Hannah s Story

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“Finding out my diagnoses of severe clinical depression and anxiety, I was relieved. I finally had words to label all of the thoughts, feelings, and emotions I didn’t recognize or know how to deal with…

 

January 21st, 2014 was the first night I ever harmed myself. I had been sitting in my room and just crying my eyes out for an hour or so. After awhile, I realized that even though I had run out of tears, I still felt this overwhelming hatred, not only for myself, but forevery aspect of my life.

 

I reached into my bedside drawer and pulled out a little, green, handheld pencil sharpener. I unscrewed the razor blade from the plastic with a pair of tweezers. After I did, I just sat there for a few minutes staring at the wall. It didn’t make me feel any better, but it made me feel like I had control in one aspect of my life that I otherwise didn’t.

 

I’m a triplet and every aspect of my life seemed like a competition growing up: friends, grades, athleticism, boys. I also lived in six different states by the time I was 10 years so I had the kind of childhood that forced you to mature quickly.

 

In the 4th grade, my parents ended up getting divorced, so I moved to South Carolina with my mom. She was diagnosed with 2 different cancers, and watching her suffer was extremely hard. Although she faced the struggle of fighting for her health for a long time, she never gave up hope or succumbed to the trials she was facing- which is why she’s such a big inspiration to me.

 

During this time, I also developed a heart condition that required surgery, which I felt so guilty about as far as the cost. I felt like a burden I guess is the best way to summarize it…

 

Since I’m now a freshman in college, I’m still trying to figure out what works for me, but taking my antidepressant every day is a necessity. I also skype my sisters a lot who are also freshmen- one at University of Michigan and one at University of Illinois. I just talk to them about what’s bothering me or stressing me out and that helps me.

 

The media portrays mental illnesses as these horrible, debilitating diseases that completely ruin your life. But after living with mine for almost three years now, I don’t see it as a burden, but rather as a chance to learn more about myself and help others who are going through the same thing.

 

As someone who chose to suffer in silence for the longest time, I can tell you firsthand it is NOT the answer. It may be the easiest and seemingly best approach, but at the end of the day it just makes things so much harder. Do yourself a favor and reach out. You don’thave to do this alone, and you shouldn’t have to.”

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