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Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Time keeps going even when you want it to stop. You can't take a pause in life even when you're down. How do I know that? Well, I've been there.
For my 19 and a half years of life, I've been through love, loss, pain, and pure agony. Even before I was aware of it, I felt lost in my place on this earth. As a child up until now, I've hated my body, my weight, and my appearance. I constantly compare myself to others, longing to be someone else. I've struggled with keeping a healthy weight, which means a weight I feel good with. I often find myself feeling depressed about my appearance becauseI feel unlovable and lonely. My first loss came when I was only 7, even though I barely remember who my grandma was. Even though I don't mourn her loss as harshly as my mom, I feel sadness for the grandma I didn't know well. At 16, my grandpa died, tearing my heart into pieces. It was the first impactful loss I'd ever experienced, as the deaths of other relatives were during my childhood. Losing him was the beginning of my deep depression, my mental state tumbling downwards. Thirteen months later, my grandma died of stage 4 Cancer, completely shattering my life. Her death was my final straw, and I couldn't breathe. In that next year and a half, I hated my life. I thought about suicide thousands of times, and my depression and anxiety worsened.
My first step towards getting help started in a journal full of writing entries and poems about my grandparents. Writing had always been my outlet for my emotions, especially when I couldn't handle it all in my head. However, writing didn't help me this time. Next, I sought out guidance and advice from a teacher at school, whom I had begun to trust and talk to often. He helped me as much as he could before telling me I should seek professional help. He saved my life, period. Even though I went to therapy after that, (which helped immensely) he started guiding me away from the darkness and back into the light. If he hadn't taken the time and put in so much effort to help me out, I would have taken my life. Seeking help from a trusted friend, teacher, family member, or any professional is WORTH your time. That person, that ANGEL, could save your life.
You have options.
Even though I still struggle every day with managing my mental health, I am a thousand times better off now than I was six months ago, a year ago, and even five years ago. With the help of a kind soul, a professional therapist, and the support of numerous friends and family, I am here today. I'm stronger, happier, and healthier.
You have options my friends. Go buy a journal, find an old notebook, find some piece of paper and write your heart out! This first step towards relieving any stress, problem, or pain you're having helps. If that isn't enough, go talk to a trusted individual. Hearing advice or just having someone listen to you is therapeutic and lifts your spirits.
If you say, "I can handle this by myself. I don't need any help," that's your warning sign to get help! When I said that to myself during my tough times, I knew I needed to seek out help. Therapy may not work for everyone, but it works wonders for your mental health. You may go through a few different therapists but don't be discouraged! Once you find your match, you'll begin the journey to a better mindset.
It's never too late to improve your mental health. Your physical health is often focused on by medical professionals, the media, and your family and friends, but your mental health matters too. Take care of yourself, and know that you are cared for. I care about each and every one of you. Stay healthy.
Extra Contact Information
If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, giving away possessions, saying goodbye, or acting distant, please don't wait to get help.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline:
ULifeLine- A confidential anonymous source for college students who need to talk (it's free): ulifeline.org
Find A Therapist- a free resource to help you find a licensed therapist in your area: psychologytoday.com
Teen Health and Wellness: offers hotlines for teens with ranging issues such as eating disorders, domestic violence, etc.: teenhealthandwellness.com