I have been battling depression and anger issues since I was ten years old. Yes, you read that right. I’ve been depressed and angry since I was very young. You see, my parents neglected me, and as early as six years old, they’ve shipped me to boarding school. I was six years old, and they left me alone to fend for myself.
Alone And Neglected
With other families, a six-year-old child is happy with their parents. They’re living normal lives, and they’re all together especially during Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year. Probably, during their birthdays too. As for me, since I was six years old, I see my parents once a year. Twice, if I’m lucky. That’s during Parents-Teacher Conference which also happens to be our school’s Foundation day, which my parents love to be present for more than to see me.
Sort Out Issues, Process Feelings, And Move On
My therapists back then had told me over and over again that I have to sort out my issues, process my feelings, and move on from my past. Well, I’m twenty-seven years old now, and I have only recently learned how to sort out my issues, process my feelings, and move on from my past. I spent thousands of dollars to do that, but nothing worked back then until now. David Klow, a licensed therapist once said, “Most people have a loud inner critic which makes their life more stressful.” I believe that.
How did I do it, you ask? Well, it wasn’t easy, but all the obstacles that I had to go through to get where I am today, I will do all of it again in a heartbeat. Why? How I did my life for the past twenty years ultimately saved me. It was the little things, believe me, and it made me a stronger person now.
I dare say “stronger” because I don’t think of gulping those pills anymore. The razor doesn’t touch my skin, unlike before. I value myself now and don’t go around sleeping with random people anymore. It’s been a while since I got angry and felt extremely lonely or sad. My issues have been sorted out, my feelings have been processed, and I have moved on.
A Better Me
It was three years ago when I finally realized that I had to stop destroying myself. Yes, I was self-destructive which brought about my depression and anger problems. With that, I backpacked all around Asia, specifically in India, and met a Buddhist yogi with a community. I was there for a few months, and we lived minimally, but it was my awakening. Yoga helped me through the dark days, and meditation kept me in check every time I felt my temper rising.
“The strength of forgiveness has been shown to have a powerful buffering effect on stress. Those who are highly forgiving of themselves and others have a far less chance of having a mental illness.” Ryan M. Niemiec Psy.D. said. So I had to accept my past and forgive my parents for neglecting me. In fact, I gave them a letter which summed up how I felt all those years. My father has always been cold, but he did ask for forgiveness. I guess that’s how millionaires are, you know. Good thing I’m not moneyed. As for my mother, she had a breakdown after my revelation due to guilt. After that, she made a constant effort to reach out and spend time with me. Better late than never, I guess.
Yoga, meditation, once a week group talk therapy, times spent with mom once a month, phone calls with dad once a month – these were some of the ways to cope for me. I also went back to school, and I’m now almost done with my Master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling. Imagine that!
I have a journal wherein I write everything. “Journaling is great for enhancing self-awareness through helping us detect and track patterns of behavior, thoughts, and feelings.” That is according to Alison Stone, LCSW. I also go trekking every chance I get. When you’re out taking an adventure, and you feel one with nature, there is no loneliness, there is no anger, but only peace. I also have someone now who loves me for me and makes me his priority.
I hope you find your center. Just say to yourself – I won’t destroy myself anymore. That’s the first step. Give yourself a chance.