Mental Illness Awareness Week was a few days ago, and reading all the stories made me think that maybe sharing my own story was something that I needed to do.
My story began when I was 12 years old, I was in Middle School, and I had always been a popular and friendly girl. My school was Catholic, so I was used to pray everyday. Everything was going well until this girl, maybe out of jealousy, started bullying me, calling me mean names and turning everyone against me. I started going on such a bad path, I didn’t want to go to school, and the thing I remember the best was that when I prayed, I prayed for things to turn out the other way around. This means that if I wanted to go somewhere, I would pray for not to go. It went on for more than one year, and this was my first experience with depression.
The next chapter, and probably the worst one so far, happened when I was 16 years old. I had been in a relationship for 2 and a half years, my first love, and still to this day the biggest love of my life. We ended things in a bad way, and the fact that I was so young and naive made everything seem even worse. It came to a point where I couldn’t leave my bed for weeks, I would think every night that I didn’t want to wake up the next day, I lost 30 lb and most of my friends. When I would leave the house it would be either to smoke or to get drunk with the wrong people. It was like this for a good 4 months, until on Valentine’s Day 2011 I took 8 Xanax’s and went to sleep. Thankfully, my mother found me and took me to the hospital, where I stayed for a week. From that moment on I had to take antidepressants everyday, and that made me forget almost 9 months of my life.
The last story, and the one that still has to be continued, is the one I’m currently living. Right now, I am 22 years old, I am on my 1st year of masters in University, and I have been depressed for more than one year. It comes and goes each week, each month, it can come in waves or all of a sudden, and when it happens I can’t do anything. I can’t read, I can’t write, I can’t sleep. The only escape I have are all the parties and alcohol around me everyday, and all the random hookups and one night stands. This is not who I want to be but I don’t know who I really am. Apart from the depression, all the panic attacks and the anxiety I feel every night when I try to sleep have become part of something bigger: a form of OCD in which I am constantly hearing on my mind “I’m so unhappy”, over and over and over again.
My mental illness has made me who I am today, and has shaped me to overcome difficulties and rely on a better future. Even though right now it seems like I will never find the bright side, maybe one day I will.