So this is a confession of sorts, about my reason’s in naming my blog “Standing in the Storm” (I know the title seems kinda cheesy), but mostly its a confession about me.
These past couple years have not seemed kind, they’ve had their moments for sure, but I find myself having trouble deciding where to start. My best bet, I suppose would have to be December 2011, that was the time I most noticeably was suffering from very bad anxiety and depression. I’m not really sure if anyone really noticed though, my friends where going through their own crisis’ and living their own lives, and for the most part so was my family. My mom noticed though and she supported me the best she could but she was going through a tough time as well.
To back track a little (you’ll understand why in a moment) I had a sister who suffered from mitochondria disease all her life, meaning she had constant seizures, she couldn’t talk, eat by herself, or walk without help. As she got older she grew more and more dependent on others. Walking had been her one freedom but soon came the day she needed help with even that. The doctors said she wouldn’t make it to two years old… she was 15 when she passed away. All this time I never questioned why she was the way she was, to me she was just Natalie, my little sister. Some people compare mentally disabled people to children, I do not think this is true, Natalie was a 15-year-old girl with a disability not a 3-year-old trapped in a teens body. There was a kindness about her, and a stubborn streak that seems to run in the family, she like you and me was her own person.
That year, 2011, she was sicker than usual missing lots of school, and not even really wanting to walk (her favorite pastime, I think if she hadn’t of had her disease she would have been a runner or a dancer). She passed away February 29th 2012 about two months after her birthday. When this happened I felt like I had to take care of my brother and other sister (my parents being in Vancouver at the children’s hospital) my Grandma had come a few days earlier to watch over us, but I felt like I had to take care of her too. Family and Friends where very supportive, but every time they asked us over I felt like it was something I had to do, to let them think they were helping enough, and they were. I stayed as strong as I could until after the funeral, only crying in the safety of my room and in front of a few choice people. I remember one of my friends asking why I was laughing, why wasn’t I crying? I can’t remember what was so funny at the time.
The month after, I was sick the whole time, I think that’s what happens when you keep your grief inside, you get physically ill. Once I was better I had trouble being in large groups of people, often leaving church early, or staying the car when we went to the grocery store. Then overtime I felt better, happier with life, school ended, I’d passed into grade 12 with good grades and had a glorious summer. We moved into a new house and I had my own room, I even felt more at ease with different classmates. Then once again I started to fall into depression, and again I got sick, this time with some mystery illness that caused me to miss lots, and lots of school and left me barely able to get out of bed with out puking my guts up. It wasn’t til January I was diagnosed with chronic gastritis, it causes stomach inflammation, ulcers, and liver problems to name a few. But luckily it was easily correctable with a not-so-simple diet change I’m struggling with it still.
This time I don’t know if I ever really kicked the depression thing though, as I’m sure many of you know its a deep dark tunnel that’s not so easy to get out of. This time I think I just set it on the back burner. My Grandfather (suffering from Parkinson’s) after living down south, by himself, for over 20 years, moved in with us that April. I was not excited or gracious. First off, he was taking my room (I had to share with my sister, but I do see how petty I was about that now), and second he is not the kind of grandpa who’s lap you could sit on or who told stories (nice, funny ones that is), or who’d give you candy. He thought I was fat and immature (among other things) and let me know it. He wasn’t kind to my siblings either. So, no I was not looking forward to having this man in my house.
When he first moved in things seemed fine, then they got worse, and worse, and worse. He was mean, totally selfish, and did nothing but take the occasional walk (with his little dog that he brought along), sleep, stare at everybody like he was trying to kill us with his eyes, and sleep some more. Eventually he grew very paranoid, a few examples being…
* Believing his money was being stolen
*Thinking we were poisoning him
*Thinking there was a government chip in his head
There were many more paranoia’s I won’t get into. His health diminished and doctors were not taking him seriously. This all eventually led to him trying to take his own life in early October. The ambulance came and he’s been in the hospital ever since. All his kids were up to see him, and its been very hard on my parents especially my mom, I couldn’t imagine watching my dad break into so many pieces. Its been hard on all of us, but honestly, and I do feel bad for saying this, I feel so much more free. I have trouble forgiving my Grandpa for everything he did and said. I know from the beginning his life wasn’t easy but it was still his choices that led him to where he is now.
Somewhere in-between Grandpa moving in and moving out, my depression got bigger, I wanted to die. I never wanted to kill myself, I just didn’t want to live anymore. I felt like I didn’t have anything to live for. I had just graduated, most of my friends where in college, and I had no idea what to do with the rest of my life, I felt like my God didn’t care anymore, and that I was fat and ugly, and not worth much at all. Eventually I was called on it, someone noticed, and just like that all of that weight fell off.
I still have self image issues (I’m not exactly a stick, but I’m not fat either, but I’m learning to love me the only people I would catergorize like that is myself), I still don’t know what to do with myself (although I have some ideas), and though I still believe in God I’m having trouble believing that when I die there won’t just be nothing… I afraid of not existing… But I want to live, and after my grandfather tried to end his life I saw how selfish the depressed way of thinking was. I recently got to connect with someone who’s going through depression, and it was so good to talk to someone who understood, and be there to help them through it. I’ve rediscovered my passions and I finely feel like I can stand up, “Stand in the Storm” if you will.
This post is not meant to arouse pity, it’s meant to share…well…me, a little of my back story, and to maybe give somebody out there who’s gone through, or is going through the same kind of thing, something to relate to.