My First Step to Recovery

Major Depressive Disorder is a mood disorder that causes an emotion of constant sadness and loss of interests. This also includes feeling unmotivated to do things that you once loved. For more than nine months, I have been enduring this disorder. After being locked inside my home with CAVA for a year, I decided to fight another disorder I had, Anxiety Disorder, and go to public school. Confidence ran through my veins; I was excited to start a new life where anxiety could hide in the shadows. Although I dealt with anxiety most of my life, I was clueless to how to cope which led me to a deep depression. The overwhelming emotion that something terrible was going to happen and other negative thoughts took over me. Because of this, I was pulled out of school. Even though my parents were proud of me for trying, they strongly suggested I start to see a counselor.

When explaining a tragic event that occurred in the past to my counselor, it was her one and only objective. This awakened the depression I thought once disappeared. Several weeks into different varieties of memory therapy stress, and staggering feelings sat upon my shoulders constantly. The only thing that was on my mind was a tragedy that wasn’t the cause of my depression nor anxiety. There was no escape.

On a Sunday, my entire day was spent in bed and away from my family. I didn’t know this was a sign of depression at the time. A dark cloud hovered over my head. I laid in bed during the night, my hands clasped over my stomach as I stared at the ceiling. Two devils sat on my shoulders, yelling statements that made my heart sink. Then a terrifying thought came to mind: to end my journey of self-hatred and fear once and for all.

I told my mom about it later that night. My thoughts became slithering snakes that wrapped around my neck, whispering petrifying words, I couldn’t handle it on my own. In panic, she immediately grabbed my wrist and dragged me downstairs. Her hand was shaking around my wrist as she raced to my dad. “She’s not okay.”

“What? She’s fine,” said Dad, furrowing his eyebrows together. His body was hugged by a fluffy gray blanket, laying on the leather couch. After Mom told him, thirty minutes of debating passed by. It was like they were on a game show and had to think of the question wisely before submitting it. They went back and forth, discussing whether or not to take me to the hospital.

After five hours sitting in a firm hospital bed with my parents by my side, a doctor decided that I would be sent to another. A cold chill traced my skin as I laid on a stretcher with a book squeezed between my hands, carrying a bubbly feeling in the bottom of my stomach. I was riding in an ambulance, every bump that was hit created bigger bubbles. Pools of tears welled in my eyes, a few sliding down my cheek and to my lips. Going home was the only thing I craved at that moment. A paramedic sat on a small bench behind the stretcher, casually talking to the driver. Their conversation about what they did during New Year’s distracted me from replaying the image of my parents’ reactions when I told them about the thoughts in my head.

Seeing Mom after being separated for two hours was similar to the time where I held my dog for the first time. Moments before I had to strip in front of a woman; she needed to search for anything harmful I could have hidden. Mom’s toasty arms embraced my ice body. We were shown where I would be sleeping. I stepped onto thousands of knives with every step I took, praying that this was all a dream.

“I suggest you say goodbye now so you can get some sleep,” suggested the man who showed me a few rooms earlier. An unreadable expression was sitting on his face.

“I’m not allowed to stay?” questioned Mom as she returned me back in her arms. Right when the man nodded his head, my body became a popsicle. The tips of my fingers gripped onto Mom for dear life. She whispered, “You’re going to be okay. I love you, I will see you tomorrow.”

“Don’t make me stay here, please,” I begged. Feeling Mom slowly part from me, my heart dropped out of my chest. This was the first time I would be away from my family for longer than a night. My legs turned into noodles and all of the moisture in my mouth disappeared.

“I don’t want you to stay either but it’s what you need,” croaked Mom before her lips touched my forehead.

It was mandatory that I had to stay in the hospital for three days. Since I allowed my brain to be taken over by anxiety, I didn’t attend the group therapy sessions with other kids. My days were spent sitting on a rocklike bed reading. In total, my eyes captured every word of four books. Although I was being pressured into going to the sessions, I knew that was not something that would help me. Discussing my troubles often gave me a sick feeling in the bottom of my stomach. I felt reading helped more.

Because I never went to the group sessions, the doctors realized there was no point in me staying any longer three days later. As I packed my bags to be discharged, my morning nurse came into my room with a folder filled with paperwork.

“You’re ready to go?” she asked, holding the folder tight against her chest. I nodded silently in response, my eyes blurring from lack of sleep. I was told the day before that I was leaving and was too excited to rest.

“Yes,” I responded with a small smile.

“Great,” she said before placing the folder next to one of my bags. “Starting tomorrow you will be going to the bottom of the hospital for a two-week program. It’s seven hours a day and you will learn how to cope with your disorders with other kids.”

My heart skipped a beat, realizing that this will follow me for the rest of my life. The memory of the attempt will never leave my mind and would have to face it. I continued to think about the program after the nurse left my room. Even though I didn’t want to attend, I knew it was what I needed to do for my health.

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