Happy Mental Health Awareness week!! Here is my story! I hope you can connect to some of the things that I talk about and that this post is helpful to you! WARNING: This post may contain some content that may be triggering for some readers so go forward knowing that and being aware of it!
Since the very beginning of my life, I have been a very happy person. I never really got sad and if I did it was because of something really small and insignificant that would happen and nothing major. The more I grew up, the more times I heard that I had “such a positive attitude and outlook on life.” I had good friends and a happy life and I never lost these things despite all of the hard times that I have endured. Everything started to change when I began middle school. I saw girls cutting themselves and people being bullied and was even made fun of myself. This made me very insecure and look down on myself. When I saw all of the struggling people around me I was very scared for them. I internalized this sadness and became very depressed myself.
During my middle school years, I would stay up all night long and not be able to sleep because I felt an emptiness in my heart that would not go away. I was nervous to go to school because the kids there were so mean to me and made me feel like an outsider. During this time in my life I began to write in a journal and I would write about how I didn’t want to live anymore and that I felt like my life was a mistake. This depression and feeling of isolation continued for years. There were times I would think about hurting myself and would look at knives and think about how easy it would be if I could just end everything right then and there. I would lock myself in my room and cry and feel completely alone and feel like I had no one to turn to.
When I got into high school, I started to feel happier. People were more accepting of my differences and didn’t really care what I did as much. I felt great for about a year and it felt like a weight was finally lifted off of my shoulders. Then I went into my sophomore year and the depression made its way back into my life. However, it wasn’t as bad this time. I had good friends and I felt like for the most part my depression was triggered by stress and feeling like I had to smoke and drink. I started taking medicine during this time and went to see a therapist regularly. I had random bursts of sadness and then random bursts of energy and happiness and I didn’t know how to make sense of it, but they were all very minor mood changes.
All of that changed when I went into college. My mood swings became much more drastic and when I was low I was really low. Of course I was also drinking heavily so that had a lot to do with the problems that I was experiencing. I would have several days of being really energetic and making impulsive decisions, then the next couple days I would be really depressed and even suicidal. My grades started to suffer from it and my whole life felt like it was consumed by these problems. I then went to a psychiatrist in Nashville about these problems and he put me on medication. I still feel like I have highs and lows but I am finally a little more balanced and don’t feel so out of control.
I have been able to do a lot of good things now that I wasn’t able to do before. I am able to actually know now that when I feel sad it is for a real and legitimate reason. Now I am able to sing and play ukulele again, which I wasn’t able to do when I was depressed. I’ve seen my productivity increase as I now have such a clearer headspace without all of this depression consuming my life. I feel that I have learned so many things from my mental illness. I have learned how to handle the hardships that life will throw at you. Everyone experiences struggle in their life and I am actually thankful to experience mine so young so that I can grow from them and that when new problems come my way, I will be ready for them.
Doing positive things every day is what keeps me happy and being around my friends gives me so much joy! I am finally living a happy and fulfilled life! If you are feeling depressed, anxious or suicidal, reach out for help! There are so many people that are willing to help you if you just say that you need it. I do not feel week for reaching out for help or for having a mental illness, because it has made me appreciate my family, friends and myself that much more! I would like to thank everyone who has seen me go through my struggle and come out on the other side! I love you guys!
Until next time,