I'll forget about the little things that mean a lot. I'm afraid of forgetting about old memories that may disappear. I'm worried that I'll forget about something like my wedding day. That might seem out of this world, but it's a reality for me.

5. Saying "goodbye"

I hate saying bye. It is one of my least favorite things. Saying bye, especially to people I don't know when I'll see again, is a stab in the heart for me. I love my people so much. I love being around them. I love laughing with them. Thought of never having a hello with them again scares me beyond belief.

6. Leaving places that I love

Alright, let me start off by saying this- it takes a lot for me to love a place. It has to feel like home. It has to make me feel comfortable. It has to be a place I can go to and be myself. Thankfully, I have had and still have multiple places that are like that. I have also had places I could not wait to leave. I think that's why leaving places I love is so hard and something I fear so much. I am afraid I'll never get that place "back", for lack of a better term. I guess, I'm trying to say, it's like a piece of me is leaving as well.




These six things are just the start of my fears. Some of these might seem "dumb" or "ridiculous" to you, but for me, it's my life. These are the things that I think about the most. These are the things that feel like a pit in my stomach. These six things are parts of my life that mean a lot to me.

Cover Image Credit:

Emily Heinrichs

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4 Essential resources For Suicide Prevention

What are the resources out there to help those that feel as if they cannot speak and be heard?

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It is no great secret that suicide has become an epidemic in our country, especially in our military. However, that doesn't mean it doesn't affect the other 3 billion people in the world. So what is being done to help bring this to light and hopefully make people see there is another way?

1. Hotlines

There are hotlines that people can call when they are having suicidal thoughts. These hotlines are to educate those who call about a family/friend or for those in crisis who are thinking about the unimaginable.

These hotlines are supposed to create a safe environment for those in a tragic place to call and express themselves in any way they feel comfortable. The people who answer the phones are trained to make you feel safe and to listen to everything you have to say.

These hotlines can save so many lives. If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless than maybe try one of these hot lines.

2. Programs

There are many programs that you can find online about suicide prevention. These websites and programs talk about the warning signs, things to look for, what to do if you encounter someone who exhibits these signs, etc.

These programs are meant mainly for those who know someone who is going through all of the signs for suicide. I know that my friends visited these website programs to help me, and i think that their education helped save me.

3. Warning Signs

As discussed earlier, there are warning signs. Every therapist, online program, presentation, etc. go over the various warning signs that one can look out for to help others.

4. Internet

Last but not least, the internet. This can be the most powerful thing to either ending or saving a life.

Social media and cyber bullying are two of the top reasons why people commit suicide outside military personnel. But some social media can have their own support groups that can help let people know across the world that they are not alone. This can create a movement and a powerful influence in the world.


If you or someone you know is going through this, please share and let them know there are resources to help them, that they are not alone, and they are loved.

You are all worth being on this earth! Please help me keep as many people on this earth for as long as possible.

IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW ARE STRUGGLING WITH SUICIDAL THOUGHTS AND/OR TENDENCIES, REACH OUT IMMEDIATELY. NO ONE SHOULD GO THROUGH THIS ALONE. SUICIDE IS SERIOUS.

National Suicide Hotline: 1 (800) 273-8255 - available 24/7

Cover Image Credit:

Suicide Prevention Day

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