Bailynne s Story
Myrtle Beach, SC USA
"I truly believe that what was supposed to be the death of me became my saving grace.
My name is Bailynne. I'm a happy, sarcastic, food-loving, professional napper. On the outside-looking-in, nobody would ever expect that I also suffer from chronic depression, extreme anxiety, and borderline personality disorder.
My life has had the most extreme ups-and-downs, including not having the most glorious childhood. My freshman year of college, I seemingly 'had it all'. I was at a huge southern university, just got a bid with a great sorority, and had an older fraternity boy who wanted to pursue me. To most, that wasn't the exact recipe for beginning to really have issues with mental illness, but it was mine.
I missed my home in Pennsylvania, I was separated from my twin sister for the first time, and I felt like I had to put on a constant front. I didn't even know where the counseling office was, so instead of seeking help, I drank instead. Doctors eventually put me on medication, but the ones prescribed made me feel like a zombie and slowly I began feeling myself leaving my own body.
Then, one night in February, I made a rash decision that changed the course of my life forever. I was completely isolated, feeling like suicide was the only way to take the pain away. I acted, but luckily, it wasn't successful. I spent the next month in a treatment center and discussing with my parents the next step. I decided that, because I felt safe at my previous university, I would go back and finish my final semester. It was a mistake.
Everyone looked at me like I was a serial killer. Rumors spread while I was away, revealing the craziest reasons on why I tried to take my life. One day at the library, I was approached by a boy who asked why I hadn't succeeded. I immediately ran to my dorm room and began to isolate myself. I didn't attend class, only doing the bare minimum to please people.
I was terrified of social interaction because I was now known as the girl 'who tried to kill herself.' I was also called a pathological liar and that I shouldn't have been there. I was banned from attending certain events, and even though reasons were made up, I already knew why. I felt completely alone in a sea of people who claimed to be there for me. Even the dean of the university convinced me to stay.
At the end of the year, I decided however to make a choice: I could either let this experience and my illness define me, or I could pick myself up and do something about it. Now, almost 5 years later, after having transferred, I am a college graduate and a Philadelphia-based flight attendant. I am an AFSP Speaker and Advocate. I have spoken at two 'Out of the Darkness Walks', and I was invited to share my story on one of their national documentaries about college students and mental illness.
I wanted so badly to make sure no other person goes through what I did. I wanted to share my story in the efforts to save just one more life. Do I still suffer? Yes. But, the key is to stay proactive, honest with yourself, and seek the help when you need it.
There is no shame in falling, there is only strength in standing back up. You're never alone."