My Journey With My Mental Health

My Journey With My Mental Health

I am going to be totally honest about my life because there is no reason to hide who I am anymore.

Everything seemed to happen so fast. If I kept things at the rate they were going I would be going down the road to suicide. I know that is harsh to hear but it is true for years I was going down the wrong path. Let me take you back a bit.

It started in high school, Junior year to be exact, I was 17. It should have been a great year; with prom, football games, and everything else high schoolers enjoy. Not me, I just wanted to be alone. Home life was a mess. I got to the point I would have been so depressed. I would put more effort into school, all night doing homework or studying since I wasn't sleeping. It finally got to the point I couldn't take the abuse and mental pain from being at home.

I decided physical pain would be better.

Soon it was an addiction to self-mutilation. Scarring up any part of me I could easily hide away. This went on for months until someone found out. It's like my secret was out that I NEVER wanted to be out. After that I was sent to treatment for the first time, I was only there for three weeks and hated it. Away from family, friends, and school. When I was finally out everyone thought I was better, but I wasn't. I still did good in school, but at home, I was under content watch dragging me into more of a dark depression.

Senior year, started off great. I actually loved my classes. This year where I told myself I would do anything in my power to do the best I can to make sure my grades were perfect. And in the beginning they were; I was nailing my grades. With “A's” and “B's,” I wouldn’t take any "Cs." To me, that was failing and not acceptable. So that’s what I did; I studied harder than ever. And I started seeing the difference in my grades; they were improving. This went on for months, and my grades were still on point.

But what wasn’t on point was my health. My health was going down the drain. I chose to deal with family problems in an unhealthy way again. I started to isolate myself from everyone again, and my anxiety was at an all-time high and panic attacks started to happen daily. I couldn’t take it anymore, and the only people I could talk to about it were four hours away. So whenever there was a break I went to Ohio. So Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Spring break I was in Ohio with my aunt and uncle.

But things were still not great, my health was going downhill, to where I started to not eat. This gave me more time to do my homework and keep up with my studies. So for months, I was restricting and for months I was in denial about my eating disorder. The whole time I kept thinking I was the one in charge. Not eating was all I thought about. I didn’t care about the fact that I didn’t have any friends. All I cared about was making it through another day without eating. I was hungry at first but after a while, I got used to it. And I liked having the extra time to study and the more I thought about it, well if I don’t need lunch, then maybe I don’t need breakfast or dinner either. And it kind of became a new project for me: to see how long I could go without eating any food. I didn’t want anyone to see me the way I see myself. So after a long time of being in denial. I got help. On February 5th after school, I packed my things and went to Ohio.

The next day, I had an orientation with New Beginnings Eating Disorder Center, and they told me I could start on Monday. So that’s what I did for the next six weeks. I went to treatment three days a week for 11 hours a week. I hated art therapy. So while I was doing that I did as much school work as I could. I got all ahead in my online classes, but I got behind in English and senior seminar.

After graduation, I packed my bags and moved to Ohio, with my aunt, uncle, and cousins. This is when I started attending Cleveland State University. At the time I was commuting back and forth from school and home. So since I was only going to classes twice a week, the rest of the week I was working at Kohls. My first semester on campus, to tell you the truth, I didn't do much. I didn't get involved, I kept to myself, and focused on school. Leaving that first semester with a 3.0 GPA.

The second semester came fast, and I was so excited to be back at CSU. This time I was packing my bags yet again, but this time, I was staying in a dorm.This is when, I told myself, I was going to get more involved and that is what I did.

I got the chance to join a fraternity on campus: Phi Sigma Pi Honors Fraternity. I took that chance and was inducted. I met so many new people I now get to call brothers and I am so happy I joined. Phi Sigma Pi has taken me out of my comfort zone. I made friends, I did fundraisers, I even got pied in the face. They are now like a giant family, that I love having around.

The second year of college came so fast and I thought I was ready to conquer that. Classes started ok I was getting good grades and I was working at the library which I loved, but something changed.

I started going to the gym more and then counting calories and weighing myself and lastly instead on going to the dining hall I would go to the gym for a few hours skipping meals. People started to see a weight loss and I loved it. A relapse started to form and it started to affect my schooling. I did end up getting on academic suspension, I was a wreck and everything was falling apart.

I ended up moving back to Michigan and took a semester off and found a job. I am back in school and doing very well last semester I made Deans List. I am happy at where I am now. I have gained so much confidence it's radiant. I have found when I am confident I feel sexy and when I feel sexy there is nothing that I can't do.

Cover Image Credit: Laura Wright

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.

You won’t see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won’t laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won’t go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They’ll miss you. They’ll cry.

You won’t fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won’t get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won’t be there to wipe away your mother’s tears when she finds out that you’re gone.

You won’t be able to hug the ones that love you while they’re waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won’t be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won’t find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won’t celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won’t turn another year older.

You will never see the places you’ve always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You’ll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it’s not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don’t let today be the end.

You don’t have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It’s not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I’m sure you’re no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won’t do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you’ll be fine.” Because when they aren’t, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

For help, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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Stop And Enjoy Where You Are

Yesterday is done and tomorrow cannot be planned


I work at a summer camp, I spend every single day of the summer interacting with young people. They talk about everything; jobs, dating, marriage, kids, houses, college. One day I was talking to one of my campers and she was telling me all about her future life. Who she wanted to marry, what she wanted to be and her kid's names. She told me all about what college was going to be like for her, and she even had the car she was going to drive planned out. I sat there in awe at the fact she knew all of this (I barely know what I want for dinner tonight let alone what I will be doing in 10+ years). And then after the awe wore off the sadness came over me.

Why do we so often want to rush the rest of our lives?

Why do kids especially think the future will be so much more exciting?

As I grew up I was guilty of it too. I wanted my life to start, I wanted to be done with the crap, I wanted to be grown - it seemed so much more fun than being told what to do and when to do it. But now that I am (kind of) grown, and seldom told what to do or when to do it, I wish I could go back.

But at the same time, I do not.

As I sit here now I have learned to become content on where I am, maybe it is partly because I am petrified of the future. Or maybe it is because going back would mean losing all freedom. But after realizing the past and future have happened and will happen, I have learned to live in the moment. The now is better than the 'has been' or 'will be'

I guess the point of everything is stop wishing for tomorrow, stop wishing Monday's were Friday's and stop wishing winter was summer. Stop wishing your life away and be where you are now with the incredible people surrounding you. Take that random bus to nowhere, take that picture (even if someone complains), and always take a look around and realize everything you have. Because your so desired tomorrow may not have it. You only have control of right now, at this moment - make this moment worth something.

"Remember then: there is only one time that is important - Now! It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power." - Leo Tolstoy

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