Imagine living a life feeling this constant heaviness on your heart, fearful for the next day, and wanting to end the dreadful emotions of being worthless and unloved.
This was my life.
I’m not sure what started it. I have a loving family, but we have had our ups and downs. I had great friends, but I have had a great amount come and go. It could have begun with a combination of events in my life, but whatever the initial cause – it really damaged me.
I remember how hard it was to make and keep friends. I would say the main reason was because I have moved a lot in my life (my dorm is my 15th move). It wasn’t until I moved into the city during middle school that my depression got pretty bad. Sixth grade was lonely for me until about November. After sitting by myself at every break and lunch, this girl, who had the same experience so far, was really kind to me and we became friends. We met this really popular girl in our class who we quickly became friends with as well. We couldn’t believe we were friends with the most popular girl in our class, maybe even out of all the sixth grade classes! But soon this friendship turned unhealthy.
There was a group a girls who tried to become friends with us, but the “leader” of my group wouldn’t allow it. The group of girls quickly hated the three of us and did everything in their power to make the rest of the year a nightmare. They did just that, especially after my “leader” moved away. These girls harassed me and my first friend, which almost led to a fist fight. They bullied us like usual, commenting on my weight and how nerdy my friend was, but this was the worse it had ever been. We decided to tell the principal and those girls never bothered us ever again.
High school was a whole different level of a nightmare. Don’t get me wrong! I loved high school overall, but junior year was low for me. Towards the end of sophomore year I became very anxious and stressed. I didn’t really understand why, but I remember my past was something I constantly thought about. It took a turning point when I realized I was not just sad, I was depressed. I was constantly thinking I was not good enough for anything. I always worried about the way people thought of me, which led to me hurting myself.
At this point, I was 16 years old and never had a boyfriend. I thought I was the ugliest and fattest person there could ever be. This resulted in restricting my food intake and throwing up everything I ate. I had an old habit from when I was younger of hitting myself or using a rubber band to snap on my wrist, but I hadn’t resorted to this type of self-infliction in years. I decided to try it again, but the pain wasn’t enough. So I turned to cutting.
My grades dropped, my passion and skill of soccer was burning out, and my strength of holding on to life was weakening. School wasn’t that great of a place anymore and coming home to argue with my parents didn’t really help my situation. No one knew about any of this; not even my best friend. That was until this boy came into my life and left as quick as he told me he loved me. He knew EVERYTHING. He knew when I had panic attacks, when I cried, cut, and didn’t eat. Long story short, he didn’t do anything when I told him I was going to kill myself. I don’t know what made me change my mind about taking my life, but I decided to tell my best friend.
I am now a freshman in college and I can say that I am content with life, even sometimes happy with it. It wasn’t easy to get where I am now. I make sure I eat, I am open about my panic attacks, which has made a positive impact in my life, and I have been clean of cutting for a while now. I can’t say I am cured because my old habits do come back and I do feel poorly about myself sometimes, but I have to work through it and remind myself to look at the brighter side of things. I’ll be battling my demons for the rest of my life, but I’m proud to say that I am proactively coping with depression and have a much better perspective on life.
Featured image source: princessinthetower.org and
Alexandra Smith is majoring in Psychology, with a minor in Creative Writing. In her free time, she enjoys running, hanging out with family friends, and roaming the world with her camera in hand.