Cure Seasonal Affective Disorder by Having Sex with John Corbett

by Chloe Jeffreys · 48 comments

in Man Candy Monday

Today I’m going to break all the Perfect Blog Post Rules and write the post that I’d like to have found when I first realized I might have Seasonal Affective Disorder back in 2005. Of course, I wouldn’t have understood this post back then. I would have just thought I’d stumbled upon the rantings of a mad woman.  But that’s okay because we all know that crazy people make the best bloggers.

Also, in honor of full disclosure, I’m warning you that today’s post has been sponsored in part by the Eff Word. Consider yourself duly warned.

Let’s start by watching this little 40 second video:

One year in 40 seconds from Eirik Solheim on Vimeo.

Before moving to the Mountain in 2004, I would have so enjoyed that video. Now, somewhere between 27 seconds and 28 seconds into it I feel a sudden need for a Xanax.

For the past several weeks I’ve been experiencing the dreaded return of the loathsome Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) that has plagued me since my second year living here on the Mountain. If you don’t know what SAD is go outside right now and give thanks to your Sun God. If you are one of those people who doesn’t believe Seasonal Affective Disorder exists then go eat some rat poison and stop taking up valuable real estate on the planet. Seasonal Affective Disorder most certainly DOES exist and those of us who suffer from it think we’re going cyclically insane, thank you very much.

Last week, Steve from Ending the Grind asked me how I could have this video where I say I’m living happily ever when I’m obviously struggling so much now with my unspeakable problem. In the interest of full self-disclosure I just want to say to Steve and to everyone else who wonders this very thing, “I have no fucking idea.”  I do know that my dissatisfaction with the unspeakable increases exponentially in the winter.

I had a little twitter exchange the other day where I mentioned dreading the coming winter and someone tweeted back something about my living in California, so how bad could winter be? This just shows how big and diverse California really is, and how poorly Americans today grasp such complicated things like geography.

I lived in sunny Southern California for most of my life (several of those years on the beach), and now I live in a place that more closely resembles Northern Exposure where the people are quirky and weird, but with a notable lack of John Corbett walking around for us to look at (which makes me think we need a Man Candy Monday devoted just to John Corbett, don’t we?).

I’m sure it would cure my SAD instantly if only John Corbett were walking around town.

The world is already looking brighter, isn’t it?

 

The folks in Northern Exposure certainly understood the effects of the winter darkness. I love this little speech John Corbett gives to the inhabitants of his dark, sunless town about the meaning of light.

 

We do have eccentrics living here who say stuff like that, but none of them are John Corbett. Our weirdos hang out at the Post Office a lot and yammer on about the dangers of cell phone towers and chemtrails. They also usually smell pretty bad because, for some very good reason I’m sure that I don’t understand, cosmic awareness and deodorant can’t peacefully coexist in their crazy little world.

In the absence of John Corbett, we do have a guy in town I’ve aptly nicknamed, “Hairy Armpit Man”.  Hairy Armpit Man came by his name after he regaled all of us one night at the Chinese Restaurant (yes, there is just one) with how important the sun is and how he liked to drive up the Mountain to the Mile One Marker and hike around with all his clothes off, specifically, and he expounded on this part in loud detail while I was trying to eat my Mu Shu Shrimp, exposing his armpits to the sun. (This is called “freehiking” by the way and it is not as uncommon as you might think.)

For most sufferers of SAD, January and February are the hardest months, but for me October and November are the worst. The panic begins to set in as I wonder how long it will last, how bad will it be, and will I survive it this year?

I start thinking about selling our house and moving the hell away to somewhere sunny because I don’t know how much longer I can live like this. But the stupid economy has us backed against a wall. We live in an isolated, expensive resort town where the unemployment rate is:

Let’s take a moment and compare this with the unemployment rate during The Great Depression, shall we?

(Disclaimer: No one knows for sure what the actual unemployment rate was since nobody was keeping statistics back then. This graph is an educated guess. If you research this issue yourself, you will find that your mileage may vary depending on who is trying to sell you what. I’m trying to sell you the fact that our economy sucks buttermilk and we can’t sell our house for near what we paid for it meaning that we have a choice to either suck it up and stay here or walk away with nothing.)

Since I highly doubt that you can cure seasonal affective disorder by having sex with John Corbett (although I might be willing to take part in that study), I have to find other ways to cope.

I’m going to admit out loud that this year, for the very first time ever, I’ve broken down and started taking Wellbutrin-XL. This is hard and humbling.

Okay, it is humiliating. But I’m admitting it because someone out there reading these words might benefit from them.

I’ve never  taken any anti-depressants before because I believed I could power my way through this. Even last year when my mother was dying I didn’t take anti-depressants. This year I’ve given up my pride in the hopes of saving myself and others around me.

I’m trying to be proactive.

I went to see a new doctor because I just don’t want to read fucking Kierkegaard again. I have also started light therapy, resumed cardio exercise (finally my knee is feeling reliably better), and taking more Vitamin D.

And since John Corbett doesn’t seem to be making himself available, I thought I’d give you this song by ELO. As sure as winter, summer is coming. I just need to remember that when the darkness comes.

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{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

regina November 8, 2013 at 4:41 pm

just found your blog while looking for a vaginal moisturizer. stayed to read other entries, enjoying myself quite a bit here, don’t know if you’re still writing, but want to say Thanks!

Regina

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Chloe Jeffreys November 11, 2013 at 5:35 am

Hi Regina! Yeah, I still write here. Thanks for your kind comment and I’m glad to hear you enjoyed reading my blog.

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Melanie November 20, 2011 at 6:39 pm

Oh, and I had to laugh at the reference to Welbutrin. My doctor was considering putting me on it, and said, (with great trepidation) “It does seem to make people a bit more intense, which I’m thinking MIGHT not be the best thing for you at this time!” Ha! You got that right, buddy! Intensity is my middle name, already! So I’m still toughing it out, until I can convince him I can behave. And if I can do that, then what’s the point of taking the drugs???

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Melanie November 20, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Chloe, thanks for your post. I just discovered your blog and I love it. Living in Michigan, I can certainly attest to the existence of SAD! And, like you, I feel it badly in October. My mom died in 1994, early in November, and it seems I go through a “pre-season grief” every year in October. By November, that kind of lifts, so that I can jump into the Thanksgiving with extended family angst, and when that’s over, I get to do my Christmas guilt marathon. Whew! January is such a relief. I keep sheep and dairy goats, even though my babies no longer need goats milk, and I breed those sheep and goats every year so that I can have baby animals to look forward to, in February and March. Spring doesn’t come till May, so the business of the lambing season helps. But now I’m just tired, and wondering “WHY?” But I’ll do it again, just because I can’t go to sleep in January and not wake up until April. I was raised in Tennessee, for goodness sake!! If I’m going to live in Michigan, why can’t I be a bear, and hibernate??

Thanks for making me laugh!
Melanie

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Aimee October 15, 2011 at 5:44 pm

I don’t see contradiction between your lovely video and the fact that you’re in the midst of a horrific conundrum. You’ve simply acknowledged that you’re thankful for your beautiful life, but that doesn’t mean it’s free of problems. In the midst of goodness, there is crap. They don’t negate each other. The good just gives us the will to get through the bad and if you’re like me, you’re just thankful you aren’t where you once were. I thank God every day for that!
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Chloe Jeffreys October 16, 2011 at 4:19 am

Thanks Aimee, it sounds like you definitely get it. It doesn’t seem contrary to me, but I can see how someone coming to my blog and looking for a line graph from Point A to Point Z would be confused..

Life is ups and downs and overall I am very happy with the quality of my life, but there are areas where I continue to struggle.

When I first was headed into depression years ago I just kept white-knuckling it. My mantra, “You are tough, you just power through this.” And I kept doing that until I was suicidal. And that place I never want to go again. The thinking that got me to that dark place, “That it is hopeless, that I have to do it all myself, that there is no help for me, and that I can’t tell anyone because I need to keep my struggle a secret” almost did me in. Now I tell people the truth. Even more importantly, now I tell myself the truth.

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Missus Wookie October 15, 2011 at 1:26 pm

The London comment made me laugh – it is the DAMP and GREY constantly from Oct – March that does me. I’m lovin’ the blue skies, warmer drier weather we’re getting at the moment. I found making a list of the things that help me when I’m SAD and posting it somewhere so I saw it ’cause I wouldn’t remember it when it was bad helped. That and glaring at Wookie because *why* am I living here again???? 😉

Glad you’ve found drugs that helped and the side effects aren’t bad. Hope they continue to help.
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Jamie October 15, 2011 at 11:55 am

Good, honest stuff here, Chloe. I haven’t struggled with SAD (when it’s 103 degrees in the middle of October, I suppose my risk is low) but did have some situational depression last year for which I took a short course of anti-depressants. When all one’s usual tricks for kick-starting a good mood don’t seem to be working, they really do help. The mild effect on brain chemistry is one thing, but then there’s a placebo effect, too…every time you take a pill, it’s a subtle reminder that you’re doing something proactive to take care of yourself, and that’s for the good, too. and John Corbett…yeah, yum. He’s got a small, but recurring role on “Parenthood” these days as a has-been rocker with substance issues. Good stuff!
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Julie E. October 15, 2011 at 9:05 am

Between the yumminess that is Mel and now John, I’m thinking we have the same taste in men. Here’s the litmus test: Brad Pitt. What do you think? I think he’s icky. Always have. His current hygiene issues are NOT helping, either.

Two years ago I was on Lexapro for anxiety and depression. The stoic German in me fought it like crazy. It really, really helped. I’m not on it anymore, but if I started feeling that way again, I’d take it again, no questions asked. I hope you start feeling better really soon.

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Nadine Feldman October 15, 2011 at 5:09 am

Chloe,

What a great post! Tackling a serious subject with humor is a real art, and you did so beautifully.

I haven’t experienced SAD — I live in a sunny clime. However, I lived for years with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and know what it’s like to be very sick with someone that people think isn’t real…and I was too tired to argue.

I love the map! I always tell my husband that the reason I need to travel is that I’m lousy at geography, and going to a place, for me, reinforces its location. I grew up in rural Illinois, and many times people here in Texas would introduce me as being from Chicago, ignoring the fact that I graduated high school in a class of 25 — a world away from the big city!
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Chloe Jeffreys October 15, 2011 at 5:23 am

Hey Nadine, thanks for coming by from She Writes and commenting. I don’t want to be all self-pitying and maudlin about it. I just want it to go away and not come back again. But since that isn’t happening then I’ve got to figure out a way to manage it instead of it managing me.

I’ve traveled to the land where the “pussies” live and I must say that even though they are pussies, they do have great countries to visit and terrific food! I vote for there (or where the cruise ships go).

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CJ aka Shorty October 14, 2011 at 6:14 pm

Wow. I must admit to total “not getting it”- as a native Floridian I just can’t relate. It was **really** cold last winter- the worst I remember ever- I think it was maybe in the 20s. And it was LONNNNG- Dec – Feb I think- (I know we were water skiing on Thanksgiving weekend..) And (gulp) I don’t know who John Corbett is…? (Can I stay anyway?!?! pretty please?) Lol. I think we have different tastes- Mel never really floated my boat either. So sorry that I am no help at all.! I did like your map though- THAT I can relate to ( I felt the total idiot today when my 6 year old’s teacher was expounding on the culture of Taiwan and I was thinking “The King and I”- formerly Siam, now Thailand but definitely NOT Taiwan, lol…) Hope the meds help- snuggle up to your Tick and forget this John person and enjoy what you can of the coming season. It too will pass…eventually…

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Chloe Jeffreys October 15, 2011 at 5:26 am

I think unless you experience it then it is difficult to really understand. I certainly didn’t before it happened to me. And even after it was happening, I didn’t really get that was what was wrong with me for another couple of years.

The map was terrific. And oh so true. When I was in Europe and realized how old they are compared to us, I had this impression that the US is sort of like the world’s 14 year old. You know how a 14 year thinks she knows everything and rolls her eyes at everything you say? That’s how America is acting, only with high-powered weaponry. We’re like what would happen if you gave a 14-year old nuclear capacity.

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Diana October 14, 2011 at 5:02 pm

I think John Corbett was last seen in NYC hanging with Carrie and the gang. Good luck with SAD, it’s not easy to get through those winters.
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Chloe Jeffreys October 15, 2011 at 5:27 am

Yes, but then stupid Carrie dumped him for Mr. Big and all logic and proportion left the show forever.

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Brenda October 14, 2011 at 3:20 pm

I know I wasn’t supposed to laugh, but you got me a rat poison. John’s not my thing, but could relate to the need. I am more of Antonio B. or Hugh or Gerard, sort of woman, but I’d settle for Rhett Butler. No need to explain SAD, am a California woman, but I spent six years in London and lost all my color. My skin was translucent. I managed to escape SAD but I wasn’t unlike me to catch a plane out of town in search of both son and Antonio. Hang in there.. sun lap? Oh, one last thing, blog rules? Really?
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Chloe Jeffreys October 14, 2011 at 3:58 pm

I’m glad you laughed. Laughter helps me.

We all have our things. I have stellar memories of Antonio B. in The Mask of Zorro.

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Anne (@notasupermom) October 14, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Is the John Corbett thing an option?
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Chloe Jeffreys October 14, 2011 at 4:00 pm

I will let you know. I’ll never get over Carrie picking Mr. Big over John Corbett. That was just so wrong.

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Robin October 14, 2011 at 2:44 pm

I SOOO want to use that map for my geography class. *evil laugh*
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Chloe Jeffreys October 14, 2011 at 4:00 pm

hahaha. Make sure you are swilling from a nice cold bottle of Bartle’s and James if you do it.

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Cat von Hassel-Davies October 14, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Chloe I definitely agree with a Man Candy Monday featuring John Corbett!! Mmmmm. I completely understand your winter SAD, living in upstate NY where things started in mid-October to get bleary and didn’t start spring in May was enough to drive even a non-SAD sufferer crazy. I was so glad when we moved to NC and our dreary winter is not so long. At least by March we can look forward to greenery and the sun is always out year round.

I don’t blame you for the “take rat poison,” I have Fibromyalgia and Meneire’s both silent diseases that no one believes in.

Hugs to you.

Oh I always welcome visitors. Since I feel like I know you from the She Write group you are so welcome to come bask in the sun for a mini-vacation if you need 😉

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Chloe Jeffreys October 14, 2011 at 4:03 pm

I’m pretty sure John needs his own feature!

Thanks for coming by Cat and thanks especially for the commenting and the support over on She Writes. I’m new there, but it means a lot to me to call myself a writer.

It is easy to discount silent things that we can’t see, but I’ve been so humbled by this. I never had depression until we moved here. My mother suffered terribly and I always judged her so harshly because I thought, “Why doesn’t she just pull out of it.” Until it happens to you, you just can’t know what it feels like. I have good friends with Fibro and I believe them.

And thanks for the invite. I am known to actually go visit people I meet on the internet so think that over carefully. I’m going to Atlanta to meet-up with two of them just next week. It could happen.

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Pamela October 14, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Is it inappropriate to say that your button-thingies keep floating on top of the words and obscuring the blog so I can’t read it? Or would you rather I save that information until May? Sorry. Looked like a good post.

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Chloe Jeffreys October 14, 2011 at 4:04 pm

No, thanks for telling me. That little floating thing seems to work for everyone on the internet except for me. It’s gone. I give up.

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rsemeline October 14, 2011 at 12:26 pm

I too am a sufferer from S.A.D though I just recently found out the neat little acronym. When I was first diagnosed with it I was living in the sun land of Hawaii (strange, right?) and my therapist at the time simply called it, ‘seasonal depression’. I’ll go with S.A.D, much catchier.

Currently my husband, daughter, niece, and animals live in the middle of the desert in SoCal. It’s mid October and it’s still in the 90’s this week with straight up sunshine. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be helping my issues. In fact, it’s making them worse.

I need a place that is sunny all the time (maybe not with heat this high), but at the same time the lack of seasonal change is tweaking with my body something fierce.

I spent the first 23 years of my life living in the gray dismal wetness of the Pacific Northwest. That’s right, I lived outside the Emerald city, home of grunge rock and Starbucks.

No wonder I have S.A.D. Just thinking about it makes me a little crazy in the head.

Anyway, aside from rambling I actually had a point to this comment. I wanted to thank you for taking the time to write of your own battle. I was beginning to think I was really the only one, regardless of what the doctors kept telling me.

I hope you’re able to beat it back again this year, and hold out for the summer. I’m hoping for the same. I’m still fighting the need for medication, though it seems harder and harder all the time.

Best of luck.
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Chloe Jeffreys October 14, 2011 at 4:09 pm

I do think I had a very slight case of this even when I lived in San Diego. I remember feeling a little down in the fall, but winter is so short and by February there are flowers again, so I hardly noticed it. I certainly wasn’t as debilitated as I can get here. I have to consciously fight it to keep from succumbing.

I guess my message is that there isn’t shame in needing medication. I’ve realized that medication is like wearing a cast. I wouldn’t begrudge myself for wearing a cast for a broken leg; I shouldn’t berate myself for needing a cast for my broken neuron receptors. I have felt much better since taking it. Not flat like I feared, but just less intense.

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Kat October 14, 2011 at 12:21 pm

You definately need a Man Candy Monday featuring John Corbett! Something about the way he looks, and the way he talks, makes him really yummy.
I hope your meds continue to help you through this season, Chloe. And I hope you continue to share your journey with us. Your words enlighten and challenge me, and I am sure many, many others.
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Chloe Jeffreys October 14, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Thanks, Kat.

I think a Jeff Corbett Monday is an absolute must. We’ll save him for a particularly dark, rainy day when we need him most.

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Jamie October 14, 2011 at 11:27 am

I’ve just recently started anti-depressants, but more for panic and anxiety. But I do go through seasons of depression so I’m hoping that will benefit me as well.

I truly hope this season is better for you.

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Chloe Jeffreys October 14, 2011 at 11:37 am

Panic and anxiety is the flip side of depression (the expers say anyway). My depression always starts with panic and anxiety and then heads straight to lying in my dark bedroom alone with my dark thoughts. We aren’t going there this year.

I hope your meds work for you as well. I can’t help but think that our world is so fucked up that all of us need medication to live in it now.

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JenMoz October 14, 2011 at 10:51 am

We are big fans of Wellbutrin around here. Or whatever med works and keeps you off illegal drugs and out of the psych ward. We’re entering SAD season, and we keep trying new things to curb it. It’s a constant fight, and it feels very much like a losing battle. You and your Wellbutrin are in my prayers, babe. Think of it this way. You would do anything for your man. You would walk across ground glass if it would bring him joy and make his life more worth living. Good news, you don’t have to walk across ground glass! All you have to do is a pop a pill so that he doesn’t have to get up his nerve every time he calls you for 6 months of the year. :hug:

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Chloe Jeffreys October 14, 2011 at 11:13 am

Thank you, Jen.

My poor husband. I’m sure it’s only the phenomenal sex that keeps him around. Because it sure as heck isn’t my winning personality.

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Birthblessed October 18, 2011 at 10:48 am

Just this morning I had a thought: would it be so bad to get drunk every morning for a while?

I think I’ll call my doctor and ask about one of those other options. I think it’s time. Past time. I’ve threatened to do it for years.
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Chloe Jeffreys October 18, 2011 at 8:23 pm

lol.

Sadly, alcohol just doesn’t help depression. it only makes it worse. ask me how I know.

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Kristy October 14, 2011 at 10:40 am

It hits me more in March and April because the d*mn snow won’t leave and it should be warm already and it isn’t. I need that light therapy info again, and your “how the US views the world” map is hysterical!!
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Chloe Jeffreys October 14, 2011 at 11:15 am

Because of our cedars we have snow on our front lawn until will into May. We could cut down the cedars, but then our neighbors across the street would have a direct view into our shower.

And I love that map. I’m so glad I found an excuse to use it.

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Angie October 14, 2011 at 9:59 am

I feel your pain. London wasn’t bad for me. It was warm enough in winter fir us to get out and do things. I hate it here near Chicago. I once tried an antidepressant fir SAD but had a panicky feeling a few days into it and said, excuse NE, “Well fuck that too” and went off if them.

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Chloe Jeffreys October 14, 2011 at 11:20 am

Luckily, I’m not seeming to have any side-effects that I’m noticing. Wellbutrin also treats anxiety (which is how my depression always starts) and I’m feeling much less anxious and the constant chest pain has gone away. As humbling as this is to admit, I do feel better now, and feeling less dread.

But anti-depressants don’t work for everyone. Last year I made it with exercise, light therapy and Vitamin D alone. Have you tried any of those things?

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Kristi R. October 14, 2011 at 9:50 am

I could never live anywhere like the PNW or somewhere north of the 38th Parallel. I’ve lived in Kansas City and I was horribly depressed in the winter every year, as a young teen. I didn’t know it was SAD back then, just that winter made me very sad, even though I loved playing in the snow.

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Chloe Jeffreys October 14, 2011 at 11:24 am

I didn’t truly realize what was happening to me until the third year when I found myself contemplating suicide. I never want to go back there again.

We just can’t live here the rest of my life, but for now this is what I need to do to survive it.

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