Growing up, I felt like there was something wrong with me. I didn't feel like the kids around me. I remember watching my peers running and screaming on the playground with their friends; yet, I was always alone.
When I was in 6th grade, I decided to tell my school counselor that I had thought about suicide. That did not go well. My mother screamed at me about being selfish and stupid, and how dare I do this to HER. Worse, I was told I was not allowed to see the counselor for the rest of the school year. That led to years of feeling like I was not worth or allowed to ask for help.
I continued to struggle silently for several years, until I got to college. I thought things would get better, but I stared to fail my classes and couldn't get out of bed to make it to class. I was finally diagnosed with depression. Even though I was scared and in a really dark place, I was so relieved to finally have a name for how I was feeling and to know that I was NOT BROKEN.
I went on to try several different medications, each one causing multiple side effects.
It has not been an easy battle for me. Some days are better than others. I still have my dark moments, and I still struggle to talk about my own battles. I found hope by connecting with others who are struggling as well. I started doing the NAMI Out of the Darkness walks to raise money and awareness in my community. I found out about The Mighty and started reading stories that I could relate to, that sounded like me. I am starting to see that I can find my voice by helping others realize they are NOT BROKEN.