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KUTO: My Savior

By , st louis, MO
Imagine a young woman, helpless and dejected on the floor. She is in a small bathroom, her limbs cramped around her like a squashed spider’s. Her wrists are rife with angry red cuts, a map of suffering. She feels like there is no way out of this deep, black hole she’s in. She feels numb, alone, unloved. This girl is my past and present.
I cut to stop the pain that constantly raged inside of me so I could feel something physical, something I could understand. My feelings were a turbulent ocean; waves of sorrow crashed upon me when I least expected it. I never wanted this to happen to me, but it did. The fact that I cannot do anything about it made me feel even worse. In and out of white, sanitary hospitals and psychiatrist’s offices I went. No results came to me, no savior from this illness that no one could see. I wanted a diagnosis, something concrete that I could research and understand. I drowned in the convoluted depth that was my mind, looking for a life vest, a white dove, a sign of peace. No such sign came to me until one early morning in the eleventh grade.
A woman with salt and pepper hair appeared as my savior that morning. She announced a KUTO meeting the next morning at 7:30 am. I never knew that a club would help me come to terms with my illness. A mix of bravery and burning curiosity washing over me, I asked this woman what KUTO was. She told me that it stands for Kids Under Twenty-One and that it is a peer-counseling program for teenagers suffering from depression and anxiety. They also help prevent suicide in adolescent and young adults. I was ecstatic to ear that hope was not lost on me.
Joining KUTO was the best thing I have ever done. We have intelligent discussion about how mental disease is not our faults, and how it is caused by chemical imbalances in the brain. For years, words like “crazy” and “psycho” filled m head, putting me in even more pain. Now I know that mental disease should be treated the same as any physical affliction, and that knowledge has put me at great ease.





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