I was the shy, sickly girl who missed lots of school and, as I got toward my teenage years, became withdrawn and moody. I was always inside my head. I shied away from interactions with people. Making a simple phone call freaked me out, I didn’t know what they were going to say or what I should say. I was terrible at making decisions, as I knew I’d pick the wrong one.
I didn’t really find interest in anything. And since food was one of those things, as I grew, I didn’t gain the weight. I was about six feet tall and weighed about 90lbs. I was a size 0 or 00. No I didn’t have a body image problem. Those of you with depression can relate I’m sure. I couldn’t have a body image problem, I didn’t care that much. Well after my amazing mom, some family and my few friends realized just trying to get me to be social, to “snap out of it”, to “just go out, you’ll feel better”….I tried to face the reality….something was wrong.
That part wasn’t hard. I knew I wasn’t “normal”. But trying to reconcile that my brain wasn’t functioning the way it was supposed to, that was hard. That the chemicals in my brain weren’t doing what they were supposed to.
I had clinical depression already in my family and as far as I know no one had ever treated it. I had to find a way to realize that who I was (the 90lb girl who didn’t find joy in anything and mostly hated life) wasn’t the real me. That was the hardest part. How could I not be the real me. I was really smart and creative. I was breathing… right? I took the appointment to a doctor my mom thought I might actually be okay with. Needless to say he wrote the script and I found myself holding this capsule. It had like little pellets in it, which made a quiet rattle when I shook it.
I remember that moment so clearly..sitting on my Mom’s bed and trying to tell myself that if I swallowed this I wouldn’t be destroying who I was, I would be helping her take the forefront of my life. I’m not exactly sure what thought, what argument in me, allowed me to swallow my jingling little pill, but I did and it turned out to be one of the better decisions I’ve made. I started to want to eat and got to a heathy weight. I wanted to be more social and, all in all, it gradually ushered me into what had been one of the better times of my life. It didn’t last forever, but it lasted for awhile.