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It seems that I suffered from depression as long as I can remember; I just did not realize how severe it was until I was 25 years old.
I had lived my whole life being told that I was no good, would never amount to anything, that I was a failure. I quickly turned to drinking at age 11 and found that I could drown my sadness in booze. I also discovered that I could make friends because I always had booze on hand. As I got older, the only thing that mattered to me was drinking. As long as I was drunk, I was numb to the harsh words from my family that hurt so much.
At age 25, I fell into a deep depression after a visit from my sister-in-law. She criticized everything I did and everything I was. That evening, after my sister-in-law had gone home and the boys were in bed, I lay on the sofa in such despair, my eyes burning from all the tears I had shed. I decided that my family and the world would be better off without me in it.
My depression was so deep that I could not move, and that is probably a key to what saved me – that and a very caring neighbor who had just stopped by the building to pick something up from her apartment. I later learned that something told this neighbor to check in on me. When she saw the condition that I was in, she got her friend out of the car to sit with me while she went to her apartment and called for help. I was taken to the hospital where I was admitted to the psychiatric floor. After three weeks I was able to go home equipped with an understanding of my depression and ways for me to combat depression by being open to others, building a support system, and always remembering that I am never alone and that I am worthwhile.