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How My 'Frenemy' Depression Landed Me in the Hospital

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I have a friend. Let’s call him Dep. He is the type of friend you always wonder why you are friends with, but you’ve been together so long you can’t imagine him not being around.

Dep has been my “frenemy” for as long as I can remember. And like most relationships, we’ve had times when we’ve grown apart and we are inseparable. It’s times like these our relationship is a destructive one.

We first became really close in my mid to late teens. Dep was always there to put me down, make me see all the negatives in life, make me think I was going crazy. He would make me cry constantly, make me fight and push away loved ones. During this time, I wasn’t mature enough to deal with what Dep was doing to me. I would talk to people about him, doctors would prescribe me with pills to get rid of him and I would struggle to understand him and how he affected my life. There was no reason why he was there, no matter how much I talked or how much I wracked my brain, I could never work out why he stuck around. It eventually got to the point where I became good at hiding him even though I knew he was around my neck choking me. I also got good at ignoring him and telling myself he wasn’t there. And it worked. For a long time he was always in the background, always keeping to himself. Waiting…

Two years ago, Dep constructed a plan to reenter my life and this time he had one goal — to destroy me. He started in on my self-confidence when I was rejected from a job. He moved on to making me feel horrible about where my life was going, forcing me to change my plans two, then three, times. Once my self-confidence was destroyed, he started on my heart.

With each heartbreak, he took a piece of me — stripping me down, making it hard for me to catch my breath. And the pain. The pain was worse with every piece. It was like he was taking part of my shield with every blow. Late last year, he took what I thought was the final piece I had and I fell into a heap. I couldn’t breathe, eat or sleep. There was a time my parents physically had to come to my house and lift me off my bedroom floor where I had been laying for hours screaming and crying until I was too exhausted to move.

Dep had broken me and I was left to pick up the pieces and put my mask back together. I had gotten so good at doing it over the years I had even convinced myself I was fine. I’d pushed my hurt aside and my mask was breathing again.

This was when I met him. The guy who could have potentially been the love of my life.

I guess it was part of Dep’s plan to give me a break for a while. Just enough of a break for me to fall in love, feel really happy and be the type of person I wanted to be. We were in love. We were blissfully happy. For the first time in my dating life I felt like I was being loved for who I was. I didn’t need to be anyone else with him. He challenged me in all the right ways and it took some getting used to, but for the first time I had a partner in this life, someone to look forward to the future with.

I knew he wasn’t perfect. I was realistic and never put him on a pedestal, but he may have been perfect for me. From early on — as hard as I tried to initially resist it — I knew he could possibly be the one.

I was upfront about Dep’s existence quite early on in the relationship, but it took the loss of my so called “best friend” for Dep to reappear in my life. It was like Dep got out his crowbar and start hacking away at my existing cracks. It was just enough for my insecurities to show and just enough for my person to pull away from me and my demons. In the space of a few months, Dep had taken two important people from my life. He took away people who weren’t strong enough to stick around to deal with what he was doing to my life.

The end of my relationship was the nail in the already well-constructed coffin Dep had built for me. He had pushed me to the point of unimaginable pain — pain that made me try to end my life. I was admitted to hospital.

Believe it or not, this is where my story starts. Dep is a personification of my depression. I write this not to get sympathy but to get understanding from people and an awareness for an often invisible illness. 

This post originally appeared on My Life With Dep.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

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Image via Thinkstock

Originally published: January 26, 2017
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