They say that college is going to be a fresh start- and that’s what I want, a fresh start. Isn’t that what we all want, really? But I can’t tell you how scared I am of a fresh start- will my depression follow me? Will I break down and become the crazy girl again? What will people think? You’ve heard some of my backstory this year, but there’s more to it then you think.
October 14, 2007- It’s about 9PM, and I’m sitting in the computer room doing some math homework. My Bat Mitzvah’s on Friday, my 13 birthday is tomorrow, so I should be happy, right? Not right. I’m stressed because everyone’s yelling at me for not practicing for Saturday. My mom walks in, and she’s stressed too, yelling more than usual. She screams at me, saying that she doesn’t care if I fail on Saturday morning, yells at me for not practicing, takes the books on my lap, picks them up, and slams them back down on my lap. I cry, IM my friend, and tell him I don’t think I’m going to make it to Saturday.
October 15, 2007- I come into school, and I’m happy. I’m 13 now, and I’m feeling awesome. I’m sitting in homeroom when the guidance counselor and my friend that I was talking to are standing in the doorway. They take me out of class and tell me that my friend told his mom about what I said the night before, and that they were worried. His mom called the school. So I sat for two hours, trying to explain to the guidance counselor exactly why I said what I said and how I was feeling. I cried, but no words came out. I didn’t know why I felt that way, I just did. I felt worthless, not even my parents believed that I was going to be successful, and that hurt. She told me that she had to call my parents and tell them that I was having harmful thoughts. They arrived, and we sat in a conference room, she explained what I had told her, or lack thereof, and my parents cried. Never in my thirteen years had I seen him cry. I felt guilty, like a burden. On top of a thousands of dollars party, they had an emotionally unstable daughter.
The guidance counselors said that in order for me to come back to school, I must go to the nearest hospital, be cleared that I’m sane to go back to school, and get a therapist. I remember the look the woman at the emergency room gave me when I told her my date of birth,and she looked at me and said, “Happy Birthday.” I was told to change into a hopsital gown, they had to take blood and everything. I felt helpless, and I actually felt crazier than I ever thought I was. The hospital therapist came in and asked me if I was seeing or hearing things, if I was paranoid. I was treated like an actual mental health patient because of one thought. I was later released, and allowed to come back to school the following day. Later that night, someone from family services was required to come to my house and ask me the same questions the woman at the hospital had.
November-December, 2007- Bat Mitzvah went well, I’m happy. But then started the cutting. I can’t tell you why I started, but I can tell you why I kept doing it. It’s an addiction, like a drug. People have always said, “I don’t understand why people would want to hurt themselves like that, why would you do that to yourself.” Well, call me crazy, but I’ll tell you my thought process- it’s a rush. Disclaimer: What I’m about to say is triggering. It started with butter knives, but they didn’t work so then I started with a steak knife. My friends saw them on my wrists, and once again I was pulled out of school, sent to the hospital, checked that my wounds weren’t deep, and sent home. This time, I was officially diagnosed with clinical depression and was told we needed to get me a psychiatrist to prescribe me medicine. They also told me that if I was there one more time, they would keep me overnight.
January-June 2008- 8th grade came to an end, and I was happy. Nothing really happened. Freshmen year came, and it got worse.
Freshman year: I started cutting more. Except this time I moved on to a shaving razor. I remember a point where I couldn’t wear short sleeves because there were cuts up and down my right arm. Some of the scars still remain. It’s stupid to say looking back on it, but I was upset. I felt worthless, like there was no way out. Towards the end of the year, I had to up my dosage of medication, because clearly it wasnt working. I also tried to keep myself busy with activities so that I wasn’t sitting home alone, feeling crappy. Towards the end of the year, my guidance counselor invited me to a group of girls who had problems cutting, too- freshman, juniors, and seniors together, learning that we weren’t alone. We talked about our lives once every other week and we tried to talk about positive ways. It worked, and I stopped cutting for a while. I wouldn’t cut again until the end of the summer.
At the end of the summer, I found out that I was cheated on by a boy who told me all the lies you believe when you’re fourteen. We only went out for a month, but I enjoyed every minute of being with him. I had a complete psychotic break. For three days, I didn’t stop crying and listened to Taylor Swift nonstop, like most teenage girls do. Unlike most teenage girls, though, I didn’t eat for three days, and at one point, just didn’t want to feel the pain anymore. So, as I was talking to my best friend, I told her that I didn’t want to feel so sick anymore, like I did. Right outside my window is my roof for the first floor of my house. My friends and I have gone out there a couple of times, to tan or look at the stars. I remember standing at the edge, wondering if he’d feel bad if I actually jumped. It wasn’t that high up, I wouldn’t kill myself. I know it sounds crazy, but this was my thinking process. Then, a song lyric popped into my head, “I wish that you could step back from that ledge my friend.” And that’s what I did. I stepped back, climbed inside, and talked it over with my friend.
I know, no guy is ever worth it. And he most definitely wasn’t. I let him know the pain he caused me, I made sure he knew. To this day he feels bad. But I knew at that point, I had hit a low point. I still couldn’t eat when school started two days later, eventually I got my appetite back. I moved on.
Here and there, I still had psychotic breaks. November of my sophomore year I was slowly weaned off my medication. I realized that I was okay without it. I was stronger than I made myself out to be.
I can honestly say that I have battled depression. I still feel really upset not and then, but I have changed my thinking process to believe that I’m better than feeling like that. I don’t want to feel sad anymore. I’m ready for the next chapter of my life, and even though I am still depressed, and I still have depression, I know that I can fight it.
I have surrounded myself with people who I can call up at 2 am and vent to them, that will repeatedly tell me it’s okay even though I will keep refusing them and tell them they don’t understand, and turn my thoughts around eventually.
I have battled with depression, wrestled with suicide, and won.
“and you can try on my clothes, but you can’t fill these shoes.”