2014 was a year of self-discovery for me. It was also the hardest year I had to endure. For most of my life, I struggled with depression and anxiety, crippling me in school, home, and every aspect of my life. In 2013, I fell into a deep depression after the passing of a friend. I felt like nothing. I felt like life was so delicate that something could go wrong at any moment. I felt like I was a failure and that no one wanted me around anymore. After a dark six months, I finally realized that I needed help. I began going to therapy, and after months of trying to sort through my mind, I was finally diagnosed with Bipolar disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. Honestly, when I found out, I wasn’t too surprised. A majority of the members of my family suffer with Bipolar, and my mindset when I found out was, “it was gonna happen sooner or later.”
I spent a majority of 2014 more or less experimenting with my doctor. We had to find a medication that could work for me. I tried multiple different ones. However, nothing I tried would work for me. I started with Lamyctal, which left me completely suicidal and never having the motivation to do even the smallest life tasks. After that, they put me on Seroquel, which left me exhausted all the time and almost left me dead, as I would fall asleep at the wheel multiple times. Finally, they put me on Lithium. They never really wanted me to go on it because of the repercussions that it may or may not have on me. It’s an actual chemical that a high school student could find on the periodic table at the front of their chemistry textbook. They didn’t know how it would settle with me. But, it turned out to be the best choice for me.
But, as I began to get better chemically, my world seemed to not want me to feel any better. In my fall semester, I struggled with a lot of family issues, mainly financially. To help my single father and because my job cut my hours severely, I began to work three jobs. On top of working three jobs, I was a full time student, doing a field observation to get my Education degree, and working a haunted house in October. One of my jobs left me physically and mentally ill from the stress and terrible work ethics that I was forced to surround myself with. I had people from my observation telling me that they didn’t believe I had what it takes to become a teacher. As I found more and more issues in my life, I began to stop focusing on my mental health, and I fell. Hard. I never wanted to leave my bed because I felt that I wasn’t worth being in this world. Panic attacks became such a daily and severe thing to me that my doctor gave me Klonopin to calm my nerves. However, it made me feel like I had a few too many drinks, so I found myself facing myself on my own.
In December, I realized that I couldn’t live like this. I couldn’t let the world make me feel like I was unimportant. I could achieve great things. I just needed a spark to get me going. That spark came when I was given the opportunity to become a manager at one of the three jobs that I was working, and I took this as a new beginning for myself. I quit my other job, started a better medication routine, and began to focus on myself instead of putting others before me. When the New Year began, I felt like I was starting a new life, a new me. I felt like I was important, and I had the confidence to achieve anything. It does get difficult at times to focus on good things for myself, to not let the darkness surround me again. But I know that this is worth it. I know that I deserve this. I will find the happiness that I deserve. 2014 was my year to find myself. 2015 will be my year to shine.