Why We Are Worthy
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Health and Wellness

Why We Are Worthy

This is a story of where I was.

Why We Are Worthy

I can't believe I'm actually writing this. I never thought I ever would, but seeing as it is National Suicide Prevention Day, I thought I'd finally take the time to put this into words and let anyone and everyone read it. Unfortunately, this article will not be published until about a week after National Suicide Prevention Day, but seeing Facebook posts and articles on it had me feeling inspired, so deal with it.

This is a story of where I was.

Sixteen years old, junior in high school: I hated school so much, to the point where I wouldn't do any homework because just the thought of doing it made me want to cry. There was a lot of crying that year, usually from nothing and for no valid reason. It became scary when I realized how the smallest of things would make me feel so miserable, how easily it was to go from feeling okay to wanting to do nothing more than to sleep or absent-mindedly spend hours on the computer. And I did both of those things, on and off, for months.

In those months, I was so confused and frustrated with myself. Why did I feel so miserable all the time? I had no reason to be. I had friends, I was dancing every day at school and after school, which was something I loved, everyone in my family was happy and healthy, and we all got along. And still, I was not happy. I thought by pretending that everything was fine, the feeling would go away, but somehow, it got worse—worse to the point that imagining how insignificant it would be if I was gone became a thought passing through my mind daily.

Too embarrassed to talk to anybody about how I'd been feeling, I went to see a guidance counselor, who then made my parents come to school, take me home, and find me help. From there, it was a blur of weekly (sometimes bi-weekly) meetings with a therapist, daily medications, and yet more lethargy. Ironically, I think that the therapy and medications made me feel worse, at least in the beginning. The label "Clinically Depressed" just sounded depressing; it was just a reminder disguised as a medical diagnosis that I wasn't okay.

Things remained about at the same level for the rest of my junior year, peaking post-Depression Label and plateauing off after that. It wasn't until the summer when things became different. With little thought put in, I signed up to work at a camp for adults and children with disabilities. I went with no experience and no idea of what I was getting myself into, but it turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life, and the catalyst for me to start to feel better.

It's almost impossible for me to explain the feeling that working with disabled people that summer gave me. The experience was extremely humbling; not did it only make me appreciate my life, but it made me realize how capable I was of being able to make myself feel less lifeless and more like a human. I would be lying if I said that my life drastically improved from there, but it was getting better. There was only so much a therapist could tell me or how much a prescription antidepressant could do. But after that summer working for Camp Little Giant in southern Illinois, I realized how I was strong, and had value, and mattered.

I've come to realize that I will probably live with a milder depression for a while. I no longer take medications and have not gone to a therapy session in over a year. I am not here to say that once things begin to get better that suddenly you will be "fixed." What I am saying is that what you choose to do with your life can change how you view yourself and your self-worth.

I hate to sound like one of those cheesy motivational speakers or something, but I don't care. I hope that someone reading this out there takes away from what I have to say: You have the ability to change how you feel about yourself and what you choose to do with your life, and you are in charge of how you live. So live long and do things that make you feel important. And do not forget that you are loved, and that you matter to more people than you'd think. You are worthy.

This is not a story of where I am now, but where I am going. And I hope that you join me.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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