My Battle with Mental Illness
Every day, just being alive was painful. The thought of suicide was a constant companion. I even started cutting. I would use scissors, and if they weren’t available, I would reach for anything near me that would do the job, including paperclips. There were two reasons why I didn’t try to kill myself. One was that I was afraid I would not succeed. Success was not something that I had experience in. The second reason was my psychiatrist. Talking to someone who could understand me, and helped put my thoughts into words definitely kept me from completely going over the edge. He diagnosed me with Borderline Personality Disorder.
I felt like I was on automatic gear, a puppet – just going through the motions. I did not know how much longer I could hang on. I was living on unemployment (which would run out in a few months). At the same time, I had health issues, including asthma, glaucoma, and ulcer. I felt like my whole being was a disease. After a few sessions with my psychiatrist, he changed my medication.
I lived on a day-by-day basis. I had to find another job. I sent out résumés with little hope of being interviewed, let alone hired. My family and relatives were quite successful. Engineers, doctors, teachers, and they had their own families, and here I was – unemployed, the black sheep of the family. I was embarrassed. Hopes of me being successful have long been gone.
After a couple of months on new medications, I felt better emotionally, although landing a job remained a distant hope. Getting a job was important. It would alleviate most of the weight that was keeping me down. The main cause of my depression and anxiety was the lack of employment, lack of identity.
While searching for a job online, I found a mental health site – Psych Central. The people there have been very good to me. They were always there when I needed support. They accepted me and that was a boost to my self-esteem. They helped me see that I am not alone in my troubles, and that I am worth something, at least to them. PC was, and still is, a place I could go to when I felt lonely and in need of some comfort and friendship. As my support group grew, I felt better about myself.
Time was running out for me; my unemployment income was ending soon. My desperation increased and I applied everywhere, even to jobs that I thought I would not get, because of my lack of experience. I figured that it wouldn’t hurt to apply. At least I tried.
Eventually someone called me for an interview for one of those jobs that I thought I wouldn’t get. I made sure that I had enough rest and energy to put on my ‘act’ of confidence. I gave the interview my best shot. One of my ethics is to always give my best at what I do. As the result of my effort and ‘act’, I was hired – on the spot. I am still with that company today.
Getting that job was a huge relief for me. Although the pay is on the low side, the job does have a lot of perks, and the people I work with are very nice.