This is going to be a very personal story.
Lets go back to when I was fourteen. I went to a high class school that only accepted in the smartest kids. But that posed an issue. I was the least of the smartest. And I was one of three African-American children as well, so that was a problem of its own. There was the obvious racism, but that’s not what got to me. What got to me was a conflict within my head that I tried so hard not to acknowledge. The struggles of high school brought that conflict to life.
It was a Sunday. My family were going out for the day, but my brother, mother, and grandmother got into an argument. They always did this, so I couldn’t understand why it affected me so bad this time. When I looked back on this situation, I could see that it was the straw on the camels back. High school was bringing me down. I had never been told I wasn’t intelligent, but this school made sure I knew it. The teachers were racist, the students looked down on me, and the two friends I did have never had the same classes and they lived in other cities, so we couldn’t hang out. But why would any of that bother me? Upon hearing the screaming argument that was unfolding downstairs, I planned to run away.
Slyly I slipped down the stairs and into the kitchen. I packed a lunch. Walking back upstairs with my lunchbox in front of me so that my disagreeing family members wouldn’t see, I went to my room and picked out clothes to wear. I only planned on running away to the mall for a few hours and then Id come home once I calmed down. I put those clothes in my purse and snuck downstairs again, passed my angry relatives, and into the living room where I would change out of my pajamas and into my outside clothes, and then head to the mall.
I turned off my phone and walked six easy miles to the mall. I called one of my friends from school to come meet me. We were having a great time and I was finally relaxing. But with a little investigative work from my family, they found us trying on outfits in Forever 21. My whole family showed up in the mall, crying and upset. I was mad. How dare they come looking for me? I was enjoying myself. My friend went home and I got in my aunt’s van to ride back to my house. She said, “You know if something is wrong, you can always talk to me.”
She isnt the kind of person you have a deep convo with and I told her that. I was being rude and I knew it. Once at my house, my mom randomly asked me if I wanted to consider mental therapy. I said yes. And I left that horrible school and switched to being taught at home.
Over the next two years, I would go through four disrespectful therapists, become diagnosed with OCD, panic/anxiety disorder, depression, and delusions.
I finally found the right therapist for me when I was sixteen. If it wasn’t for her, I would have never been able to function with “normal” people. But my psychiatrist at the time was no good. She had me on two medications that were working, but then she prescribed me another one to help with the depression.
It ruined my life.
I would go on to become extremely radical and suicidal. For two years, I suffered from thoughts I couldn’t control, screaming fits, constant throwing up, WORSE DEPRESSION, and more awful things I don’t care to mention. My teen years had been terrible and that conflict was that no one understood how mentally ill I was. I couldn’t put my feelings into words, so they just spewed out into crazy talk. That made me lose friends, family, and my homework was suffering.
One night, I thought about how I knew I had been depressed since age seven (hence making writing my escape). If you aren’t familiar with the diagnosis, depression causes many health issues that are not just mental. It ruins your whole life. There is no solid solution to it. You just have to build up your coping mechanisms. And that was not easy. I had reached my absolute maximum capacity of stress and drank a half cup of bleach.
How am I still here, you might ask? Because nothing happened. I didn’t die. I took that as a sign. That meant I had work to do. If I wasn’t going to die right then, I didn’t need to. I threw up the bleach and felt a little dizzy, but I became determined that day to fix myself with or without others help. I finally felt relieved. For once in my short life, I finally felt relieved.
I discovered that the third medication I was taking was messing me up too bad. So I quit taking it. And it was instantaneous! Within a few weeks, my unstable tendencies subsided and I was able to graduate. A year late, but I still did it.
Im 21 now. Just in case you were wondering. And this is a true story. I left MANY parts out because I don’t want to scare anyone. But I told this story because I have learned that Im not the only one who deals with mental illness. And I hope that by me saying all this, I can lend a hand to someone seeking help. I could not have survived if it wasn’t for my mom and my therapist. And I am with a new psychiatrist now who actually does her job correctly. Mental illness is real and is just as bad as more physical ailment. But it is possible to get through it. You can also reach a point where you will feel relieved and have the strength to go on.
It doesn’t get better. What gets better is your ability to cope with your environment. And that’s just the truth.