I painfully lived the last six years of my life in a hopeless fog, unable to find any glimpse of hope or relief. My severe depression had me convinced that I was worthless, unlovable, a burden to those around me, a pile of wasted potential and better off dead because I would never get better. I saw myself in the mirror as a monster, a defeated skeleton I had lost so much weight until it got to the point where I hated myself to such an extent I avoid any and all reflective surfaces. At first a high from starvation worked to allow an escape or numbing of all feelings and emotions and then drugs, mostly stimulants, to alleviate some of the darkness but the crashes were so severe and the overdoses life-threatening I had no choice but to get sober. When first in sobriety without any of the destructive coping mechanisms I once harbored as a safety net to escape reality, my depression took a turn for the worse- no medication (and I tried nearly every type) had any effect, ECT stopped working and I felt even more hopeless after no positive results but an impaired memory, then none from Transcranial Magnetic Therapy. After a number of failed near-fatal suicide attempts that led me into Cottonwood I arrived still suicidal and in a state of complete starvation- completely broken but desperate for relief. I agreed with Dr. Seymour to try ketamine infusions as a last resort. I did not feel much internal improvement after the first two sessions although friends around me kept saying I looked somewhat brighter and noticed I was smiling more. Yet I kept trying and made almost a complete turn-around miracle; this super-human magic occurred after the third session- about an hour after the infusion for the first time in years I felt a sense of relief and an incredible feeling of hopefulness that it was going to be okay, that I was going to make it and get through this no matter what. At first this new feeling of joy or the idea of happiness I found extremely scary and uncomfortable because suicidal ideation, isolation, starvation and self-harm- all symptoms of my depression, have been my comfort zone and with that behind me I had no way of positive coping. But as the days go forward I am continuing to learn that it okay to laugh and smile, even believe in myself and look in mirror, telling myself “you are worth it,” “you are a worthwhile person” and “lovable.” It still feels awkward in those moments I feel myself enjoying happiness or time with friends without feeling like it takes a draining amount of emotional effort but again getting more and more used to it on a daily basis. Feeling this alleviation from the bleak, inescapable darkness has granted me increased clarity of mind that I have the strength to overcome the possessive grasp my eating disorder has on at the moment and hope and I can counteract the negative dialogue controlling my mind. For the first time in years I am starting to trust in my own potential to stay on the right track, finish my degree in social work and live a life worth living in a state of consistency and dependability.
I am a 24 year recovering alcoholic from New York City with Boderline Personality Disorder.