March 23, 2016

Inspiring Stories

Inspiring Stories from Readers who Have Battled Depression

Got a story you want to share? Feel free to message me through our Facebook page or contact me directly.

Peter’s Story

inspiring view “I have found the self esteem e-book to be pretty good and I am pleased I have purchased it, I also have enjoyed the six week self esteem course and regular emails. I do thank you for for putting together a great program. You have done a great job, I have found an overall benefit from using the information on the ebook, emails and web site. My story:

I fell from a 3 story roof at work about 3 years ago, 4 weeks in intensive care in an induced coma and 3 weeks on life support,  many fractured bones and joints, 7 months before i could start walking again, and about the same from nerve damage in my left hand before I could regain use of it again, and many surgeries since.

For the last few years I have suffered low self esteem and depression. I have improved my self esteem and wellbeing, by being mindful of my thoughts, not letting negative self talk get to me and concentrating on some thing else. Being positive at every opportunity despite the circumstances, not worrying over most things – for in five years it won’t even really matter, meditating, trying to stay relaxed and calm on a daily basis, enjoying begin with family and friends, and being happy doing what I enjoy. These are all things that helped me heal.” – Peter

Lana’s Story

“I started questioning God why I was born and asked if He would please cause a car accident or something to just make me go away.  I felt worthless. I remember being so angry that I took a knife and held it against me but somehow I just couldn’t go through with it.

I am an only child to a single mother, and as my mom is the only member of her family that didn’t get married, her relationship with my gran was very strained. We lived with my grandmother though and she cared for me after school, so when she died it was rough financially.

I am told that I was a sweet kid, never problematic.  I do have good memories. My mother tried to give me the best of everything.  She always made sure I had what I needed.

When I was 6 years old I was placed in Barachel Christian Academy, a private school.  I did well and was never short of anything.   But, when I was 13 and about to go to high school my mother sat me down and asked how I felt about going to Randfontein High, a public school which was more affordable.  She struggled hard to get me through primary school and I figured I would do just as well in a public school.  I was excited about meeting new friends.  It seemed fun.

However, things were so different. Girls got pregnant, boys beat each other up.  I missed my friends and the fact that everybody used to care, none of us at my last school judged each other. Here I was in a new place where being cool meant having the most expensive jeans and latest cell phones – being the best.

I didn’t know who I was anymore.  At 13 years old you need friends to hang out with and to feel liked.  I was hanging out with the wrong people.  I felt so lonely.  I kept chopping and changing friends and became more confused and insecure.  I began feeling sad.  The feeling got worse. It actually felt painful.  Nobody liked me or understood me.  I wasn’t cool enough.  There was nobody to talk to; and anyway I couldn’t describe how I felt because I didn’t know what was wrong with me.   My mom and I had always been very tight, but she was working so hard for my education, and trying her best to care for me that I wasn’t going to stress her more by telling her I felt weird inside.   I couldn’t wake up in the mornings without feeling it was a huge effort.  Even something as simple as having a bath became a huge obstacle.  I was shovelling food down and gaining weight fast.

I was 15 years old when I reached a state of nothingness.  I was numb and couldn’t even cry.  It felt I didn’t have any more tears left. One afternoon when I got home from school I was both sad and angry.

My mom is a nurse so our medicine cabinet was always filled with pills. I headed straight for the medicine chest and took about 30 pills in different colours, sizes and shapes with a glass of water.  I then sat in the dining room and stared out of the huge window facing the street.  I could see everyone passing and even into my neighbours’.  Other school kids were walking home from school and laughing with their friends.  I wondered why I couldn’t I be like them. It was the last thought I remember before feeling dizzy.

I went to lie down.  At the time my baby cousin was staying with us and on that afternoon she returned from playing with friends and knocked on my window asking me to open the front door. I managed but rushed straight back to my room and fell asleep.  After a while I saw a blurry image talking to me, asking if I was okay. Then it hit me that I was alive. I cried thinking the pills weren’t working and I fell asleep again…

My mother returned at 7.30pm after her 12 hour shift at the hospital, and she came into my room and asked why I was still wearing my school uniform. Thinking I was ill with a stomach bug she gave me water and a pill. I couldn’t swallow anything and ran to the toilet where I vomited. I know that saved my life. My mother still didn’t know I had overdosed on pills and the next day when I was sick she phoned the teacher to say I had a stomach bug. I just slept unable to walk or eat. When a pain in my abdomen became unbearable I realised I would live and I became scared. I called a family friend and told her what I had done and she advised me to phone my mother. I didn’t know what to tell my mom, but I picked up the phone and the next thing I knew she was in the ambulance which took me to hospital. When I woke up I was sitting alone in a room on a bed feeling like the biggest failure ever on the face of the earth. I was given soup. But everything I tried to eat or drink came up. Later the doctor tried to have a conversation with me but I wouldn’t say a word. I was shocked, scared and embarrassed. After all, I was at my mother’s place of work with all her colleagues and everybody knew that I tried to kill myself.

When I was discharged later that day my mom asked me if it was her fault, and if she had done something to make me so sad. That just killed me inside. I cried the whole night. My aunt called me and told me never to do that again because the family loves me so much and would hate to lose me.

It touched my heart. I felt there was some purpose to my life. I returned to school a week later and told classmates I had been ill with flu.

Months went by and although I was too scared to try and kill myself again I often wished my attempt had worked.

Then I had a breakthrough. I read a magazine which had an article about a girl who tried to take her life. (I still have that article to this day.)  Everything she wrote was exactly how I felt. There were questions at the end of the article which I answered. The results showed I was in deep depression.  I didn’t even know there was a word called ‘depression’. There was a helpline phone number which I called.  I spoke to a counsellor at SADAG. He never questioned me, he just understood. I have never felt so free. He listened. He posted me booklets explaining depression and steps to overcome it.

I gave the books to my mother and I asked her if she would let me see a psychologist. My first appointment wasn’t easy but in time I learnt to reveal my whole life to the psychologist. The more I spoke to the psychologist the better sense it all made. This helped me put the pieces back together just like a puzzle. I was given anti- depressant medication for a few months.

I began to confide in a close friend. On days when I didn’t want to speak she understood. I opened up to my mother. Sometimes I woke up angry and sad and she wouldn’t force me to do anything because she now understood about depression.

Eventually I healed, went on to study further and have a wonderful job.

My ordeal has taught me that a person is never alone. Teens nowadays are forced to grow up so quickly. No one gets to be a kid anymore. There is way too much pressure from school and friends. We should be taught life skills at school. What’s the point of knowing math and science if you feel empty inside?

Right now life is beautiful. I have bad days but I am happy to be alive. I thank God every day because everything I need is inside me. I still have a long life ahead which I am going to enjoy. Depression is not a person. It’s an obstacle that tried to rob me of the joy in life I deserve.

It rips me apart when I hear a person committed suicide because I know there is help.”

– Lana

Mary’s Story

“Funny thing is I am working at improving my self esteem right now….I am usually riddled with guilt…Almost 3 years ago I left my husband, and my 3 kids came with me….

I have been feeling guilty for leaving him and breaking up my family home.  Guilt has pretty much eaten me alive.  I have no self esteem and feel pretty much beat up all the time.  But when I found your website, recently, over the Christmas break, something changed… of your definitions of depression was me to a T.

One thing that stuck out in my head was “making bad decisions”.  I realized that I have been feeling so guilty that my once good decision making practices had fallen quite short and I have continuously made bad decisions since I left him….and trust me, leaving this man was one of the best things I could have ever done for myself and for him….he has actually changed and become a better father to his kids…….which I am very thankful for.

But back to what I was saying……since I read about making bad decisions I have changed, and now I tell myself every day when faced with any decision…..

I can make good decisions…..and it has helped.

I am a very smart, and strong woman…..extremely giving, almost to a fault….but these are the things that I love about myself….

It is time to take back my life and start again…with good decisions, and happy outcomes……this is what I am working on these days.”

– Mary

Judy’s Story

“I wanted to please people and that is why I was depressed. I used to care too much. Now I live my life and depend entirely on myself and God.”

– Judy