How did I get through grad school with depression…
Someone posed this question to me, and to tell you the truth I have no idea. I’m fairly smart anyways, I guess. I graduated top of my class in high school. School, especially in high school and junior high, was always something I could do right. It got me out of fights with the parents, and out of most socialization. Basically, I could hide behind it. By the time college rolled around, it was a habit, something expected out of me, and something that provided some sort of schedule, normalcy, to my life.
As far as grad school in particular… it was SO rough. I was living alone, which was a first for me. I had a good counselor who allowed me to explore my past, another first for me. Between the two, I didn’t really have any one to support me during the week between sessions. I had convinced myself over and over that I was a horrible person, and still think that to this day. There were days when I would wake up and fix breakfast. By the time I had eaten, I had seen or heard something triggering and was back crying. I would get so exhausted that I would fall asleep. And the process would start all over again. There were days I was only up for an hour or two, for 15-30 minutes at a time, because everything was so triggering. I would write emails to my counselor when things got bad. Just about all the time, I wouldn’t remember writing them, much less what I said.
Classes, again at this stage, provided a normal schedule for me. At this time of day on this day I have to be awake, dressed, and out the door. I had to have prepared this lesson or be prepared for this test. It gave me something to fill in the dark hours with. Something I had to do.
Several times my counselor suggested hospitalization, but each time I refused. Sometimes I wish I had been hospitalized. Other times, I realize then everyone would have known.
In a way, I wished I could have stayed there. Alas, it was a small college town, with not many real jobs. I couldn’t ever find a job there, neither could my husband. For once I had friends who actually came over and visited. Who included me in their plans. For the most part I’d never had that. I had friends that were friends only around test time, or project time.
Hmmm… this was such a good post, I think I’ll have to do the same thing with undergrad and maybe even high school.