Getting Out of a Rut, by Amber Brockman

Updated: Jul 1, 2019

*Trigger Warning* Suicide, Depression, Self Harm, Emotional Abuse

To any who feel stuck in a rut or dark cloud and suffer from depression,

I was diagnosed with depression when I was fifteen years old. I had been going to counseling for a majority of my life but that year, something changed. I had no energy, I had no interest in friends, family, or my activities at school, I felt like crying 95% of the time, and I had so many thoughts about how much I hated myself that sometimes it was just unbearable. I started on anti-depression medication and for a while, things were great. I felt happier, my energy levels were

up, my family noticed a difference in my overall demeanor, and the self-hate thoughts began to die down. About a year and a half after being on medication I lost a very good friend of mine to suicide. His death rocked my world and threw me down in a spiral I never would have seen coming. For the first time I struggled with self-harm. Every day I wanted to either cut my skin or re-open cuts that I’d already had just to feel anything other than sadness, anger, and guilt. No one

understood what I was going through or why I resorted to cutting myself. I resumed counseling and slowly through the next few years I had grown out of the urge to cut or re-open self-harm wounds. I began to be more open about my depression and I fought every day to get stronger, to move forward to a future that I wanted for myself. I graduated from high school in 2015 and

went on to start college. College was a struggle unlike anything I’d ever been through before. Constant feelings of self-doubt, wondering if I was wasting my time and if I needed to change my major, worrying about friends and grades, etc. I barely made it through my junior year. My junior year I went through an emotionally abusive relationship that threw me through yet another spiral downward. I was back to feeling the exact same way that I did when I lost my friend in high school. I had no energy, I missed at least one class every day, sometimes even two, and my motivation for grades and homework was gone. I lost friends, I lost my love for music, and I contemplated dropping out of college completely. But there was always something pushing me to continue. My family, my friends, my counselor, and the hope that someday I would make a difference in children’s lives motivated me to keep going. After Christmas break, I came back

determined to make positive changes in my life. I was on a new medication, I made amends with friends that I’d lost, and I was going to make it. In March of 2018 I decided to stop taking my depression medication. It was a hard choice but I wanted to see how I would do without them. I travelled to Europe with my choir, I finished my junior year, and I pushed through toward my senior year where I began student teaching. I graduated from college this past May and I couldn’t

be happier with where I am in my life. I have a teaching job that I begin in August and my life is continuing to move forward.

Depression is something that can often feel like an impossible obstacle to get over. It can feel so overwhelming, heavy, and dark. But I am living proof that if you fight, if you get the help that you need and you break the stigma of mental health, you CAN get better. You CAN live the life you’ve always wanted to live. It’s not always going to be easy. My depression is something that I have to monitor every single day. It’s likely something that I will struggle with for the rest of my

life. But I made the choice to not let it get in the way of my dreams and goals in life. I strongly encourage you to reach out, get the help you need, and fight the battle. I did it, you can too.

Much love,

Your ally and advocate.

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