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My name is Ashley, and this is my story

I am 25 and I struggle with Depression


I've struggled with depression for most of my life, mostly in part to being hated by almost everyone in school, simply for being a little different; however, it wasn't until college when I fully understood what being depressed actually meant.

After I graduated from college, I fell into a deep depression. I had moved to a town where I knew no one, and I didn't have any friends or family close by. At least, close enough that I could just take a 20-minute drive to. Now that I was in the "adult world," I instantly had tons of responsibilities. As a journalist, there's no such thing as an 8 a.m.-5 p.m. gig; there are events after the office closes, and I was knee-deep in them after my first week. At this same time, I was what my friends called a binge alcoholic. I would go to the liquor store and purchase three bottles of wine and consume them all in the same night. Other times, I bought a large bottle of whiskey and most of it was gone by the time I slumped into bed. And it took years to get over being one. It took my mom giving me that worried, slightly disappointed look when I talked about alcohol. It took my friends consistently calling me an alcoholic. And it took hitting rock bottom financially to realize that I needed to stop drinking and focus on something else.

Which was fine. I was used to being busy, but after the first two years, my energy levels began to drain just about as quickly as my bank account after each paycheck. I was barely living paycheck-to-paycheck, hardly being able to keep up with all the bills, and I was en route to a nervous breakdown.

So cut to 2017, what I deem the worst year of my life so far. It was the third year of working the in "adult world" when I actually hit rock bottom. At that point, I was raising a kid, taking care of all the bills, and trying to stay afloat enough to make sure there's food in the fridge each day. We were also short-staffed at work so more and more responsibilities were being piled onto everyone who was left. It was incredibly difficult at times, and toward the end of the year, I basically gave up wanting to get out of bed in the morning.

I was done. I was stressed to the max and I could only see one way out. Of course, I'm talking about suicide, but here's the thing, I didn't want to die, I just wanted to world to stop turning for a little while; I wanted to stop existing with the hope that life would get easier and happier. Well, the world wasn't stopping anytime soon, and the only way for me to stop existing was to die, so suicide was, at the time, my only option. Or so I thought.

It became bad enough that when I was driving alone, I imagined myself just twisting the wheel a bit so that I could go off the road and slam into a telephone pole going 60 mph. I became scared and needed to find a way to stop these thoughts before it was too late.

I wanted things to get easier, but suicide wasn't the answer, and I think somewhere deep down I knew that. And I was responsible for a kid, a kid who I just couldn't leave wondering why I wasn't coming home that night.

When I hit rock bottom, I couldn't go to my parents with it. They were already pressed down with stresses of their own, and dealing with my other siblings; I didn't have the heart to "bother them" with my problems.

So I looked for help and I found it in a wise friend of mine.

I trust him with everything in me, because he knows how to keep things private, instead of gossiping with the town. When I told him what I was feeling, he took it seriously—he never once thought I was doing it for attention or that I was being dramatic. And I appreciate him for that.

He and I talked about a lot, but the main phrase that kept me going was when he said, "Don't do this to me."

It may seem silly, but that's what helped me force my thoughts to something other than swerving my vehicle off the road. That's what helped me force my thoughts to accept the fact that even though life is difficult now, it'll get easier; this is just a bump in the road.

He was a phone call away if my thoughts turned dark. He was my support, my reminder that there are several people who love me and want the best for me, and just want to see me happy.

Currently, I still suffer from anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and large amounts of stress. And there are still times when I turn to alcohol when things become too much to bare, but with time, I think that too will subside.

For now, I'm focusing on the good things in life. I'm focusing on that phrase, and what it would do to the ones who love me if I ever decided to take that path that ends with a period. I'm focusing on the fact that even though life can be too much to handle sometimes, there's always a light coming from somewhere, with promise of a happier future.


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