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Our Stories

Depression

Winx Y., Age: 22

Feel you feet stand on the ground heavily, you are still here. You are here and alive, you are the precious gift in this world.

What have you struggled with? When did it become too much?

A brief background about myself, I am from Hong Kong, and now I am living alone in Canada. Everything began since April 2004, I was diagnosed with Depression and General Anxiety Disorder, those were the darkest days in my life. I still did not believe that I can deal with it until now. I was from a culture which is competitive. People judge and compare each other. Bully the worse and be the best. I was one of the person who got bulled since I was 10, because my marks were on 60-70s. People laughed at me and pushed me into the corner to hit me. I was so stressed and under pressure. After bad days in my school, when I came home I had to face another stress from my parents. I could not even cry a single tear because I would get kicked out of the house, my relatives judged me as a monster, trash of humility. I did not know how to relieve my stress and pressure. I felt so helpless. To be honest with you guys, I got raped when I was 14 but I did not tell anyone. I have seen myself as dirty, unclean and evil. I tried to jump off from the roof of the building  (it was around 32 floors high), and got hospitalized immediately. This was the beginning of my depression and GAD. I did not go to school for almost 2 years, but I missed out so many parts of my life and my childhood, I had been hospitalized for a long time, so I did not even know how to talk to others or even did any activities.

What kind of support did you get at first? Did it work?

At first, I had been assigned to see a psychologist and psychiatrist. It was quite helpless since my psychologist kept changing all the time and it was totally NOT FUN to speak about my problems all over and over again. And then, I started joining school counselor and family therapist. They were really helpful to me and gave me a great opportunity to speak up to my parents about how I feel. My school counselor encouraged me to go to school by giving me one poker card every time I went to school, it was  great parents for me and it also started giving my hope about life when I saw how beautiful those poker cards are, they were themes of UK London buildings and scenes. I have been playing music since I was 2 years old, but due to illness, I did not have a chance to pick it up again until I had been in a creative high school where I was focused on music and design major. Music gave me so much energy and I composed my first new song since I was 17, about myself that time. It was a huge accomplishment for me in my life until now.

Were there any turning points where things really started to change for the better?

I have had 7 times of attempted suicide before in my life. I was so negative and I always felt like I am in prison which no one even visited me, no one remembered my birthday, no one to be with me at Christmas. When I saw how people were being happy on the TV, my heart was painful as hell. I could not even know how could I still live in this world. After one of the big turning point that made me stop having suicidal thoughts, which my FIRST BEST friend in my life since I was 18 completed suicide. She had Schizophrenia. I was the last one in her contact number, so I was forced to have a mini interview with police and such. They gave me so much pressure, I felt so guilty about not helping her out and left her alone to deal with problems. I shouted and screamed, pulled many of my hairs out, and the hospital sent me towards a personal ward. All people said I was crazy, I would not be normal again. But YES, this trauma made me stop suicide because I knew how pain it was that person who left off in this world. I still working on this trauma until now, but I really hope I am get over it and just remembered positive things from my friend. The other turning point in my life is I diagnosed cancer on my leg, I was so depressed that time which I thought my life may end here. I did three operations on my leg and I could not run and would not jump anymore in my life. I moved to another ward which always gave me shots and screen which made me pain and dizzy, felt cold and hopeless all the time. I started understand how life precious and how should I treasure the rest of my life IF I have time. and luckily I have been cured of cancer and now I moved to another country to continue my studies.

What’s your life like now? What have you been able to accomplish, and what are you working towards?

My dream is to be a musician because it is what I love the most in my life. and after my experience, I am planning to be a music therapist in the future, if I have money to continue my study. I am still so surprised I was never been able to attend 50% of school until 20, and now I could managed to go to school everyday. Now I am studying last year double major in Psychology and Thanatology, (Thanatology is a study about death.) Both are heavy to me to be honest, and most of the topics that I studied triggered my emotions a lot. Many people in my life challenged me that I would not be able to finish my degree, because they are just too heavy for me, but lucky I am a STUBBORN person haha. I would not give up that easily and I wanted to show others that, even I have been through a lot, I can still achieved something in my life! I can complete so much stuff right now, being in a new country alone, I study and work at the same time, being a chef assistant and emotional support coordinator intern. I will try my best to apply for Canadian citizenship but I hope I can assist people who has mental illness and disabilities the rest of my life.

What would you say to people who are having a tough time? What’s helped you that you wish you had known earlier

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is mystery, today is a gift, that’s why it calls present.” I am sure many people heard about it and this means a lot to me. Worrying about the past and future is not working. Doing meditation may help you to focus on present, right now, on earth. Feel you feet stand on the ground heavily, you are still here. You are here and alive, you are the precious gift in this world. Mental illness does not mean you have dumb, useless, evil, trash in your life, It gives you a better story, a brighter future than other peoples do. I do not mind help others more with their problems, since my experience gave me so much empathy that I am easily stand on other people’s shoes and I wish everyone who is dealing with illness like ME be happy and I am in the same boat and with you all!