Depression runs in my family. My mom has it, my dad has it, all my sisters have it, and I have it too. It's always sorta been around since I was little. I was always aware of it but when I was younger I didn't really understand. I didn't get why my sister stayed in her room all the time. I didn't understand why my sisters had scars on their wrists, or why they had to take pills every morning. No one ever really explained to me why it happened or how it happened. It was always kind of something mysterious. Especially because my family doesn't like to talk about things, we all just kinda sweep it under the rug and hope it disappears over a few days.
As I was younger, it was very difficult growing up with a sister that I barely knew, a sister with bipolar depression, and a sister with drug habits and bad depression. I always felt like the outcast because I was always happy. I was always smiling and staying positive. I never really fit in because I was the “pretty, popular girl” but I was also a nerd. It was like I fit in everywhere, but nowhere at all. Due to all the stuff my sisters were going through, I never really got as much attention as they did. Yes, I am the baby and usually babies get spoiled, but not in this case.
I finally realized how depressed I was in the 7th grade. It began when I met my first boyfriend. He was the guy everyone wanted and for some reason, he wanted me. We got together and things were great. I felt like I was on top of the world because my first boyfriend was the popular boy in school. Life was great until the rumors spread. As more people started to find out we were together, it was like everyone wanted him even more. I thought me and him would be together forever until I found out about how good of a liar he was. Turns out, he cheated on me multiple times, sometimes he would hang out with me and right after go straight to another female's house. He was living the life all boys wanted to live, and I let him. I stayed with this boy for 5 years even after the fact I knew what he did. It finally ended when I found out he got my best friend pregnant. I finally told him I couldn't do it anymore, my heart couldn't take it anymore.
The next year was torturous too. It was 8th grade and I barely had any friends. Everyone slowly started hating me and I couldn't understand why. A few weeks into the school year, a new app came out for iphones. Ask.fm was an app where you could send anonymous “questions” to anyone who allowed you to. The app had a setting where you could choose to receive anonymous messages or not, and of course I chose to receive them. After being told to kill myself, to slit my wrists, to run in front of a bus, and to drink bleach, my mom told me to delete the app. Well, I didn't listen to her, and I remained on the app almost 24/7. The comments hurt me so badly but I was addicted. I couldn't stop reading the hateful comments I was getting. After months of being bullied online, I figured “maybe I deserve this.”
2013 was the year I started physically hurting myself. It started with sewing needles, then broken glass, then pencil sharpener blades and moved its way to carpet cutters. I was able to hide my raw wrists and my depression for four years after this. I was drowning in my sadness and not a single soul knew. This continued for months before I found a better escape. Drugs.
It started with smoking some marijuana here and there. Then the smoking became a daily thing. I was constantly asking my mom for lunch money just so I could have enough to go pick up some more weed after school. This was an everyday thing. Then I made friends with a new group of people. They introduced me to cigarettes and xanax. I started smoking cigarettes when I was fourteen years old. I would buy a pack a week, sometimes even two. When the xanax started, I thought it was just what all the kids were doing. But it wasn't, not everyone in high school pops pills to make themselves feel better. I didn't see how unnormal it was.
My freshmen year I slowly started taking xanax everyday. It started with taking one on the weekend to taking 3 or 4 every weekend, to sitting in class so intoxicated I would fall asleep and not be able to wake up, to taking 5 in one day and not remembering my entire week. It took me one weekend to realize this wasn't normal. One Friday night, my new group of friends and I decided to do our late night shenanigans. We picked up some xanax from a random guy in Manhattan beach and went on with our day. At this time I was single and going through some family things. This Friday night I ended up taking about 6 xanax within a time period of 3 or 4 hours. I did not overdose and till this day I don't understand how i'm still alive after taking that many.
The next morning was a complete blur. I woke up on the floor of my best friends house, still feeling the xanax I had taken the night before. I had missed calls from the guy I was talking to and some very angry text messages. Apparently, that Friday night, I called my ex boyfriend to come hang out. He met up with me and we ended up hooking up. I don't remember a single thing. The only memory I have of that night is through the pictures and videos he took of me. These inappropriate pictures and videos were sent to the boy I was talking to and probably to many other people. As you may think, this probably made me never want to touch xanax again, but you're wrong. It made me want more. I was so messed up in the head I thought to myself, “I deserve this.”
After my freshmen year, I got kicked out. All my grades went down due to the drugs I was doing and I ended the school year with a 0.8 GPA. My parents were devastated. Although they were confused on how my grades dropped so drastically, they still never saw the real problem. They thought I just wanted to fit in and that social media was holding me back. They were wrong. The xanax was what held me back. It got to the point where I could take 2 or 3 xanax and be able to hold a conversation with my parents and be able to function properly. I became an addict.
Sophomore year, I transferred to a charter school. I thought this was going to be a fresh start for me. A new beginning, to be a better person, to be a different person. I met my best friend in my chemistry class. We met by talking about drugs. She was the same exact person as me, it was almost like our lives were parallel to each other. We started hanging out more, and the drug addiction I had didn't stop. I finally found someone with the same addiction as me, and it felt good. I didn't feel so alone anymore, she made me feel like I finally fit in.
One night we decided to get really messed up at our friend's house. Picked up some xanax, got some weed, and that was our definition of a good time. We all popped about 2 or 3 xanax and we all smoked some weed. My best friend drove me home that night and something told me it was gonna be a bad night. As we get to my house I got a weird feeling in my stomach and my head felt fuzzy. I thought maybe it was just me being nervous because I was so messed up and now I had to walk in my house and act sober. But I was so wrong. As my best friend left my house she got into a car accident. She passed out at the wheel and hit a parked car. That was the last night I was able to see my best friend before she got sent away for 9 months. I was broken.
The day after the crash she called me before she left for Utah. I promised her I would never touch another xanax again, and she did too. During the 9 months she was gone, I met a boy. This boy was my whole world. I would have ripped my heart out of my chest and gave it to him if he needed it. He was the love of my life and my best friend. We were together for 6 months until I backed out. He got too possessive and too crazy. When we broke up I was very terribly harassed by him, online and at school. He told me to slit my wrists some more because I deserved it. He told me I could die and no one would notice I was gone. He told me to stop eating because my stomach wasn't as flat as the models on tv. This completely broke me. I felt my heart psychically shatter in my chest and burn to pieces. I had nothing left. I was nothing.
2017 was the year I no longer could hide those raw wrists. After the breakup, my life went downhill. I started messing up in school, not because I didn't care, but because I couldn't go to a single class period without crying my eyes out or having an anxiety attack. People started to notice how bad I was doing. I constantly had dark circles around my eyes, I got very pale and sick looking, and I stopped eating completely. I lost 23 pounds in 3 weeks because food didn't interest me anymore. Drugs wasn't a problem anymore, they didn't interest me either. Living didn't interest me anymore. I will admit, I wanted to die. One night, I texted my best friend and told her I didn't want to breathe anymore. She told my parents the next day because she was so worried about me. That next day I ended up in the hospital. My parents wanted to send me to a psych ward, but I wasn't “sick” enough to go. I stayed in a hospital bed for 13 hours on bed watch. I had a nurse watching my every move for 13 hours. I couldn't get up to walk around, I couldn't go to the bathroom by myself, I couldn't even roll over in the hospital bed without the nurse checking me to see if I had any weapons.
THIS was when I knew it had to stop. I left the charter school and started doing independent studies. I started eating again, and I slowly started talking to people again. I flushed all my blades down the toilet and deleted all my drug dealers numbers. I was tired of being so sad all the time. I wanted to finally help myself because I know I deserve to be okay and to be happy. I realized, in order to live a happy life, I have to want it for myself. I am the only person that can really help myself get better.
I am almost 18 years old now and I already started my senior year attending the same charter school. I know that depression never really goes away, and I know I will have my good days and my bad days, which i'm prepared for, but I am happy. I haven't self harmed in 6 months and i haven't touched drugs in 8 months. I am proud to say I overcame this and I am stronger from this.
If I could give anyone that might be dealing with similar situations some advice it would be, never give up. I know how easy it is to say it and how hard it is to actually accomplish it but please try. Life will always have its ups and downs but there is many more good things in life, than the bad. If you are struggling and you feel mentally drained, seek help. Talking to friends may not always be the best answer because they are still figuring out life too, so find a therapist, or a teacher, or an adult to help you better yourself. No one is alone in this game of life. Everyone struggles in their lifetime, we all just have different ideas of how to cope with things.