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 have just begun to find my voice, to find ME, and I have no intention of letting depression, anxiety, body image issues or anything else stop that.
I really don’t have a great way to end this so I’ll just say . . . I care. Know that there is someone out there that cares and just try to remember that.
The biggest relief from my depression came when I stopped lying about it. Depression was a secret I kept for too long. I think it was crushing me to not talk about it. I was denying a part of myself for so long. I felt an incredible relief when I won nationals and someone came up to me and said, “So, you think you still have depression?” My response was “Yes. Yes, I do.”
We shouldn’t have to pretend to be someone else just to feel accepted! I am dedicating my life to removing the stigma associated with mental illness. I am grateful to Bring Change 2 Mind for starting the discussion. The masquerade is over! My illness is a part of me, much like the color of my hair or eyes. But it does not define me.
Mental health disorders are truly hidden diseases at times because those of us with them become experts at placing them under a table where only a few know they exist. My daughter, during that time, was no different. We had known about the bullying taking place at her school, and had been advocates for her, but we had thought it was getting better when she stopped talking about it. We were wrong.
I have a serious problem and I will keep telling my story to every one. No one deserves to suffer like I do. I know that I don’t deserve to feel this way. My hope with making this public is for someone to realize it’s okay to have mental illness. You are not seeking attention you have a medical issue.
Please if you suffer from mental illness or just some symptoms, go and as for help! I know it’s hard, probably one of the hardest things you have to do: but it’s worth the panic attack when you’re on your way to the doctor, it’s worth all the tears you cry just thinking about you appointment, it’s worth not being able to eat because you’re anxious about the appointment.
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.