One year ago today changed everything.  I think I'm finally ready to tell this story...the final story.  It has taken a long time and I've only hinted at it, but this is the story of how I died.

I knew that my depression was starting to come back.  It creeps in slowly, mostly when you're not paying attention.  I don't present in a typical female fashion where there is low mood and crying.  I get angry, which is typically a male presentation.  I also tend to cut because my brain is lacking the feel good neurotransmitters, so the endorphins take their place.  I decided to start going to therapy because I believed it was time and I would still have his support.  It seemed like it was going to be OK.  I still had him and we were working on our individual issues.  We supported each other.

Doomsday, February 6, 2013 arrived like another typical day at work.  I arrived and did all the opening procedures.  It was a bit busy as I was the only front line employee there.  I was handling it OK.  I knew that my depression was starting up again as my partner had disappeared because of his mental health issues and it was winter.  I had support in a particular friend and co worker, who I could rely on because he understood depression.  Around 10 am, danger marched in, it was the HR manager.  She spoke to my manager for a bit and then I was called into the office.

If Human Resources comes to speak to you, it's never a good thing.  I didn't think I was being fired, but my state is an at will employment state, which means either party can terminate employment at any time for any reason.  However, most give you a reason now as we are a litigation happy society.  The HR manager kind of looks like Professor Umbridge from the Harry Potter books and she kind of acts like her too.  All in all, she is not a pleasant woman to be around.  She explained to me that she was there to investigate my relationship with my friend.  The first thing she asked me literally stopped my heart.

Evil HR lady asked me if I was saying that I was in love with him.  I am not that stupid.  I would never say that at work because I don't even know what love is, sadly.  Are you even allowed to ask that question?  It is a violation of privacy.  She also said that I was apparently calling him my man.  I have to say I'm not from a soap.  I never use the term. "my man."  Just thinking about saying it turns my stomach.  I wish I could have just laughed at their stupidity, but I was already depressed so everything just exploded.  I basically shut down, which is my defense when depressed.

After getting to the point that I wasn't having an affair and that we were just work friends who occasionally collaborated on projects, it turned into a mild warning.  Why did we collaborate?  I have an MA, am a good editor and have 5 years teaching experience.  I am quite talented at times. At the end of the humiliating exchange, I was told that work e-mail is for work purposes and there is no texting at work.  This was something that HR should not have been involved in.  Maybe if the narrow mindedness and jealousy of the people that were involved bothered to ask clarifying questions when they supposedly heard all this stuff, it could have been avoided.

I felt so violated.  I was humiliated, discriminated against and just raw.  I literally went into the bathroom for about 10 minutes, sat on the floor and tried not to cut.  After I came back to my work desk, anyone could tell that I was not in a good place.  Then the assistant manager went in to talk to HR and my manager.  I felt so betrayed at that point that I just grabbed staples.  No one even noticed that I was bleeding.

When I talked to him later he said he had to distance himself and I was never allowed to say his name again.  My main support was ripped away from me.  It was so devastating.  At least he had a warning about it.  I had none and in the 3 seconds I had to out maneuver the prejudice, I think I did a good job at saving both our jobs.  I didn't eat for 2 days after that.  My best friend had to show up at my house and rescue me.  I was basically dead inside.

HR lady should have brought a gun and shot me right then because it would have been so much kinder than the ensuing months.  That was the day that I died.  It was a slow death too.

I became someone else.  I'm not saying that it was better because I lost so much.  This incident ended up hurting the one person who was already hurt: him.  He didn't deserve that and neither did I.  If people understood how chronic depression worked, maybe things would have been different.  Those of us that suffer from this affliction will cling onto anything that stops us from sinking into that pit.  I tried to hold onto him, but he backed away because he had to make a choice.  Mortgage and children take precedence over a friend.  I can't say that I don't understand that, but that doesn't mean it didn't hurt just the same. I think he cared enough to let me know instead of just leaving.

A year has passed since that day.  I've spent most of the time since then getting better.  I have only cut once in the year since then and that was following my rules.  I am starting to talk to him again, but it's not the same.  I am not the same.  I'm not sure who I am anymore.  Part of me is dead, never to return.  I have decided to do something good, which was to create a non profit, so that misunderstandings like this are never repeated.  It may be too late for me, but through education and understanding people will mental illnesses will no longer have to conceal what they are.  I want the world to understand these illnesses better and not think that we are crazy.

I'm someone else now and that's OK.  I just have to figure out who that is.  February 6 will always be infamous to me as the person I was, the innocent, trusting, if sad girl is dead.  In her place is someone who is sullen, hard and untrusting.  I'm not necessarily bitter, but I think the depression has left its permanent mark.I still have anxiety episodes and depression spikes a year later.  I fight with my own body and it's difficult to find support.  I'm no longer me and I miss the old version of me.  February 6 will always be Doomsday, as it was the day that I died.


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