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Dealing with Mental Health

How I Found Out About My Depression

In the shower I was lathering up with a smile on my face. The bubbles rose from the surface of the sponge and floated gently to the bathtub floor as I attempted to pop them. I was content from the warm steam surround me and what I felt to be the best decision of my life. I decided to finally kill myself that weekend. After years of self hatred and declining faith in my abilities to handle being a functional adult, I decided the best course of action was a bottle of hard liquor and whatever pills I could find in my parents' bedroom. It had been a long time coming but I suspected it would reach this point sooner or later. How did it start? Well, that is hard to say.

I don't know of any person that knew the exact point that started them down a path towards wanting to throw themselves into moving traffic. I could say that it started around middle school, although I had been bullied far earlier than then. I was mocked for my weight and my high-pitched voice often. Despite my willingness to make friends and my almost nonexistent sense of self worth, most of my classmates either never talked to me or mocked me openly. I remember during one class I was working on classwork for the other people at my table while they were passing notes to each other. One of them dropped the note and it landed next to my feet, which I was happy to hand back to them. As I went to pick it up, I noticed that my name was written on it. It said, "Kendall is sooo fat." The content wasn't what hurt me—I had been called far worse in the past. The issue was that I thought they were my friends. Obviously, I was wrong.

When something like that happens, there are a number of actions you can take. Calling out their names so you can get in trouble, telling the teacher so they can get in trouble, or leaving it on the floor so they can get it themselves. What did I pick? I picked it up, put it delicately on the girl's desk next to mine, and said, "There you go." It was obvious from the guilty looks on their faces that they knew I saw it and were waiting to see what would happen before I turned my attention away. Everything had returned back to the same standard. At least, outward it did. On the inside I had begun a habit of stuffing the pain and rejection down into my guts, one that would last me for quite some time.

The older I got, the more I shoved those feelings and thoughts down. It was like a piggyback of bitterness and I was oinking on the regular. Someone made a mean comment? Shove it in your guts! A bad grade? Shove it in your guts! Someone call you too ugly to date? Well, it's true… but shove it in your guts! I felt that as long as I shoved it deep down I wouldn't have to worry about it. I didn't want to worry my parents about it. They already had to deal with kids messing with me for years before. I felt like I would be an annoyance, a worthless cause to help. I felt like they would be too busy to deal with something like my petty problems.

It's true what they say. "Stuff comes out one way or another; you can't keep things hidden forever." The more I tried to keep hidden, the worse I felt. I would get sick more often; I would be quicker to snap on people. I remember sitting in the cafeteria at high school and sobbing for no reason. Eventually I did get help. I wish I had done it sooner; I spent so many years sitting in a pit of my own sadness. I didn't get help because I felt like I wasn't worth it. I felt like there would be no point in wasting time and money in someone that was virtually hopeless. I am not worthless, though; no one would waste time on someone that they didn't feel like it was worth it.

Now this might be the time where you would expect me to tell you that I am totally fine and never think about harming myself ever since. Well, that ain't happening. I would still have suicidal thoughts. I still get depressed and sometimes think poorly of myself. Taking medication and talking to a therapist does not automatically fix everything. However, that doesn't mean that you should not seek professional help. Fixing your way of thinking and adapting to coping techniques doesn't happen overnight. I'm still working on changing my way of thinking and passing bad habits. It can take a few years, or it can take an entire lifetime. I've spent at least two years working hard to change things and I sometimes feel like I'm not making progress. I question if I am doing better than when I first started; there is no map to let you know how much progress you have made. I'm not giving up, though. Even when it gets hard and I am feeling insecure, I don't give up. I can't give up because I have people around me that I love and care about. I keep going because they supported me through so much and I can't let them down.

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