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Happy Inspirational

TW: Mental health issues

It reached a point where it probably wasn’t safe for me to be alone in my home with my often dangerous thoughts. 

The symptoms were bad, I admit. I couldn’t get out of bed, my focus was terrible, people had to repeat things to me when I bothered to communicate with other humans at all. 

Everything felt far away from me, like the world around me was in another dimension and I was just holed up in my own little bubble. All sounds would dim, and even my eyes would blur at the edges of my vision. I felt like a zombie; nothing at all felt real.

And then the waves of emptiness would come. I would lay in bed all day, not able to find a single reason to get up. I felt a deep ache in my chest, a suffocating sadness that enveloped my whole self. 

When I spent so much time in my house, I had time to remember. There was plenty of time to think about things. Too much time to think about too many things. There have been dark times in my life I just wanted to forget, but an idle mind is easily filled with darkness. 

At a certain point, `my whole life felt like it was teetering on the edge of an ice covered ledge. Any tiny thing could push me over, I knew. There wasn't enough tying me to the surface. There wasn't enough that I had to stay for.

It terrified me to no end, whether I would admit it or not. I was so scared that something would come and push me over the edge. I felt that probability looming over my head, and I had started to accept it.

That's when it starts to get really dangerous. When you accept that there's nothing more you can do.

And Mom saw this, and decided that it was enough. 

It might be sad, for a grown woman to live with her mother, but she tells me that it was a good choice. Mom has always sugar coated things, though. 

Sherry says it was the right decision, too, and she’s paid to tell me the right things. Sherry and I agree, though, that I shouldn’t stay there forever. Once I’m better, I can live at home again. At my home, not the home I grew up hating.

It wasn’t about the home, and it wasn’t about the people in it. I love my parents dearly, and I missed my father more than I would admit. It was the things that happened in that home, things that happened behind closed doors that I was scared to talk about. 

One day, I was given a card. 

I had a friend that I was close with. I still am, we talk every once in a while, but not as much anymore. 

She gave me Sherry’s card and said that she had helped her in the past, and that she may be able to help me, too. This was right after I moved in with Mom, and I decided that I could afford a session or two. I cringed at the thought of going to therapy, but Mom insisted that she wouldn’t let me move out until I got some help. 

So I scheduled an appointment, just to ease Mom’s worries. I told myself that I would just go a couple times. The session itself wouldn’t do any good anyways. What good ever came from telling people how I felt?

No good; that’s the answer.  

But when I got to Sherry’s office, I found myself talking. I just kept going, and before I knew it I had told her almost everything. She sat there listening, and never made me feel stupid. She never told me that I was being dramatic. 

Shaking, I told this woman everything. I had this physical reaction to the release of emotion and tension that had been building up inside me all my life. Dark, horrible, tar-like emotion seemed to seep out of my every pore, and it enveloped me.

Being covered in the darkness didn't seem like a good thing. I found myself wondering how this could ever help. Dredging up all of these unwanted emotions seemed to be doing more harm than help.

I cried so many times that day I feel embarrassed when I look back on it. I cried when I told her about those unspoken things that happened when I was young, and how I can’t look at men the same now. I cried when I told her about all my scars, ones running up and down my arms, usually concealed by sleeves. She wasn’t disgusted or even shocked when she saw them like others have been when I slipped and let my sleeves roll up. 

And I cried the hardest when Sherry told me.

“Maxine, I think you have PTSD, and severe depression as another symptom of it,” Sherry informed me, her voice soft and strangely reassuring despite her terrifying words. “I also think that the trauma has caused you to detach from reality. You may have a condition called derealization disorder, which would cause all of the fogginess you described.”

To have names and explanations for all my symptoms was an experience I couldn’t even explain. I felt like all these things were real; like I wasn’t just making them up. 

And that was the turning point in my life. 

That’s when things started to get better.


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“... Happy birthday to you,” I hear a dissonant chorus of voices sing. They laugh and cheer as I blow out the candles for my daughter on her birthday cake, and I beam up at my family. 

I balance my now 1 year-old daughter on my hip as I stand up to hug my mother, who is standing next to me. 

“Thank you,” I tell her. “I never could’ve put this together without you.” 

Mom nods at me, tears welling up in her eyes. “I’m just so glad you exist. And little Raven, too.” 

I feel tears of my own threaten to spill over my eyelids. “I just wish Matt were here, you know?”

“He’ll be back soon,” Mom assures me. “He’s doing a fantastic job out there serving our country, and I know he’s excited to visit you and Raven as soon as he’s able.”

I nod, and Mom hugs me one more time. 

We open presents next. Raven seems excited, though I doubt she really knows what’s going on. We laugh at her little squeals as she gets to rip open each gift, tearing at the paper enthusiastically. 

When everyone finally leaves, I take a moment to myself before beginning to clean up. I stare down at my little sleeping daughter, feeling the dark black tufts of hair that I named her for. She looks nothing like me or Matt, but I always suspect that her coloring comes from my dad. It makes me happy beyond words that Raven gets a little piece of her grandpa, even though she never gets to meet him. 

I remember Mom’s words from earlier, I’m just so glad you exist. 

Thinking of it now, I finally catch her hidden meaning. Just a couple years ago, I was teetering on the edge of that icy cliff. If she never made me move in with her or go to see Sherry, I don’t know if I would even be alive. 

I always thought that I was fine. I was still on the edge; you don't need help until you're in that downwards spiral. But I was already in the downwards spiral, and everything around me was falling too fast for me to see.

The thought terrifies me. I hold my daughter close. 

I didn’t think that I had any reason to live, back then. If only I could’ve seen just three years into the future, maybe I would’ve realized that there were so many things I had left to do. I’m just lucky that I realized it in time. 

I met Matt shortly after that first session with Sherry. It all got better, in a matter of months. I wish I could tell everyone out there who thinks they have no life left to live. The saying that I always thought was cheesy rings truer than any other phrase.

It gets better. 


May 23, 2021 06:11

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40 comments

17:47 Jun 01, 2021

i'm gonna show this to most of my friends bc they have cut before and one tried overdosing being in 7th grade sucks when they are trying to do stuff like that and i cant do anything to help i want them to feel how i did when i read this

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Monica June
17:54 Jun 01, 2021

Please do. I hope it makes a difference, I really do. 7th and 8th grade were some of my darkest times, personally, and this story is a lot of a reflection of what I went through then.

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Monica June
06:12 May 23, 2021

A/n Okay, so obviously this is very different from my usual stories. I really wanted to do something more significant and personal for this story, and I finally came up with an idea. The plotline is pretty simple and straightforward, and I haven't even really proofread it yet, so please point out any mistakes you guys catch. Thanks :)

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Rayney Day
14:53 Jun 02, 2021

I loved this, and I can relate. One of the best things about writing and reading is you can write anything, and people will always relate. The part where the main character talked about having a diagnosis for the thing you always thought you were making up is so, so true. I just recently got diagnosed with bipolar depression and you're right, it is a relief to know you aren't making it up after all. Sorry if that was too much oversharing XD Beautiful story, you portrayed this beautifully and in such a reassuring way. It does get better.

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Monica June
16:35 Jun 03, 2021

Thank you so much for sharing! I don't think it was too much. This story is a bit of reflection on my own life, and I love that I can (hopefully) make an impact on someone else.

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Rayney Day
15:43 Jun 04, 2021

You impacted me for sure. You write so beautifully I love love love your style

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Monica June
21:03 Jun 04, 2021

Thank you so much! I appreciate it more than I can say :)

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Henery X
01:32 Jun 01, 2021

Greetings, Monica. I pray all is well with you and yours during this time of rebuilding and rejoicing. I truly enjoyed your story, especially the moral. Continue to bless us with gems from your diamond mind. #writewithpurposeonpurpose

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Monica June
17:54 Jun 01, 2021

Thank you so much!

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Henery X
11:20 Jun 02, 2021

You are welcome and worthy, Monica. Acknowledging one another's presence, as well as our offerings, is amongst the greatest things we as humans could ever think to do. May your success continue to exceed your highest expectations #writewithpurposeonpurpose #creativessupportingcreatives

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Monica June
12:01 Jun 02, 2021

I agree! And I appreciate all the kind words of motivation. :)

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Henery X
11:20 Jun 02, 2021

You are welcome and worthy, Monica. Acknowledging one another's presence, as well as our offerings, is amongst the greatest things we as humans could ever think to do. May your success continue to exceed your highest expectations #writewithpurposeonpurpose #creativessupportingcreatives

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Monica June
12:01 Jun 02, 2021

also I think you accidentally made this comment a LOT of times! xD

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Henery X
11:20 Jun 02, 2021

You are welcome and worthy, Monica. Acknowledging one another's presence, as well as our offerings, is amongst the greatest things we as humans could ever think to do. May your success continue to exceed your highest expectations #writewithpurposeonpurpose #creativessupportingcreatives

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Charli Britton
12:14 May 24, 2021

It wasn’t about the home, and it wasn’t about the people in it. I love my parents dearly, and I missed my father more than I would admit. Hmmmm Monica Monica Monica Why does this feel like you? Like a version of the future? Hmmmm explain?? xD Nice job mon ami. I like that it became happy. oh but plot twist, Matt dies, right? Because there is no way you can't kill at least ONE person in your writing, right? I'm teasing. love you. ;)

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Monica June
13:56 May 24, 2021

Oh- I can assure you that not everything was based on real life. Sorry to disappoint xD And I'll leave it up to you... Maybe the possibility of someone dying can be enough for me...

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Charli Britton
15:38 May 24, 2021

xD

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Daniel Hayes
06:31 May 23, 2021

This was a very powerful story, Monica! I think a lot of people will be able to relate to this one, I know I did. I think a lot of people deal with depression and other mental health issues, but never get the help they need. Therapy is a good way to help teach us ways to better our mental health problems. I'm so glad you added that in this story because it really does help. This was very inspirational and I love the ending line of "It gets better." That is so true, and I think it you hit a home run with this story :) So, you wanted to ...

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Monica June
16:10 May 23, 2021

I'm so glad you caught that mistake! Thank you, I'll go back and fix that now. And that really was the point of the story, so it means so much to me that you liked it. I'm sorry you have to relate, but I'm glad I can get my point across. Therapy is always something that has been hard for me to get around to, so this story may be a bit of me trying to follow my own advice! xD Thank you so much for your kind words, it means the world. :)

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Daniel Hayes
16:23 May 23, 2021

Hi Monica, I think a lot of people will be able to relate to this story. I think most people have gone through dark times, and this story was very inspirational. I hope writing this story made you proud, because it was great. Thank you so much for sharing it :)

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Ola Hotchpotch
16:14 Jun 02, 2021

Does it help if you can talk to someone about things or people who drive you mad or simply make you angry. Being a good listener without judging is a great quality. We need to talk more about mental health issues just like we talk about physical health. But my suggestion is if we would say 'emotional health' instead of 'mental health' it would be better. It would remove the stigma and harassment done by opportunists and uneducated masses. People would be able to talk about their deepest feelings without embarassment or fear. What is mind af...

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Monica June
19:33 Jun 02, 2021

I think I understand what you're getting at. I've always used the phrase mental health, so I've never really thought about the term. And that's a very interesting question! Does therapy help, or just drag up old bad memories? I love this thought-provoking comment.

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