Molly s Story
New York, NY USA
"In honor of my mental state feeling consistently and genuinely good, I thought I would finally share my story about my struggle with major depression and self-harm. It has been a long winding road with many ups and downs, but I am finally at a point where I feel at peace with who I am. I always want you to know that, as cliché as it is, you are never alone.
That being said, this is my story: It was my senior year of high school. I went in with very high expectations, thinking it would be the best year yet. I had incredible friends, a loving family, and great grades. My life felt completely in order; there was not one thing I could complain about. School was my happy place and I enjoyed spending time with my loved ones. I was perfectly healthy and happy. My life was essentially picturesque.
As the months grew colder, I found little things about myself changing. I no longer spoke up in class. I was shy and detached when normally I had a mouthful of ideas to express. I could not place my finger on it, but something inside me felt different. I began to sleep more and more after school, often times doing so to avoid homework or interaction with friends. I felt drained nearly all the time. I randomly would panic in class for no apparent reason, and have to excuse myself to the bathroom in order to calm myself down. I often spent nights restless or upset and did not know why. I did not even recognize what was going on with me; instead, I just accepted it without question. I did feel sad, nearly all the time.
However, I did not show a sliver of it to anyone. I kept it bottled up inside, and continued to carry on with a sweet smile to show the rest of the world that I was okay when in fact, I was far from it. Depression to me was like a shadow— it walked with me every minute of the day, even if I did not notice it. Soon, I began to cut myself. I had heard about people doing it before, and the idea of it just formed and lingered in my head. I made sure to hide parts where I had self-harmed with long clothing or bracelets.
When the marks began to appear on more obvious parts of my body like my hands, my friends began to notice. When they tried to confront me about it, I would instantly change the subject. I did not want them to have any inkling that there was something wrong. I truly believed that what I was doing was normal at the time. I felt I did not need help. I felt like no one would understand. I felt completely and entirely alone. By the spring, there was one particular night where I had hurt myself to the point where I knew it could be dangerous. I knew I had to tell someone before I could not help myself. I had tried stopping to self-harm many times before and was unsuccessful. I had reached a breaking point; I finally recognized that this was not normal and I needed help. I practiced telling my mother over and over in my bedroom.
Finally, I mustered up all the courage I possibly could and headed downstairs to the kitchen where my mother was. I immediately blurted out what I had been doing and broke down in tears. To this day, telling my mother was probably the most difficult thing I have ever done. However, it was also the most worthy. My mother reassured me that it was okay. It is okay to not be okay.
The next day, I went to the doctor where I could arrange to seek counseling and proper medication. After months of being closed off, of not telling anyone, I had finally let it out. But this was just the beginning. After months of treatment, I soon began to feel frustrated that nothing was changing. I still felt depressed and self-harmed.
Late in the summer before going to college, I took part in a partial-hospitalization program. I went through many group counseling and activity sessions, and finally began to take something away from them. It was comforting to be in a setting where people were in similar situations as I was and to know that I was not alone in feeling this way.
I listened to people’s various perspectives and even shared my own. It felt entirely liberating to let it all out in an environment where no one would judge. I was released from the hospitalization program three days before going to college. Things finally began to feel normal again. The transition to college was a big change but also one of the most rewarding. I met great friends and people who I could trust and express myself with. I still went to counseling every month, but was feeling a lot better.
Then, one night in November, all those long-forgotten feelings began to catch up to me. I paced back and forth trying to decide what to do. I felt alone and depressed again, now more than ever before. I held a bottle of pills in my hand and considered suicide. I decided to call my mom before doing anything and she came to pick me up from college. I came back into my dorm room and burst into tears as I told my roommates I was leaving for the night, but they were incredibly supportive even though they did not know what was going on.
The next day, I checked into crisis at the hospital for being suicidal. I stayed in the hospital for two days, where they took most of my belongings. The hospital was very strict in its rules, but the staff there were lovely and tried to comfort me in any way possible. I spent most of my time there either sleeping or crying, but I needed a break from reality to focus on myself and what I was feeling. When I was released, I felt much better than I had in the last few days. I knew I had to try to get better and really be open to those around me in order to get help. I leaned on my mom and sister for support, and I cannot thank them enough for being the constant rocks in my life.
I went back to school and resumed counseling every month. The months went on and on, and I began to see a change in myself. This time, I was feeling much happier. I began to do the things I used to love, like painting or spending time with friends. I finally began to feel like myself again.
Now, I can safely say I feel the most distant I ever have from my depression. I am thankful for the journey I have been on and the incredible support system I have.
Of course, I still have small moments of feeling alone or sad, but I do not let that stop me from living that life that I have been blessed with. I never thought I could feel this good again during the worst stages of my depression, but I am here. And damn, does it feel good.
If you or someone you know may have depression, I want you to know that it is important to recognize it. Seek help from a trusted adult or loved one like your parent or school guidance counselor. There are an abundance of resources to get help from. I understand what it is like to feel completely alone, and please know that you are not. You are so utterly loved.
Things are definitely different from how I felt a year ago from today. I am happy to say that I have grown and feel better than I ever have before. I know I may still have to continue to fight my disorder, but it is entirely worth it."