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My Story.

I never thought I'd be that girl--the weird one with an odd life. But when depression began at age fourteen, that's precisely who I became. I struggled with self-esteem, body issues, anger management, self-harm, & eventually substance abuse & addiction. My freshman year of high school was tough, but nothing could've prepared me for my sophomore year.

I saw hell in a vivid hallucination. I thought I was possessed by a demon named King. I was hearing voices that became more vivid & intense & dominating than my present reality. I was in & out of psychosis, touch & go with reality. It was terrifying & surreal. My parents grounded me for frightening my friends with these events. I felt isolated & alone, & haunted by this new reality plaguing me. My view of life was obscured by these auditory & visual hallucinations. I couldn't tell what was real anymore & what was just in my head.

Over the months, my delusions grew as well as my hallucinations & psychotic depression. I thought God was allowing this oppression because I was destined to save the soul of the demon haunting me. I also believed I could foresee the future & that I had potentially unlimited spiritual & mental power.

The most I've ever written was during that year of mental chaos. I journaled & wrote letters to my best friend explaining what I was experiencing & struggling with.

The summer following that year, I craved normalcy more than ever before. I didn't want to think about cutting myself or talking back to the voices in my head or being swallowed whole by the darkness of depression or plagued by flashbacks of unbearable moments in psychosis. I wanted to enjoy being sixteen years-old like my peers were.

I got my first job at an amusement park where I was first introduced to the party scene. I began drinking regularly because it relieved all of my symptoms & allowed me to feel like my carefree self again. I was genuinely enjoying life, &, for the first time in two years, I felt free from my mental bondage.

But the drinking didn't end well. In November, I was kicked out of school for possession of marijuana & alcohol. This began six months of ultimate misery, as I was grounded & home schooled for the remainder of my juniour year.

This led up to my first suicide attempt when I overdosed on Vicodin. According to my research years later, that amount of the drug should've killed me. It's a miracle I survived. I was unconscious for sixteen hours & sick for several weeks afterwards. I kept my attempt to myself, embarrassed by my failure.

After that, I recovered. I got my driver's license & returned to school for my seniour year. I had a stable year & it was beautiful.

Two months before graduating high school, I went to a party & was raped. This changed everything & threw me back into a vicious cycle of depression & post-traumatic stress which lasted a year. I drank; I cut; I tried ecstasy a few times. My relationships with friends, family, & romantic partners was chaotic, to say the least. Needless to say, I was struggling.

After this, I had two relatively stable years, & then it all came crashing down. Depression crept in, & one night I got so drunk my psychosis was triggered & I again tried to kill myself, this time from overdosing on alcohol & antidepressants, the most commonly used substances to overdose with.

Since then, the past two & a half years have been filled with deep, debilitating depression. There was a six month period when my psychosis dominated my mind & I was entirely disabled & spent most of my days laying in bed or on the couch. I was homeless, staying with whomever would take me in.

This is when I received a diagnosis for the first time: bipolar disorder type II & post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

I finally started recovering, & then I was raped again. A few months later, my PTSD finally began to calm down again.

I was ripped off 1,200$ by a roommate & coworker, which really set me back & triggered major depression. Once finally back on my feet from that debacle, my apartment burned down. I didn't have insurance & I lost literally everything--from thousands of hand written pages to my wardrobe, & everything in between.

I've been trying to start over, but that's a major work in progress, & progress is painfully slow. Medications & therapy don't seem to work, but I stick with them nonetheless. I've developed a set of coping skills that help keep me stable & functioning, but they don't work when symptoms are bad.

So I continue on this journey of self-discovery & mental health recovery, hoping to find answers & a better solution for this life I lead.

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