According Webster’s Dictionary, to cope is “To deal with and attempt to overcome problems and difficulties.” I hate this word. I hate this word because whenever I hear it, it’s always people telling me that I need to be better at it, or that my coping skills are terrible, like I don’t already know that. Oh, sorry let me introduce myself.
Hi, my name is Raven. Well, actually my name is Ava, but I never really liked that name. I used to always draw ravens when I was little, so my parents just started calling me Raven, and I guess it stuck. I’m 15, and I have anxiety and depression disorder. I go to school, church, and therapy, and I don’t do much else. I avoid leaving my room at all costs. Leaving my room almost always results in me feeling super anxious and depressed, so I just try to avoid it all together.
I developed anxiety and depression when I was in 7th grade. That’s also when I started cutting. Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking what everyone else thinks when they hear that someone cuts. Everyone thinks that a person who cuts is either crazy, or looking for attention. Well I can assure you that I’m not looking for attention, and that I’m not crazy, even though sometimes I feel that way. I usually try to avoid any, and all people finding out about my mental health issues. Some days I wish my parents didn’t even know, and some days I’m glad because now they know why I act the way I do.
I cope with my anxiety and depression by writing and listening to music, drawing, and of course cutting. I don’t like cutting but it brings me back to reality, and it gives me a sense of control when everything else is out of my control. I also write music and draw, but I’d never show anyone my songs or drawings because they show how I really feel. I hate people knowing how I feel. I sometimes think that everyone’s life would just be so much easier if they all thought I was happy all the time.
Having anxiety and depression while going to school is a recipe for disaster. With anxiety comes panic attacks, and panic attacks come with missing class, and then I’m anxious about missing class and I get more panic attacks. You see how this just doesn’t work. Panic attacks aren’t pretty to watch, so I always try to get out of class and go to the bathroom. Most of the time I just try to get them over with, then go back to class, and then I’m usually spaced out for the rest of the day. Oh! And if one more person tries to tell me that “You just need to breathe when you’re feeling anxious,” my head is going to pop! When you’re hyperventilating and feeling like you’re about to explode, breathing becomes a little tricky.
Now for some stuff about me that doesn’t involve my declining mental health state. I’m adopted, my favorite colors are purple and black. I love anime, nightcore, sleep, and YouTube. I’ve been playing guitar for about six years, tuba for five, and bass guitar for four. I can ride a unicycle, walk on stilts, and spin my thumb 180 degrees around. Hmm, well I guess that’s it.
Now for something I call, “A day in the life of Raven.” I wake up, watch some YouTube, get dressed, go to school, and talk to my friends. Then I go to band, choir, English, biology, have a panic attack, go to more biology, lunch, Spanish, study hall, then go home and go to sleep and then start all over again in the morning.
I’d like to be a therapist in an adolescent psychiatric facility, when I’m older so I can help other kids with some of the same issues that I’ve dealt with. It’s always really nice when someone can relate to you, and knows what you’ve gone through. I’d also like to help them learn how to cope with their issues, just like I’m still learning to cope with mine.
Life is already hard, and depression and anxiety certainly doesn’t make it any easier. When I’m older, I’m sure that I’ll be able to find some way to turn all of my struggles into a positive, but right now I’m just trying to get through it. I don’t know if I’ll be dealing with this for the rest of my life or not, but I hope this is only temporary. If it isn’t, I just hope I can learn how to use it to benefit other people. I’m not very good at coping but I really hope that I’ll continue to get better, and better, so I can stop coping and start growing and becoming the person I’ve always wanted to become.
I still think coping is a dumb word because I’d rather go through life tackling every obstacle head-on rather than just coping and trying to get through it. I just want to go out into the world and live my life the way I want to. I don’t want to get through life by coping, but by climbing every mountain and beating every obstacle that dares slow me down in my journey of becoming an amazing, and kind hearted human being. I hope if you deal with these issues, you’ll do the same