Kristen I want them to say, “Here comes a fighter.”
When I was about 14, I was diagnosed with an illness almost as debilitating as cancer. It can tear you apart, and turn you into someone you aren’t. It can ruin friendships, relationships and make you say things you wish you hadn’t.
This is depression.
I’m sure you know that depression or any mental illness isn’t talked about very much. I barely knew what it was, when I was first given the diagnosis. I tried to find ways to cope with it, and soon they became unhealthy. The day I first cut myself is etched in my brain forever. I was stressed, upset and unable to understand why I (or anyone) had to have depression. When I realized that cutting would put a stop to all of the confusion and anger, I continued to do it. Soon enough, I found myself self-harming whenever I had the chance. I no longer cut when I was upset. It turned into whenever I felt like it and could find something sharp.
I was living with my one brother and his family last summer, and my niece was one of the first to see my large scar on my thigh. She’s only six, but she knew that there shouldn’t be letters on someone’s thigh. She would try to spell them out and ask what they meant, but I had to keep pushing her questions away.
It was then when I realized that I couldn’t do this anymore. I couldn’t have my nieces in my life when I was ruining my body. I loved them more than anything, so I decided that I must get better. That was a year ago, and through that year there were many failed attempts of recovery, but I won’t give up.
As of right now, I am one month clean. And I know that isn’t much, but it’s something. I don’t know where I see myself in the future, but I know that I don’t want my nieces thinking that self-harm is an excuse when life sucks. It isn’t. It never is. It’s also never okay to give up. Life always has a way of turning around and getting better.
I hope to one day use my knowledge and experience to help others struggling with depression, self-harm, addiction, or suicide. I have agreed to accept depression as a blessing and use it to my advantage. It doesn’t have to be a setback or a struggle, as it’s all about how you treat it. I didn’t ask why anymore, I just asked how I could wake up in each situation, how could I use all of it as a learning experience, the good and the bad, all of it.