I wouldn't say that I had an easy childhood. Sure, I survived it, but that doesn't mean it was easy. My mother was (is) bipolar and autistic. My brother is autistic (though he has learned to manage it very well) and my sister was always very depressed. My father told me we couldn't have a relationship until I was 23 (or maybe it was 26. I have the letter he sent me somewhere). Me? I tried to make the best of everything. I was always smiling, it was very rare that I let anyone know anything was wrong. In fact, it wasn't even until my senior year of high school that I started leaning of my friends heavily. My mother had adopted/taken in more children by this time - all of them older, all of them with some sort of special needs. And as the oldest, I had to bare the majority of the responsibility. My mother even asked me once what it felt like to be the only "normal" person in our family. My response? Very stressful. That's when she decided that there must be "something wrong" with me, too. But I was never depressed.
I started college a semester late, but when I did, I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. At first, I was little homesick, but I couldn't help but feel like my own person... finally. That is, until it got worse...
That summer I stayed on campus to make up for my missed semester and to be closer to my boyfriend at the time. My first real "love". I later realized we would've been much better as friends, but at that time I thought we were in love. We broke up that summer and that began the downward spiral. I became depressed. I stopped eating regularly. My grandmother was diagnosed with both lung and liver cancer in August of that year and given 6 months to live. I went to visit her in September and she ended up passing the next day (after pushing me away and refusing to see me, even though I was her closest granddaughter - but that's another story). Both my cat and dog passed in the next few months and my great grandmother passed in the spring. It was a tough year for me - one that I would never like to relive. I didn't go to any of my classes except when I had a project or exam (how I passed, I'll never know). I mostly just took a lot of tylenol pm and slept that semester. This was my first experience with depression.
I lost my faith in God that year and while I try to believe again now, sometimes I still have my doubts. And while I still have issues coping with the loss of my grandmother 5 years later (especially now that my other one is sick), I've managed. Over the next few years, my mother kicked me out of the house 3 times and I had several more "loves" that broke my heart, but I never got back to that place again.
But now, here I am, feeling for the last few months that I am on the edge of having an anxiety attack. Feeling like I'm failing. Maybe I've been taking on too much lately or maybe it's because I've only been averaging 2-5 hours of sleep every night or maybe it's even a mild form of PPD. I don't know, but whatever it is, I wish these feelings would go away because I definitely do not want to go back to that dark place again.
I also wish I knew when my "comfort" thing turned to food rather than sleep.