My Story: Lisa T.

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What were the steps leading up to your diagnosis?

My childhood was like a storybook. I was a happy, healthy, smart child never a care in the world. Then at age 12, my parents got divorced, and my whole world exploded.

I became very withdrawn, sad and depressed. My Mother got remarried to an alcoholic, perverted, nightmare of a man. I had been labeled gifted in elementary school, but now my grades were going down, and I was just a shell of myself.

In my twenties, I got away from my horrible home life and seemed to get out of my depression somewhat. I was going to community college, working at great jobs and volunteering. I believe that's when my mania started. It was never all out mania, but pretty close to it.

I was very high functioning, but inside I always felt different and was scared I would go back the other way into the pit of hell of depression.

In my twenties I went to a psychiatrist she prescribed Prozac, I felt like I was finally normal, little did I know. I went through a cycle of getting a new boyfriend, being super happy, being ok and then going into a deep depression. I would then have to dig myself back to life. Most of my boyfriends and husbands have been either emotionally, physically abusive or both.

I have been on many, many medications and too little therapy. I have been diagnosed as Bipolar 1 and have been hospitalized for mania and depression. Many times, some helped, some didn't. I feel like no one understands me and feel like how much worse can it get.

I have two beautiful sons in another state and I'm currently getting well so I can make up for the last few years that I have been sick with my mental illness. I will never give up, but it has been so hard to live. I guess there is alway hope. I currently in weekly therapy sessions and see a doctor for medication.

What lifestyle changes have you needed to make?

I quit drinking years ago, I don't know if I'm an alcoholic or not, but I don't need to be mixing alcohol with meds.

When I'm severely depressed many days, I would stay in bed all day and night. Through meds and inactivity, I have gained 80 lbs, have thinning hair and a broken out face.

What I have going out inside me has now become my outside, I was always beautiful, and now I won't look in mirrors and wear the same clothes every day. I know who I am supposed to be inside and out, and I'm so far away from there right now.

I'm a stuffer of feelings which makes me internally sick and dark. I hope to be my normal again someday; I feel I've been punished enough.

Who has been there for you? How?

My aunt and my older sister have always loved and accepted me, whether I'm sad, happy or in between. It is hard to stay tough with family, friends, and my sons because sometimes there is nothing to say or give to them.

Then at age 12, my parents got divorced, and my whole world exploded.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

I am proud of being a very kind person. I am proud that I was able to be there for my sons as they were growing up. For years, I fought so hard to give them a wonderful childhood as I had. It seemed when I was with my boys I could be a good, happy mom and my depression would slip away.

I have had a lot of great jobs in accounting, catering and at home, Dog Sitting Business. I have volunteered to work with horses and troubled kids. I have been a good friend when my illness would allow me.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

I am proud of being a very kind person. I am proud that I was able to be there for my sons as they were growing up. For years, I fought so hard to give them a wonderful childhood as I had. It seemed when I was with my boys I could be a good, happy mom and my depression would slip away.

I have had a lot of great jobs in accounting, catering and at home, Dog Sitting Business. I have volunteered to work with horses and troubled kids. I have been a good friend when my illness would allow me.

I will never give up.

I will never give up.

What's your advice to someone else living with Depression?

I would recommend one-on-one therapy. It's a place where you can talk about everything, get great advice, and it will challenge you, but you'll notice healing within yourself!

Fresh air, sunshine, moving the body, and being with a pet can be beneficial.

Journaling can be perfect when you feel like you can.

Getting rid of negative people from your life is very necessary to getting well.

Getting rid of negative people from your life is very necessary to getting well.

Is there anything else we should know?

My doctor says fake it until you make it, and you must love yourself before you can love another.

I would like to write a book someday because I don't know how I've been through so much darkness and I'm still alive today. Sometimes it would hurt so much to be alive, but turning to hurting myself or killing myself never happened.

Having a mental illness, PTSD, abuse, depressed, anxiety, and insomnia. I've had it all.

I think my life has been good and I'm ready to make it even better and I'd like to be of help to those who need it. In the midst of my darkness, I saw a little light! Love and Peace!

About Lisa T.

My Story: Lisa T.

I was born and raised in Northern California.

I had a great childhood, played a lot of sports and had a lot of pets including two horses.

I was lucky living in Silicon Valley as it offered a lot of really great job opportunities. I also lived in Boulder Colorado with my two incredible sons and had my own home business as a Dog Sitter. I now live in Oregon in a beautiful forest by the river.

My goals are to volunteer, to travel, and to get to know my family and my sons again.

Life can be a beautiful thing with hope, help and the courage to live! Being in therapy now has helped me more than I could ever imagine.

I can now say it's been a hard road for me, but I believe it is going to be worth it!

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