It’s been hard for my life to come together. Although I was severely shy as a little kid, and still sometimes suffer from the fear of people (anthropophobia and agoraphobia), I mostly learned to force myself out of my shell. I found my niche in a group of friends in my high school and at my church, but all of the girls in my class strived to be the most outgoing and the most popular, so I did too.

I was never really an emotional person, and I never shared my feelings with anybody. I had become a talkative, funny girl, at least with close friends, and I didn’t think anyone would believe what I was going through. I planned what I would say, but I just could never force the topic to become serious enough for me to share my real thoughts.

After school, I took a deep breath and walked up the stairs to my room. I never used to cry, but now I cry all of the time once I am alone. I could never fall asleep, and once I did, I would never wake up. I worked at a horse ranch, and sometime I laid down and looked at the pocketknife on my bedside table. I dared myself to take it and cut myself. I dared myself to end my life.

I prayed and cried out to God, which made me feel a little better, but nothing lasted for a long time. I looked at Psalm 43:5 – “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God.” I asked myself why I was so depressed, but I couldn’t think of any specific reasons. I thought I was just going through a sad time in my life, and it would go away if I was just patient for a little more time.

A while ago I had an emotional breakdown. After five months of specifically struggling with depression, and many more of general sadness, loneliness and anxiety, I forced myself to tell my mother what was going on. I found out that my family has had a history of the chemical imbalance in the brain that contributes to depression, and it wasn’t just something strange going on in my head. I felt assured even in my sadness. Now I know I’m not crazy. I’m just sick.

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