Cullen s Story

Charleston, SC USA


“My ex-boyfriend and I were terrible for each other in every way. The year we were together was spent trying and trying to make it work. We spent most of our time upset with each other. There were so many fights in that year that they have all become a blur. Although, I cannot say all of the memories are horrible, and I hope he wouldn’t say that either.


Our relationship was mentally abusive to both parties. He had preexisting mental health issues and we both expected different things from the other- it was tearing us apart. I felt responsible to be his caretaker, to make sure he was taking his medicine or going to his therapist, or even just telling his family when he was in need of their help. He nearly refused to talk to anyone about it except me.


I was both a positive and negative aspect of his life and it felt as though I controlled his happiness depending on the kind of day we were having. It became much worse when I left for college and he was starting his senior year back home. He tried to convince me to quit the things that made me happy. I began to dig a hole into a horrible place and my uncontrollable sadness was my shovel.


I isolated myself from my friends and family and began lying to him, so we wouldn’t fight about my sorority or my friends or whatever would upset him. This only added to my helplessness and sadness. I did not feel like I had his support anymore. My mom, who is my best friend, knew nothing about my life and it destroyed her. I had no interest in hearing what my friends or parents had to say. I only wanted to be with him. That was that and nothing was changing.


I missed my hometown and my parents, and I became homesick. I hardly left my dorm room, except to eat or attend class, if I decided to go that day. I sat in my twin bed crying and sleeping all day. One day the overwhelming sadness and emptiness took control of my thoughts. I attempted to overdose on medication in October of 2015.  I woke up in the hospital in the ICU connected to a million machines with my parents by my hospital bed. And, I was honestly thankful that I was alive. I was diagnosed that day with clinical depression and generalized anxiety disorder.


The environment you live in and the people you interact with are essential to your health. It is so important to surround yourself with good people who really love you and make you smile from ear-to-ear. Good friends or boyfriends or girlfriends should never stop you from doing what makes you happy. They should hold your hand and support you along the way. This was a hard lesson to learn and I did not learn it in an easy way. But, I am so glad I know this now. I am thankful for everyone who stuck by me in this hard time in my life and supported me after- I love you guys.”