Anna Wild: A Depression Memoir, Part V

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This article series was written by Anna Wild. She explains how the circumstances in which she grew up lead her into the dark world of self-harm and depression.

Click here to read Part I.

When the day finally came to go back home, I was ecstatic. I had missed my family so much.

But only two short months after I returned home, I was off to Mexico to spend a month with my mother who needed her own escape from the hell she'd been living.

Now, laying by the pool for a month with a good book and a cold drink is most people's idea of heaven, but for me it was torture. Every second I laid around and did nothing was a second of idleness that allowed negative thoughts to seep into my mind.

Feeling Paranoid, Guilty and Lost

I thought about how my fiancé had cheated on me the last time I took a trip with my mother, and I started becoming paranoid that Ryan would do the same thing while I was away. Then I began to feel guilty that I was away on vacation again and that I wasn't doing something productive. Then I tried to write but got writer's block and convinced myself I had lost my talent and that writing was just a dead dream.

And of course, being with my mother for a month didn’t necessarily help because she, too, was depressed and telling me things like, “I just want to die.” I felt like she was sharing all of her problems with me because I was supposed to fix them in some way, but I couldn't fix them. I was at a loss.

And what was my boyfriend really doing at home? And what if I could never write again? What would I do with my life? Did my life even have a purpose? If I killed myself, would it make a difference?

Pretending to Be Happy While Contemplating Suicide

I had nobody to turn to (other than my mother, who was too preoccupied with her own problems, rightfully so), and I had a month in this sunbaked hellhole: a month of lying to everybody I met, of pretending to be happy and full of zest for life.

It was easier most days to just hole up in my room and cry and scream into my pillow and contemplate suicide. I realized then that I needed to do everything in my power to overcome this disease that was ruining my life, or it might take me. I needed help. And then I returned home.

Rebalancing My Life and Sharing My Story

I took the month of December to rebalance my life. I quit my awful job that stressed me out so much. I sought help from my doctor, I took up yoga again, I spent time reconnecting with family and friends. And I made a vow to make 2013 the year I would change it all, which brings me to today...

I am not telling you about my past in exchange for pity. I am not here to show you how different my experience has been from yours or anybody else's. I am sharing this because sometimes this is part of the human experience, and I am not ashamed of that.

No matter what your experience has been, you should not be ashamed of it either. I wouldn't be where I am today without all of the experiences that I've had – good, bad and ugly – and neither would you.

What I've realized is that everything happens for a reason, and that reason is to fulfill our purpose in life. Everybody serves a purpose. Mine, right now, is to share my story with the world in hopes that it will allow me to heal, and that maybe just one other person will read this and realize that they are not alone and that they have a purpose to fulfill too.

Sometimes the bad is necessary to shed light on the good. But our past does not have to foretell our future. We are not trapped by it. It is there so that we can learn from it, move forward, and stop making the same mistakes. This is my year to do just that. I hope it’s your year too.

 
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