As I lay in bed at night, staring at the cracks on the ceiling I feel my heart sink. The voices in my head start taunting me and I fall into this endless cycle of restless thoughts wizzing through my mind. "I'm not good enough", I tell myself. "I don't deserve what I have". My breaths become shallower, more frequent, I find myself gasping for what I had once thought was air and drowning in my very own thoughts. A surge of deep, dark emotions ripples through me, and I know that it will be a while until I can get to sleep.
Eventually I calm myself down. "It'll be fine", I reassure myself, but this phrase is only too familiar. The words sound empty, meaningless as they ring in my ears. This whole process is ony just too familiar. Every night I find myself falling into the exact old ways of the night before.
I have felt trapped for some while now, and what damned me most at first was the knowledge that these feelings derived from within me. I felt as though I had locked myself in a cage of my own making and thrown away the key. My emotions flicker like a flame in the wind and it is my lack of control over them that made me so afraid. I know that when the morning comes my panic attacks and depression will have merely left a bitter taste in my mouth, rolling around on my tongue. It will be a hazy, distant memory that I will not have to meet again until the night comes once more.
But I no longer feel embarrassed or ashamed of my emotions. I no longer feel responsible for them. I have come here to share. It is ok to feel this way and I know that I am not alone. Twenty percent of teens will experience depression before reaching adulthood and yet it is a topic that is very rarely talked of, among adolescents and adults. So often mental illness is branded as less important, less extreme and less "treatable" than other ilnesses, partially because it is so hard to identify and classify. People are not aware of how much of the young community are being so strongly affected by it in their crucial years that are shaping them into adults. I want to encourage other teens to speak out about their issues. The first step to getting past them is to admit that these dark feelings, depression and anxiety are all there in thre first place. There are ways of feeling better, there is a way out. Know that you are not alone. We all have emotions, and we shoud all get better at dealing with them - the first step is to speak up.