I have grown more these past 2 months than I have all of my senior year.
"Senior year." It's supposed to be the best year? That is what I imagined. I can sure say that I will never forget my senior year of high school, but it is not how I would have wanted to remember it.
This year, I lost myself. I became disconnected from myself, and the world, and I found myself in a dark place that I never thought I would come out of. It was a rollercoaster. I would reach the top and I would feel powerful and hopeful, but it would only last a few weeks, and then I would be back down to the darkness again.
I always had this skill, you see. I was always able to hide my feelings with a dorky smile and a constant stream of chatter. This year, my friends discovered that I was not so good at hiding it anymore.
It has been a bumpy year.
The main reason why I became so invested in mental health awareness is not just because I struggle with my mental health as well. It is because I discovered something that made my life worth living. I became passionate about advocacy, and my dream to become a school social worker someday.
This is the first time I am saying this in writing, and the first time I am putting this out there...
This past March of 2016, I reached bottom. At 17 years old I found myself sitting in an ambulance all alone on my way to a hospital without my family, where I would be hospitalized for suicidal ideation. While my friends were going to school, and hanging out with one another, I was in a room with my zentangle coloring books and a pile of quarters for the payphone. I was at my lowest point, and I didn't know when I would be able to go home.
When I did return home and back to school, I was overwhelmed with mixed emotions. I never would have wished for that experience, but everything happens for a reason and in many ways the experience itself, and the truly amazing people I had met, changed me for the better.
Despite my social anxieties I am insanely proud of myself for advocating for myself this year. It was a long and painful process for me to get there, but it was all worth the effort. My support system helped me to get here, but it was I who had to make it happen.
Months ago I didn't think I would make it to Christmas, and then I didn't think I would make it to my high school graduation.
But I did, and I'm here. And if I am choosing to be here, I would like to use my voice and my time here for a bigger purpose.
I'm tired of hiding the struggles in my life. I want to celebrate every tiny victory they lead me to.
Thank you to my dear friends and family members for the ongoing support this year through it all. I am truly blessed.
MS, thank you for inspiring the idea of blogging for me. You have saved, changed, and inspired me more than you know.
A Boston social work student, using writing for healing. Sharing the peaks and valleys of an empath's mental health journey.