My Story

Shared experiences of life, and the path that has led you to where you are.

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My Story

Postby Lanie » Sat Oct 12, 2019 10:30 pm

I am not a good story teller so please bear with me! I have never been fully open to anyone and I thought this might be theraputic..There may be some triggering issues brought up below so warning to those people.. also this is a long story!

I started experiencing depression and anxiety in my late teens, I am 27 years old now.

I remember having a breakdown when my parents decided to get a divorce but I remember my issues spanning back further. My brother use to make me touch him when I was younger- he is three years older than me and it took me until I was older to remember. It has made me uncomfortable with my body and I have abused Senna in the past and I have a strong emotional attachment to food. My father from my early teens until very recently also makes unpleasent comments about my body too, 'a handful enough' and discribing my body if you could see through my clothes in sunlight. Throughout the divorce I did not see my farther, he is best discribed as a pessemistic narcissist. He wanted half of everything, so in his eyes my brother could keep his stuff but my bed etc should be his. He does not ever ask about me, he has never said sorry and only ever wants to one up everyone.

During the divorce my mother changed. She looked after my father during marriage- he has crohns disease (he never helped himself) and obvious mental health issues. He ended up in hospital many times and ended up being a borderline alcoholic. I can remember his dropping to the floor yellow numerous times and being carted off to hospital and the smell of cheap beer sickens me. My mother could no longer cope and managed to fet a lot of support during this time, which honestly she needed however she continued to vent at me (14 yo) discussing bills, likeliness of loosing our home and eventually blaming me for holding her back when her 'new life' started.

She became emotionally abusive and started showing narcassistic traits too. She would only give conditional love (not wanting to let me go to university- my own cost or even 16+ education, she rhiught it was lazy). She also started giving me guilt trips and silent treatment for weeks to months at a time. She was determined I was pregnant at 15 as my periods were irregular (now diagnosed pcod) and made me take over 5 pregnanxy tests spanning over 4 months, blaming me for ruining her life, not havibg money and being stupid. She did this because she hated my bf who stood up for me and use to invite him over (unknown to me) to split us up. She also made silly rules that I had to follow and would count how much meat I put in a sandwich to check *money costs* . I became a wreck and friends family members became concerned that they offred me place to stay.

Luckily I went to university and studied nursing. I did this now as I realised I am a bit of a people pleaser.. but also I did it to prove my mother wrong, that I was useful member of society and deserved her respect. How wrong I was. The moment I got interviews and placements she became bitter and resentful. I cut all contact and it was so freeing. I found the course tough and found I was just very unlucky in placements and timings. I exerienced end of life and deaths almost twice a placement and often unsupported but the patients made it worthwhile.. I often got thank yous and cards, things I never really got before. However things started piling up from my second year, alongside working up to 60 hour weeks in a space of a month i was sued £2000 by my mums abuse ex (agreed contract on university fees but wanted back early after nasty split from mum), my lovely family dog got cancer, my dad was diagnosed with cancer and my Nan had a stroke. I feel to pieces and the mentors i was workimg with were not supportive at all no matter my professionalism. They themselves were behind on my paperwork no matter my prompting and completed a midpoint review and endpoint two days apart(8 week placement) and failed me for no improvement even though other staff had passed me previously with no issues. I vecame suicidal and attempted to take my life sfter a bad hospital shift. Again I was unsupported pulling emergency call bells and no one coming. Doing lone cpr and a previous shift cleaning up a deceased patient who had been left for 5 hours by another member of staff because she ' couldnt be bothered and it wasnt like they needed help anymore. I had to read through the checklist and look up what to do as doing it as no one had the time for me. I waa unsucessful but decided to try again when i graduated as i believed i couldnt mentally survive life in general.

Then a year later my engagement broke down and I lost the only supportive family like structure I had, during my disssertation I returned home ro my mother and she continued to be bulling and abusive. She screamed at me for not getting over it ( we had been together for 7 years) after a week. I informed her that I felt suicidal and i thought that I needed some help. She told me to get on with ir, if i wanted to do it- just do it. This was just after my (dad's father) grandad funeral- i went with my ex as we still get on. She made me feel so guilty and feel that I owed her the world that I even thanked her in my dissertation- How warped my mind had become!

That christmas it got to the point where everything was getting sour. My grandparent (her parents) started supporting me and i stayed there during the day as much as I could. I graduated late November with a 2:1 (somehow!) and had a job lined up for the start of Jan, feb latest. I was so proud but it didnt take long for my mother to get annoyed again at my apparent laziness. After wasting three years having an easy life at uni (apparently..) a gap of a month to get myself on track was too much. One day when I was at my grandparents she locked me out. I had nothing on me and could hear her inside.. i had no coice but to call my ex who immediately alowed me to stay so i got back on my motorbike and drove out there. After informing my grandparents and bother she denied everything and allowed me to collect my things but preceeded to kick me out the moment i walked in. To give a bit of background at home it was my job to cook and clean ..everything. i also paid rent equal to ground rent with amenities. So I wasnt there for free, this money use to go straight into her purse and often used on a night out with her friends as well as her new life.

After this happening for about a week where i sofa surfed she allowed me home and wanted to up my rent further. At which point I asked for it to be broken down so if bills increased in future it could be easily increased with no arguement ( cant argue with numbers!) At which point she lost it and tried to throw me out again. At this point my grandparents worried and gave me a fair some which i put together with my decent savings to buy a small house or flat. Even though my mother did not find out about this at this point she fid still cut them off communication wise again! She had done this in the past for seven years.

I continued to have the same issues with my new job as in my training. Doctors ignoring emergency call bells, pulling dead patients solid hands from bed rails as well as up to 26 patients on a fast paced medical and surgical ward (over our 12 limit). I even once was giving a defrosting kidney for transplant on a hot day in our completely newly opened hospital with faulty air conditioning and no idea where our ice machine was! ( spolier the staff didnt know that we didnt have one and i had to run the length of an average mall across campus to get some from icu!) This was my first time and first week in the new hospital with no protocol, guidance or education. Nothing like holding someone's future in your hands! Luckily i forced their hands with what they had done and the recent cqc review.

At this point I had met my amazing husband but it didnt take long for my mum to get jealous. She believed i didnt work enough (full time of up to 60 hours a week consisting of 12 hour shifts) as I had days of lazing (recovering!) around the house. I had conrinued to pay my rent and cover all cooking and cleaning but it was not enough. I used ghe place like a hotel apparently and was going out to see my bf too much! She kicked me out. Threw my stuff in the garage and i ended up with a single outfit of a tacky red lace dress to visit my new job before starting.. which made quite a stir and a bit if a laugh! I then had to put my pride aside and I asked then my 3 month long bf if j could move in! Luckily he was fine with it and everything was a bit smoother.

My job however continued to be stressful but with a few old buts of sickness i managed to keep it going and the staff became impressed with me. I took on a senior role quickly in a nurse led (no doctors) for about half my shift. However staff grated on me, they could be very homophobic and being a closted bisexual around work and family became depressing. During this time was the final contact by face from my mother and my dad over a nine month period attempted suicide 5 times and was sectioned. My bosses response was, well he tried it again- well you most be use to it by now.

Overall my family support is zero now. My dad still continues to ignore most of my attempted communications. My brother believes my mother was right (he is the golden child as discribed by his wife) and his children dont know who auntie Lanie is or how im related to them. I had to pull myself away out of fear that my mum is very defensive over her 'family' and i didnt want to get him in the middls of it. I have never told him anything, we have never discussed his previous actions either. When i got married i sent a invitation to my mother as a branch. Shw sent back a four page letter .. hand written.. twice in the mail ( so she most have a copy herself and took time to write this disgusting thing) about how i am a lazy horrible human being who doesnt even care about her mum as a person (not even a stranger) but sent love to my husband (as its not her its obviously all to do with me making her this way). I promptly burnt one of the letters. My fathers family also make remarks aboit the blacksheep and say things like ' oh so you havent changed i heard you had been horrible to everyone!' And my nan on that side saying well you shoukd see me more often as you cant say bye when im dead dven though i nursed my grandad on my ward/placement (i know against rules!) And spent every lunch with him encouraging him to eat even though he had no idea who i was due to dementia.

For those TLDR*** lol
I know am looking and trying for the uptenth time to try and get myself on the path to healing and want this to be the last time. For those who didnt tldr (haha) i would take any advice and opinions to stop any depression relapse. Im on medication ( for the fifth time!) I exercise a lot as i am off on sick currently, i do yoga etc. I am also looking for a new job outside of nursing as I dont have the resources to continue though i try to volunteer at an animal charity as much as possible to fulfil the need to not be lazy and be useful to society (i am working on this stupid belief..)

Any tips? ;)

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Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:45 pm

Re: My Story

Postby Lanie » Sat Oct 12, 2019 10:31 pm

Sorry for any typos!

Posts: 241
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:54 am

Re: My Story

Postby Spleefy » Sun Oct 13, 2019 9:13 am

Hi Lanie,

Thanks for sharing your story. I’m not sure why you hold the belief that you are not a good story teller because it was a good read.

It is not surprising that you have depression and anxiety with the all intense prolonged stress in your life as well as being mistreated by family.

For what it’s worth, I think you are doing an amazing job, and I feel you have a kind heart and nature about you.

Definitely keep up with regular exercise, perhaps adding to the mix some moderate to high intensity exertion to observe what effects it has on your mood and wellbeing.

A nutritious diet of quality food is also essential for a healthy mind and body. The diet does not need to be extreme like many enthusiastic raw food YouTuber’s advocate. In my situation and opinion, I overcame depression by keeping my diet simple and balanced.

I removed all sugar and junk food, as the body cannot utilize these foods. So I gave the body only what was useful, such as fruit, vegetables, salads, meat, fish, eggs, lentils, and so forth.

I also drank smoothies made with coconut water and yet more fruit and vegetables at least once a day. I also added spirulina to my smoothies to boost my nutrient intake. Although, after I did a three-day analysis of my diet, I was surprised that it wasn’t doing as much as I thought it was. The bulk of nutrients came from food. So I removed the spirulina, as it was an unnecessary expense. However, the analysis didn’t take into account the quality of the food I was consuming, etc., so it isn’t unreasonable to take quality multinutrient supplements in my opinion.

Anyway, the point is… flood your body with nutrients, with the bulk from nutritious foods. The nutrients put me literally on a high because it could now synthesize all the neurotransmitters I needed to feel motivated, happy, and content.

Drugs are okay (and sometimes necessary), but people depend on them far more than necessary at the expense of healthy living and removing as many stressors in their life as possible, including toxic relationships.

Being a productive member of society is definitely a worthwhile pursuit, as it involves more than just existing. Being born is not enough… we all need to do our best to make (however small) difference in this world.

Being a nurse is definitely a contribution, as you improve the quality of other people’s lives. Also, volunteering at an animal shelter is a fantastic way to contribute. I love animals and I’m considering volunteering myself once I reschedule my existing loads to make it work.

I’m not sure if there is a full proof way to stop a depressive relapse. I overcame my long-standing, severe clinical depression several years ago. It wasn’t until several years later, much to my astonishment, that I had a relapse.

This was a surprise because I had been through two deaths in the family, under EXTREME stress, isolation, and all kinds of other stressors. I also became lazy with my diet and started eating crap. So, by this stage, I should have had a relapse… but it never happened. I was still mentally strong and went through all the beautiful human pleasures of grief, sadness, happiness, and joy… normal human emotions that I never experienced whilst depressed.

However, some time later, it caught up to me and I just hit rock bottom almost overnight (although, I could feel it building up slowly for a few months previously). By this stage I had suicidal ideation—something I haven’t had in years since I overcame depression. But, being the sole, informal carer for my uncle, I knew I couldn’t fail him. So I decided to seek help and so I spoke to a couple of people I trusted.

At the end of the day, we all need to find what works for ourselves—our formula. This formula can change or evolve in the future, but you just need to keep rediscovering it.

The main thing is to keep an open mind, otherwise you won’t discover gems that may be life changing.

When I had the relapse, I went back to my old formula. However, I also did something different. Out of desperation, I cried out to God in the shower, using his name “Jehovah”. I asked Jehovah to take my pain away.

I got immediate alleviation. The next day, out of the blue, I got a knock on the door from one of my uncle’s support workers (retired) whom I haven’t seen in over five years. She gave me tons of love and support. She also offered to get me in touch with someone who was forming a depression group locally.

Within two weeks, I also got a knock on the door from a Jehovah’s Witness that I’ve known for years. He and his wife were overseas for several months doing spiritual work, so it had been quite some time since I saw them or any other Jehovah’s Witness for that matter.

This is when I knew Jehovah had answered my prayer.

My spiritual friend offered to do Bible studies once a week, which is exactly what I needed without knowing it at the time. Jehovah knew, though!

Since then, I have accepted Jehovah’s hand of friendship and let him guide me by using his Word the Bible. My life has never been better.

So the missing piece in my life was spirituality. I have never been spiritual. I was always inclined to a military mindset. I was taking care of other aspects of human functioning, but neglected the spiritual part of life. This is, over time, becoming the most important part of my life.

So find what works for you and your situation.

Diet and exercise is definitely global, as it is a fundamental part of human functioning. These two things should not be neglected.

It would be easy for me to say that spirituality and God is critical, but this is not true. It is only true for those with the right heart condition and whether or not they are teachable. Thus, it definitely is not going to help everybody.

But there are many other things in life that people do find helpful, whatever that may be. You just need to explore, keep and open mind and heart, and be accepting of new things, but always use good judgment and reasoning.

If there are things that make you happy, find a way to do it. For example, I love nature and animals, so I got a puppy and do gardening. I also love running in the woods and exploring different tracks, which keeps me connected to my love of nature.

Build up a bank account of the things that you enjoy, whilst keeping the stress down as much as possible. Prolonged stress is a causative and maintaining factor for depression, which can also result in a relapse as it did me.

In your situation, it sounds like a lot of the issues and stress originate with family—the lack of support and mistreatment.

Perhaps it is time to do some pruning and remove the weeds in your life?

A support network is incredibly powerful. Whilst you can overcome depression without it (as I did), life is just that much easier to cope with when we have a good circle of people and friends. I've been slowly building up a circle of good associations in my life--people who will bring me up rather than keep me down. This has made so much difference to my life.

I will pray for you that you find love and peace in your life.
Jehovah is close to the brokenhearted; he saves those who are crushed in spirit.—Psalm 34:18

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Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:54 am

Re: My Story

Postby Spleefy » Sun Oct 13, 2019 9:50 am

I just wanted to add something... I was in the shower and reflecting. I reflected on your situation as well as what I did today.

I said earlier to try to build up a bank account of doing things we enjoy. Well, that would be considered a positive experience. So, essentially, we should try to build up a bank account of positive experiences.

Often, we have so many negative or painful experiences and that may eventually evolve into depression when we become overwhelmed.

So I reflected on my day and realized that I had more positive experiences than negative. For example, I spent time with a good friend of mine. We spent the entire day listening to live music at the cafe. The music was fantastic!!! We met some lovely people, particularly one lady that was sitting next to us. She was a lovely person.

I also had a few decent training sessions (I've had better, but it was still okay) with Spleefy today. Most of all, we spent some quality time together today and went for a few walks.

I visited my favorite nursery on the way home with my friend. We both got some new plants. I also got a new garden statue that I think will bring my garden to life.

My uncle is feeling unwell, so I got to give him some relief and comfort.

I am soon going to do something spiritual, so this will be yet another very positive experience of the day.

These are just some of the highlights and positive experiences of my day. I had minimal, if any, real negative experiences. So essentially what I am doing is, each day, I do my best to continue building up a bank account of positive experiences and keep the negative ones minimal.

Tomorrow, hopefully it will be a sunny day. I have plans to go to the beach with another friend and our dogs. I also want to do some gardening and get some more plants into the ground and find a place for my home for my garden feature. I also plan on doing a great training session with Spleefy.

So I have in place some positive experiences for tomorrow ready. I may encounter a few negative experiences, but that's okay. I plan to have more positive than negative, so my positive bank account will remain higher than the negative one.

This might be something to think about in your own life.

I just realized, whilst I was in the shower reflecting, that is what I have inadvertently been doing over the past several months. It makes all the difference!
Jehovah is close to the brokenhearted; he saves those who are crushed in spirit.—Psalm 34:18

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