Katie s Story
Newark, DE USA
"Our lives are books, each containing chapters, with pages, and sentences. All making up who we are and how we got to where we stand today. They are all different, none is the same as the other. Not every chapter is pretty, some are as ugly as it gets, but each chapter is necessary. I am going to share with you my most vulnerable, scary, and ugly chapter, that turned into my most beautiful one yet...
Between my freshman and junior year of high school, I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety, and Seasonal Affective Disorder. I have a great life and an amazing family, but I was blinded by the darkness that weighed over me like two tons of bricks.
That sickening feeling my anxiety would give me to the point where I threw up. Why did I feel this way? Why couldn't I feel anything but emptiness and defeat? I tried so hard to be a part of something- a group of friends, a sport team, but, I never felt like I fit in. This voice in my head was constantly dragging me down.
I spent most lunches sitting in the photography room alone, wishing I had never woke up that morning and go to school. Constantly feeling the need to go home and hurt myself so I could feel something, so I could turn this silent pain into something visible.
I started to believe the things that were said to me. 'Just transfer already, no one wants you here.' 'You're disgusting.' 'Go slit your wrists in the bathtub.' 'I'm surprised you haven't used one of your scarves to hang yourself yet.' The endless texts, tweets, rumors. I wish I could have said that I didn't let it affect me, but I did, in the worst way, I believed it.
After an attempt to end my life, I spent some time in the hospital, trying to cope, trying to get help, trying to feel better. But I didn't, I felt the same. Darkness. Hopelessness. Guilt. The scars were adding up and it wasn't until I transferred schools that I really started to get on my feet. Having the strength to make this huge change in my life gave me the determination to slowly overcome these demons that had a hold over me for so long. I started to live with my head held high, instead of suffering through life with my head to the ground.
This ugly chapter led into my favorite one yet- one where I lived to make it to college. One where I appreciate myself, love myself, and take care of myself. One where I thank God for this breathtaking earth we call home. A chapter in my life where I can finally see the beauty in this world and the people in it. I found peace with myself, and every part of my most awful chapter.
That is why the chapter I live in now is so bright, free, and happy. I recognized the strength in myself that I had this whole time, and that gave me the strength to appreciate this life, no matter what obstacles and sorrows stand in the way. Don't end your book, have faith that each chapter will get you to the place you were meant to be.
You have the strength to overcome whatever is trying to pull you down. Find your real friends, appreciate your family, take care of yourself, love this earth, and make the most out of this life you were given."
- Story and Photo by: Miranda Henry, University of Maryland Campus Representative