Hi, my name is Sophie

From the outside someone would see me as “having it all,” a great job, supportive family, amazing friends. On the inside I’ve been suffering from depression and anxiety since I was 14, dealing with my emotions by cutting. Shame and embarrassment have been following me around for the past ten years.

Growing up I dealt with a lot of peer pressure and always felt like an outcast. I never understood how to form friendships that were healthy and felt beaten down and cast aside by many. Cutting was a way to take my emotional pain and turn it physical, a pain that I could handle. When my cutting was discovered during my freshman year of high school my parents tried to be supportive and understand my depression but instead I just found ways to hide it and after a few years everyone thought I was OK.

Almost a year ago I entered a relationship with James, a guy that I was really excited about. It had been ten years since I started cutting and I had entered a phase of denial, thinking there was nothing wrong with me, even though I was continuing to cut in extreme emotional situations. So I entered this new relationship full force but my emotions got the best of me and my entire world was flipped upside down. I became emotionally vulnerable one night and told James about my cutting. Immediately I was rejected.

I was heartbroken, not just by him, but by myself. As people started to ask what happened between us I shared with them that I had told him about my cutting. My family and friends were shocked, they had no idea that the cutting was still going on at the age of 23.

Coming from a family where therapy has never been a part of our lives it was hard for me to tell myself that I needed help. I found my therapist, Melissa, nine months ago and my life has been forever changed. I started realizing that my denial was affecting my ability to build a healthy relationship with myself. Now, once a week I go and talk about my struggles. I’ve learned how to understand rejection, heartbreak and I am in the process of building a great relationship with myself.

There are two parts of my journey that I’ll always remember; the first is how important it is to be open and to share my experience with others. By telling my story I’ve come across many people in my life who have similar stories but have never had the courage to talk about it. The second is the understanding and acceptance that I will always have depression and anxiety. I’ll always have those moments in my life where I struggle but now I am fully aware and capable of managing it in healthy and productive ways.

I don’t regret my past; I know that I’m going to come out on the other side a better person for everything that I’ve gone through. My only wish is that the Sophie today had been there for 14 year old Sophie to let her know that things were going to be OK

One response to “Sophie”

  1. Sheri L. says:

    Sophie, hooray for you for stepping outside of your comfort zone and finding a great therapist. For someone who is still fairly new to therapy, you have great insight into your mental illness. Knowing and accepting that you may always have moments of anxiety and depression in your life is important, but the true key is knowing that you are “capable of managing it in healthy and productive ways.”

    Mental health is like any other physical disorder. I will always have to manage my physical stuff, and my depression and anxieties as well.

    Go you for being a strong young woman, and focusing on building yourself up! 🙂

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