Monday, July 18, 2011

Grace's Story

I have always been known to be dramatic. Those who know me best often will say dramatic is an understatement. When I asked friends for words that describe me, I have gotten dramatic (of course), Caring, Kind, a complete Bitch, and Compassionate. All of which have been true on many occasions.  It is funny though how words which “describe you” really only begin to scratch the surface of who you are. I have been a happy camper. Through my childhood, all was good and right in the world. Sure, it was hard when my dad traveled for his job, but it did not bother me too much. I had my babies, what more did I need?  When I was older however, and we moved to a different state, things got back into a normal routine of Dad always being home for dinner. It was typical. Life was good for this 9 year old. I had the best friends in the whole world on my block, and everything was perfect.

This is the part of the story when things go sour, like all stories do.

Around 5th grade, I began having extreme anxiety attacks. No one knew what was causing them. I was only in 5th grade for goodness sake! I visited a shrink and was declared “better” around a month or so later. Moreover, I appeared to be until 6th grade. After the musical in my 6th grade year, something funky happened with me. For 3 days, straight I did not eat and just cried. I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. This, for a 6th grader, makes you an outcast, a reject, and a weak failure. I was so ashamed of myself. I am proud to say however, with the help from my parents, and school guidance counselor, I have become confident in whom I am, and no longer let myself punish me for something I cannot control.

I got better and then was able to go off my “Happy Pills” and all was good in the world.

As years went on, things changed again. My dad went traveling for his job, and we saw less and less. One time he was gone for 4 months straight. No longer could I be distracted by Barbies, I knew he was gone, I felt his absence. I saw my Mom’s face as she tried to deal with her children as a single parent. Life happens like this sometimes though. It can be a pain. However, its how you move on that defines you right?

High school came; my 9th grade year was a year of firsts for me. First time NOT making it into a musical, First Kiss, First boyfriend, First time driving a car, oh! And first time in New York! There were so many different experiences that year, and really, it was a great year. However, sophomore year was a pain in the ass. My boyfriend left high school, along with my best friend, and things just changed.

I cried for 3 weeks. Then I knew it was time to go back and visit the doctor. As you can imagine, I started once again on my happy pills, but I was ok with it.

My story is not all about the negatives; I had some amazing times that summer of sophomore year. I made friendships that were unimaginable, and I remain close to all of them today.

Junior year is my year of hell, as I like to call it however. I guess my year of hell really started at the end of my sophomore year when my friend died. That was the beginning of what felt like the end.

When I was at my computer one day after school my junior year, (September 15th to be exact) I saw on face book many people saying, ‘RIP’ and then my best friend from 5th – 7th grades name. I remember that moment so clearly. I screamed bloody murder and I remember my mom grabbing me and holding me. I also remember going to my bedroom and just crying and calling my steady boyfriend of over a year and a half for help and support, well, let us just say he was a little too caught up in some schoolwork and was unable to talk.

The year went on, and I was still reeling after the death of now two friends. My depression was getting the better of me, and things were becoming too stressful. I broke up with that boyfriend of mine, and it was not because he was not 100% faithful (although that did not help), it was more of he was not there to provide the right kind of support I needed during that time.

Anyways, life once again went on and then the week that I hate came. In short what happened, my birthday, another friend died, and my grandpa was diagnosed with terminal cancer. I felt like I was being dragged into this dark hole with no escape, no evacuation plan, and no exit strategy. This dark place continued to “hang over me” as my mother would say, for a very long time.

Many things happened during that winter, 3 friends ended their friendships with me, and they were always the “best friends” and it hurt a lot. Nothing really seemed to be going right. My mom was tied down with the musical, and I felt like I had nowhere else to turn. I did find someone however, in the most unlikely of places. I was able to talk to them and just be honest and I got no judgment, or belittlement, or anything back from them, only support. To this day, they are my go to person, whether I just need a shoulder to cry on, or a swift kick in the butt to get me to stop moping, they are my person. Moreover, I thank them from the bottom of my heart.

My grandpa died peacefully April 16th at 11:45. I didn’t find out until 12:33 exactly. Things were hard and by the end of the school year, I was in a hole deeper than you can imagine. I had suicide plans, I had been hurting myself, and I was lost. The world was out to get me, I was convinced.

I finally talked to my mom, I told her, and she got me help. I have my first appointment tomorrow.

I had a tough year. My anxieties grew a bazillion times more than they had before. I was convinced I was better off dead.

But here I am.

Telling you my story. I’m still here. Still living. Still breathing.

I am happy.

I cannot say I do not have those moments where I just fall flat on my face into this depression again. I can’t say that I one day will never have it again. And, I can’t say that I have such awful depression everyone should pity me.

What I can say though, I have depression and anxiety. I am 17. I am alive. I can still smile. In addition, I am determined to live my life to the happiest extent possible.

Oh. And I love hugs. 

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