I have never shared my struggle with depression in public let alone on a website. Well I’m 32 years old and I suffered from depression off and on since I was a teen. It has been a roller coaster ride. It hasn’t been easy growing up on a traditional Korean household. I came to US at an early age. In our family we were not allowed to show emotions.
I did well in school and I tried to be a paragon of Korean American daughter should be like: study, go to church and be respectful. I studied hard in high school and I know I had pushed my emotions away. I went to college out of states and it started to become harder. I was becoming morose. I was part of an unhealthy church and when I got out of it in my own will I sunk into huge depression.
I got diagnosed with MDD at the end of that year in my early 20s. I remember the drinking and excessive crying, I felt very alone. Then I refused to take meds. I got accepted to a graduate program in applied math but I was too depressed to go on. I moved back home and decided on a new change, pretending nothing happened in the past. But that was a mistake. I decided to pursue a degree in something very different from math and more related to psychology. Well I went to school in Boston. In the beginning it was fine, exploring a new city and meeting new friends. It was fine for a year, since I loved my program. But for some reason I was slipping back into depression more severe than years before.
I had my first attempt February of 2006. It was the birthday of someone whom I was close to back at the church in college. We ended our relationship on very bad terms.
I overdosed and called a church friend of mine and she immediately took me to the hospital. I was in the ward for three days though I found it counterproductive doing nothing. I made another attempt two months later during Good Friday. My first cat had passed and all the stresses I could not take in. I called a different friend regarding overdose and she also took me in.
On both of these times I felt helpless and the thought that I was utterly alone came into mind. It was pitch black darkness. But I was I another ward for same amount of time but they directly had placed me in partial hospitalization with DBT program. That year my parents did not know any of these situations due to stigma and them not understanding what it was all about.
The following year I overdosed again and again was hospitalized. I called my parents and they were in disbelief. Right after I got released I moved back home to start all over. Things started to pick up as I found a new church and new friends. In both Boston and NYC I was in two very short term dating relationships. After those were over I became better but then something happened in grad school which disallowed me to go on. I had made a mistake that had such consequences. My best friend of a good 10 years had decided to cut ties with me because she could not deal with the painful events I went through, and possibly she was ashamed I was her friend.
I was crushed. This was one of many broken relationships. I still moved on and got a job for two years as a teaching assistant. I loved the job and the people and those times were very peaceful. Then I turned 30 and I thought my 30s looked optimistic. I had again gone into a grad program that enabled me to become a high school teacher.
Because the program was rigorous I had put a lot of energy into it and managed to get through it with flying colors. By this point I had a more racially diverse group of friends which I felt more comfortable with. I was dealing with school stressors but the good times did not last forever.
I started to think about dating as I wasn’t that young. First I dated someone who was introduced by someone whom I deemed as an older brother. We dated for three months but we were too similar. The next person I dated changed everything and this was a year ago. Without going into elaborate details we had a great dating relationship. I met him very unexpectedly in a social event. Things were great. I was in heaven. I grew to love this man and vice versa. The relationship we had was something I had wanted all along. I was in great mood almost all the time.
But long story short, due to our baggage and a few differences in values, our relationship ended exactly 6 months ago. The way it ended was unexpected, over just one time we argued. His mother was not happy with us because of our age difference, which was four years. Well due to stresses it ended.
The aftermath I fell into was the worst depression I went through. I had gone through countless overdoses, which info I hid from my therapist. My ex, as you can call it has helped me so much, through it affected his mental health.
It was my first year teaching in which it was stress. By grace I was able to teach well and build rapport with my students and colleagues. The latter were great people. For that year I was disillusioned and severely depressed. This made me go through 9 months DBT session on weekly basis. My therapist found out about the attempts, the last one being two months prior. I went to treatment with much protest and stayed there for a little less than two weeks. It’s a constant struggle, and I do regress here and there, but I am doing better.