“I’m fine,” she lied: Part 1 – where it all began

So, how did you end up in a mental hospital is the question, isn’t it?

I’ll say a few things first. This is MY story, by no means am I speaking as an authority on mental illness, but I am an authority on myself. I’ve lived and struggled with mental illness before I knew what it was.
Before people talked about it. Before friends joked about taking their “crazy pills.” Before practically everyone knew someone with a diagnosis. And long before I was ready to write as raw as I plan to in this series. All my life I’ve used humor to hide my feelings. That’s mainly what my blog has always been: an outlet for me to post about whatever was on my mind — be it a new band, a story from my life, blog challenges, and crafty stuff. For the next couple of weeks or however long it takes me to tell this story, this will be a place to read my story. If it’s not your cup of tea, don’t worry, I’ll be back to posting about bands and silly stuff soon. For those of you who will continue to read, thank you for spending a little time with me.

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I was 15. I had all of the normal teenage issues – school woes, boy woes, parents that didn’t understand me – all the regular stuff. I had a best friend who became the brother I would pick if you could pick family members. He was wearing an INXS tshirt when we met in Mrs. Mim’s English class the second week of freshman year. I told him I liked his shirt. We always had a musical connection. Will was there for me through all of the good stuff and the bad stuff. He was there on the phone with me until 2am when I was stood up from Homecoming in 1990 by The Most Evil Person in the World. Will was my honorary brother and still is. This was us then.


And then I was 16 when a Very Bad Horrible Thing happened and I was never quite the same. I came home and called Will.

Maybe I’ll write about that one day, but today is not that day.

I had insomnia, my grades were beyond pathetic, I felt this vast nothingness inside. I was depressed. I stayed up journaling and watching 120 Minutes on MTV. I got through each day at school, writing notes to friends and zoning out in class. Except for journalism and art. I poured everything I had into the school newspaper and my art class. Other than writing, art, and music, I had turned off all emotion. I remember writing my name on the front of an algebra test, turning it over and writing the lyrics to “The Killing Moon” by Echo and the Bunnymen on the back of my test. My teacher called me up to her desk after class and asked if everything was alright. It was probably the first time I lied and said “I’m fine.”

My report card would come home and I’d change Ds to Bs before giving it to my parents and I got away with that until now, I suppose. Sorry, Mom and Dad. I didn’t care about anything. I dressed up for school each day and put a lot of emphasis on my outfits and accessories. Nothing shook me anymore. Nothing really phased me. I was just going through the motions of life.

I had good friends who kept me going. I had Will and the two Jennifers. Will and I would discuss the things of the day and crushes we had. He always lent me his jean jacket when I was cold. We would go out and eat Chinese food. I had fun with him. I had fun with the Jennifers and other friends. Depression doesn’t suck out your ability to have a good time, you are capable of it, but it’s always there as a shadow waiting. It’s always there when you go home alone and journal your good time, then buts in and says, “yeah, it was fun, but what about now? What about tomorrow?” You tell depression to leave you alone, but that is exactly what it wants – for you to be alone with it.

I had boyfriends. I dated. I never felt what love was supposed to feel like with any of my boyfriends. I was either with or on the phone with Will or the Jennifers practically every moment outside of school when I wasn’t asleep (or trying to sleep) or out babysitting. I wrote. And I wrote. Writing was the only thing that could save me.

I was 16.

Comments

  1. Christine says:

    Praying for ya girl!!! I love ya

  2. looking forward to all the layers Kerry. XO much love for your onion.

  3. XOXOXO my friend. You write!

  4. I love you and your story…it’s who you are and I think you’re amazing!

  5. I am honored to have known you then. We were quite the rebels, refusing to dress out in gym and driving Coach Clinton nuts!

  6. I’m proud of you, twin.

  7. Your writing has always been amazing and so is your bravery. Thank you for sharing your story. Xoxo

  8. Love you and Will. Energetic, unique individuals. I can see why yall clicked. You masked well. I never saw a depressed you. I’m excited to read your story!

  9. Robin Owens says:

    Your amazing! Thanks for sharing your story, Kerry. Girl, your not just crafty…you have serious writing talent!

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