I’ve always had lingering symptoms of depression and anxiety growing up. My parents fought constantly. My home was a warzone. I was scared to go home from school everyday. I grew up believing that’s what love was. So I hit middle school and of course that’s when you start getting interested in relationships and boys and stuff. I was scared to love. I didn’t know how to love. I didn’t know how to have a healthy relationship. So I treated people pretty bad. Even my friends.
For some odd reason I did have plenty of friends. I was also great at sports and was a straight A student. What more could you ask for right? In 6th grade there was this boy that was a year older than me. I don’t know what I did to make him mad. He would bully me and get his friends to help. They would call me sir and they decided to call me “Kyle” instead of my actual name Kaylee. I pretended it didn’t bother me, but it really damaged my self esteem. This is when I started struggling more with my anxiety.
After 8th grade, I moved to a Christian High School. I loved it. The kids were nicer and so were the staff. This was such a good change for me, but this is when depression hit me like a hurricane. I mentioned it was a Christian school I moved to. Well, I wasn’t very religious. I believed in God, but no one would have ever guess I was a Christian because I sure did not act like it. It was hard to relate to people at this new school. Everyone seemed so happy. They were so involved with God and Church and I wasn’t. I thought that made me a bad person. Also, I was no longer a top athlete or a top student. I started seeing myself as even more worthless than before.
My sophomore year, my grandma got very sick. She had open heart surgery 5 days before my 16th birthday. She was expected to make a full recovery. She was in and out of the hospital for about 2 months and during those 2 months of watching my best friend suffer, I started cutting. It started off as something I could control, but then it took over and controlled me. I would cut 3-4 times a week maybe more. I was just so numb and I just needed to feel something. I felt guilty that my grandma had to suffer. She was a great person who didn’t deserve that pain. I thought I did. So I punished myself by cutting.
Things slowly got worse. July 15th, 2015, I get a call at 3 in the morning. My grandpa was trying to contact my parents. My grandmas heart rate had slowed down. She was going to be leaving soon. My parents rushed to the hospital. I called my dad to come and get me because I couldn’t go to sleep knowing I would wake up and my grandma wouldn’t. I walked into her hospital room and I grabbed her hand. I watched my best friend take her last breath. That night, part of me died with her. I completely shut down. I didn’t grieve. I built a wall and moved on. I made it through the funeral, but couldn’t even go to the burial. Inside, I was a mess. But I pretended nothing happened and just kept going.
The cutting got worse and eventually I wanted to kill myself. There were nights where I was going to do it. One night was especially bad and I was talking to a friend with the pills in one hand and the phone in the other. Somehow she talked me out of it. That’s when I hit rock bottom. The next day I was at school and for some reason I just lost it. I found myself in the guidance counselors office bawling my eyes out. I told her everything. Before this, no one knew about my depression. I never told because I didn’t think I had a reason to be depressed. I had food in my stomach, clothes on my back and a roof over my head. I thought that since I was a Christian now, I couldn’t be sad. I thought I was over reacting. All those nights I cried and cut. All those panic attacks at social events. I thought it was my fault. I thought I wasn’t trying hard enough to be happy or to be a good Christian.
The guidance counselor helped me tell my parents and I got set up with a counselor. I’ve been seeing a counselor and taking antidepressants for about 9 months now. I’m not where I want to be, but recovery is a day by day process and I’m moving forward.