When I was in grade 3, my mom couldn’t understand why I didn’t want to be around anybody, and didn’t have many friends. She took me to the doctor, and then to a mental illness hospital, where I was diagnosed with social anxiety. I didn’t really understand what it meant, I thought I was just a bit shy, because that’s what my teacher would tell me. That same year, my teacher noticed I wouldn’t pay attention in class. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get through the lesson without getting distracted by something. I went back to the mental illness hospital, and was diagnosed with ADHD.
Since mental illnesses were something completely new to me, I didn’t understand why I was scared of people or why I couldn’t pay attention and listen to anything. Fast forward a few months, my best friend was switching schools, so I did too. We were at different schools, and he was my only friend, so I was terrified of a new school. First day of 4th grade, I cried the entire day. Nobody wanted to be near me, and nobody tried to talk to me. I isolated myself from everyone else, I was the weird kid. The asshole kids thought it would be funny to make fun of me, and I was emotionally bullied that entire year.
In 5th grade, there were two new people who didn’t get along with the other kids too. I made friends with them, and stuff wasn’t too bad. That’s when the physical bullying started. The mean kids would pile on top of me, and hold me down. They would call me names, throw things like chairs and basketballs at me, they hated me. I started to believe what they were saying was true, and that I really did deserve death.
I figured out what I had was depression after hearing the story of Amanda Todd in grade 6. So I was a 12 year old girl with social anxiety, ADHD, and depression. I finally left the school after grade 6, I thought I was finally free. I decided to go to an all girls private school, what could go wrong? In October of grade 7, one of my friends from my last school was diagnosed with lung cancer. He went through waves of severe depression, and when he was told he had gone terminal, he jumped off his balcony on the 20th floor. I was stricken with the worst depression and anxiety I had ever had, and I didn’t think I could go on. I also have a balcony, on the second floor. I stood on the edge, millimetres away from my wanted death. I thought about my other friend from my last school, and how hard it would be to lose your two best friends. I fell back onto the balcony, and went inside as if nothing had happened.
During grade 7, the emotional bullying started up again. There was one girl in particular who made up countless rumours about me, like that I only self-harmed for the attention and that I was born a boy and was transgender, and that’s why I was so ugly. It was around this time that I got more into music, bands like twenty øne piløts and Panic! At The Disco. By the time I was in grade 8, I was starting to make a recovery from my friends suicide. The bullying continued, I tried to ignore it. Much like what happened in my last school, I started believing what they were saying about me. In May of grade 8, my other friend from my old school took his life too. It was like getting hit by a bus, standing up, then getting hit by ten more immediately. My depression and anxiety multiplied, I wanted to die more than ever. I jumped off my balcony, but survived with merely a broken arm.
For mental health week at my school, there was an anonymous drop box where students could write their stories with mental illnesses. I submitted my story, thinking it would be a good outlet to let out my emotions. My story was read in front of the entire school in an assembly, and I told one girl who I thought was my friend that it was my story. She proceeded to tell the entire grade, and of course, the entire grade proceeded to bully me more. They would ask to sign my cast, then write “kill yourself for real this time” and “attention seeking whore”.
The only things that kept me going were music and my best friend. I changed schools after grade 8, and just recently graduated grade 9 at my new school. My new school is much more welcoming, I haven’t been bullied at all yet. In the 15 years of my life, I’ve dealt with multiple forms of anxiety, adhd, depression, 2 suicides, and endless bullying. Music and my best friends are what have kept and still keep me going.
Music and art keeps me going too. Hang in there. I know it’s tough but it does get better as you get older. Kids are brutal. Adults are more sympathetic. Find a support group of others like yourself. Just knowing you are not alone helps a lot.
I am so sad that this happened to you. Schools need programs to explain to others about illnesses and how to treat others.
Andy is right. People grow up, become more mature and most of them stop being complete assholes. There are people out there who want to be your friend. Don’t give up (which I know is much more easily said than done).