Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Deep Dark Depression

I made it through my freshman year of college, not getting real close to anyone and trying to figure out what was going on inside of me.  I played soccer but didn't seem to quite fit in with the team.  I joined Intervarsity but with the struggle inside I never really felt connected.  I met a few boys and found one I ended up dating for a bit at the end of year.

As the school year ended and I was preparing to go home, I sank deeper and deeper into a dark depression.  With no soccer to cling to and my boyfriend pledging a fraternity so with little free time, I had a very rough spring.  My grades dropped and there were times I thought I wouldn't make it. At one point I sat in my room with a bottle of pills and considered taking them all.  I don't remember what they were.  Another point I looked at my razor in the shower and thought how easy it would be to just end the pain.  But every time I instantly thought about my niece and nephew, who were just toddlers.  I tried to imagine how anyone would explain to them what happened to me.  And from there I thought about the pain I would be causing others.  And with that, I just stuffed everything deeper.

I came home from school and awaited my final term grades.  I knew I was close to keeping my scholarship, but needed to maintain a 3.25 to do so.  A few days after coming home, my boyfriend and I broke up.  Then I found out my grades, a 3.21 for the year, just shy of what I needed.  I thought I would lose all of my scholarship and wasn't sure how I was going to pay for school.  The pain just cut deeper and deeper.  On the phone with my then ex-boyfriend (I don't know why I was talking to him) I told him I just wanted to kill myself.  He hung up on me and I decided to go for a run to work through everything.  Apparently, he hung up to call the police.  Shortly thereafter, a police officer ran the doorbell.  I considered not answering since nobody else was home.  But I realized they probably wouldn't go away.

It was that day I started to get some of the help I needed.  Once I let the police officers in, they insisted I get my parents to come home.  I don't remember who called them, but they did come home.  then, I informed them of everything that had happened.  And for the first time, I told my parents.  My mom's reaction was the hardest, as she seemed to take it personally.  Once my parents were home and I convinced the police officers I would be okay, they left.  My parents pulled up psychiatrist contacts and we made an appointment.  I was reluctant to go, but wasn't given much of a choice.

At that point, I wasn't really ready for help.  I met with the psychiatrist, but his solution was medication.  I wasn't interested in that.  I was really hurting inside and felt I had a good reason for it.  I didn't feel comfortable with this psychiatrist and convinced my parents I was okay, so I never went back.  I stuffed all the hurt back inside and focused on the little girls I was babysitting and getting in shape for soccer that summer.  I kept trying to figure out how to let the pain escape and did find some relief with exercising.  I think that is how I made it through the summer of 2001.  I ended the summer with our family trip to Maui, completing my summer soccer workouts on the sand in the sun.  I was getting ready to head into a better year and I knew I could focus on soccer and school that fall.  I had no idea what God had in store for me as he continued to try and draw me closer.

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