“It all just got real…” – My Journey to Being Diagnosed

I led a normal childhood, as far as I can remember. I was the imaginative, creative weirdo who loved her imaginary friends and playing soccer. I had really good friends of both genders, played well with everyone and the teachers mostly loved me. However, I always had the same problem: I thought too little about consequences of my actions, but was preoccupied with what people taught of me: always was and probably always will be.

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I had a normal, happy childhood

There was nothing weird with my family. My parents are your average, strict hard-working parents who wanted the best for their children, and my older sister was… well… an older sister. She means well, I know, but sometimes she can be a bit harsh. But in a good sisterly way, I’m sure.

Fast forward to when I turned eleven: when the problems started. I was moved to all-girls secondary (high) school. I had no friends except for one a year above me (who’s still my best friend to this day… TEN YEARS LATER!), and I always sat with my sister during free periods. I had acne, low self-esteem and a reputation for being an outcast. I went from playing and talking to everyone to being left out, getting picked last for team work and talking to nobody but my sister and my best friend. During secondary school, I used to think I had depression, but brushed it off. The idea never stuck. Me, former class clown, depressed?! Nah!

I only ever liked three subjects at school: English, Italian and French. Having three languages was no walk in the park. I loved writing stories in English and present them to my teachers, who all told me the same thing: “You have talent”. I used to hate my French teacher for the two years that I had her, and never did my homework. She told me I’d fail, but I always got good marks in French. Italian was a different story. We were a tight-knit group, and I still sometimes talk to some of them when I see them around.

Also during this time I was bullied. The names were endless: weirdo, strange, Shrek, ugly. I was also called names for listening to rock music and always being gloomy. But that’s how I was. They’d never understand the consequences of their words.

In June 2011, I lost my uncle to cancer. It was one of the saddest days of my life. Despite not being too close with him, he always had nothing but wise words of wisdom to tell me and my sister. The day he died I was sick, in bed, studying his favourite subject: the French Revolution. I dedicated my History exam to him… didn’t go so well. I got an E. Sorry, Uncle. I still love you.

That year, in October, came the saddest day of my life: losing my grandfather. My hero, the greatest man to ever enter my life. He was smart, funny, a good man all in all: the person I aspired to become when I was older. I spent that day just staring without a focus on things. I was so sad that all I did when I went home was stare at the ceiling, remember the good old days with him. The laughter, sadness and wisdom we shared together. Losing him left me devastated and unable to cope.

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Losing my hero left me devastated

That led me to a downward spiral. I’d call my mum, crying that I hated everyone and everything, that I was alone and no one would miss me. This left her a little worried, but she brushed it off as a phase, simple sadness or something of that sort. 2011-2012 were the worst years of my life. My grades were plummeting; I had just two friends and being single didn’t help at all. I thought nobody wanted to be with me, or even liked me. I hid it all: the pain, the sadness, being lonely and alone. I hid it like it was nothing. And I was good at it. I good at making people think I was okay.

Fast forward three years. I was still sad, constantly tired, didn’t enjoy the things I used to love—reading and watching series—and my self-esteem was ever so low.

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I hid my sadness very well

During that time, however, something did change: I started seeing someone. As he plays a role in this, we’ll call him X. X was smart, charming, a fellow animal lover and mature. I was instantly in love. We were both Beatles fans, and having met for the first time on John Lennon’s birthday made the relationship extra special. I was working as a secretary, and was not happy with my job. X encouraged me to call someone for help. Something I wanted to do for ten years… and it happened. I called my psychologist, Dr G, and set up my first appointment for December 2015. Also during that time, I went to see a doctor, and told him about my health issues. He told me to take a blood test, because it might have been thyroid issues, and if they came out negative, chances are I have depression. And, lo and behold…

The tests came out negative.

I had depression. It all just got real now. After ten years, I was finally diagnosed.

Soon enough, things with X were going sour. He’d be encourage me to do thigs the hard way—go hard or go home, he’d tell me in his own way—like putting on make-up, changing my style, moving out, not listen to my parents and much more. X would tell me he means well and cares about my wellbeing, which for him meant cutting my family off. Unfortunately, being blinded by my love for him, I listened to him. I spent about three months not talking to my family.

Things started getting worse, and one day, he just told me that it was better to stay away from him. I spent the next three days in hospital, crying for him, crying for dear life, with my mother by side. Oh, mother, if it wasn’t for you then, I’d probably have killed myself. She came with me to every doctor’s appointment, kissed me goodnight and checked up on me constantly. I felt stupid for having cut her off of my life because of X. Stupid and foolish and sad at the same time.

And finally we come to the present:

  • I’m seeing a specialist every four weeks to overlook my progress
  • I’m in a fun, amazing relationship
  • My family still loves me
  • My friends both love me to bits
  • I started this blog

And most of all…

  • I am where I want to be 🙂

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20-something years old. Blogger. Aspiring writer. Teacher's Assistant.

8 thoughts on ““It all just got real…” – My Journey to Being Diagnosed

  1. I’ve known you, – or let’s say I knew who you were, since I didn’t know you personally – since primary; same age, same schools till secondary, but in different classes except from the early years in Kindergarten.

    I am really sorry to hear about these things, especially now that we’ve all grown up. During secondary school, I am sad to say that I was part of the group that always made fun of other people (though I still have some good memories with them, I’m not going to lie). Still, even though I didn’t do that myself, the fact that I didn’t say anything at all when these things happened, it still made it seem that I was accepting and agreeing with what the others were doing. I didn’t experience this myself, but I know what it means to be the ‘outsider’, since even though I was part of them, I still was the black sheep from the group. Today, I can say that during those teen years, no one will take other’s feelings, (those who they hurt) into consideration; I’m not saying that it is OK to call other people names and make fun of them, but the harsh truth is that at that age you get to not care at all.

    After reading your post, all I have to say is that I am really happy for you for things to have turned out well, and I felt that I would like to apologize for the behavior of all students that had a contribution to how you felt in those days.

    Everything passes and healing comes with time, so stay strong; the storm doesn’t last forever, and after the storm, eventually always comes a beautiful and peaceful setting.

    May you have everything that you wish for in your life.

    -T

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    1. Wow I am completely speechless by your comment. Call me cray-cray but I’ve been trying to figure out who you are since I received the notification. You probably won’t tell me who you are, but whoever you are, I appreciate you comment and wish you nothing but the best for the future and what lies ahead of you 🙂

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  2. Love your blogs and I admire the fact that you are expressing yourself through this blog! My psychologist told me that writing is a form of healing process for a mental health but you definitely write better than I do! You should publish a book someday 🙂

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  3. Prosit claire … i am sure this took a lot of courage from your side. You are a beautiful lady especially when you let us see your smile. I hope that as a school and community we can always help each other to heal and to get better. God bless you always xx anna z

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    1. Well done Claire! I admire your courage. Since your problem is shared, It is much lighter to carry. Continue to smile even if you feel like crying as it suits you a lot. So proud that we are colleagues xxx

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  4. Keep strong Claire 🙂 courage kept you going this long you can beat anything with smiling your way through! Take care X you are not alone in this world remember that.

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  5. Finding a diagnosis for any health issue is the first step. I too have depression, I’m on medication but have yet to start therapy for it. Soon though. Just knowing and being aware has already helped though. I love your post and sharing about this type of issue really helps others. Thank you!

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