By: A Member of the Suffer Out Loud Community
When I was a child, I never understood the concept of depression. People referred to it often as sadness. In middle school, I was bullied verbally by the same girl. Hearing how fat I was. That I didn't have any friends. I was embarrassed by myself, so I never told anyone.
High school was a little better. I made friends, but people often joked about me, bringing up my weight. Guys saying they were interested in me, just to quickly laugh with their friends about their sarcastic comments. How could I tell my friends or family? I didn't want them feeling sorry for me, so again I held the burden of bullying on my back by myself.
When I got to college, I struggled with making friends and felt alone. I felt nothing at times, completely numb, and didn't have a desire to do anything. I began to cut myself on my shoulders and thighs, where no one would see my pain. The pain felt so good at the time. I hated myself. Saw myself as that fat, undesirable girl that was seen as a joke. So the cuts felt like such a release. I started to spiral downhill.
One day, I was working in a classroom of small children. A young girl told me how beautiful I was. That I looked like an angel from heaven. I needed that, I never thought about suicide but I was cutting almost every day. I decided to fight for my happiness. I thought losing weight would help, and ended up losing a lot. I felt good about myself and loved myself, stopping the cutting.
I graduated college in 2015, and moved to Utah completely alone. I became a teacher here. I was doing so well, hadn't cut in 3 years. The burden of my parent's recent divorce started to get to me. I was the person people in the family came to, to vent about my mom or dad. Trash talking one or the other. How could I tell anyone? I was living in a new place alone and didn't make friends, and I had no one here. I felt like I was all of their rocks, so I couldn't tell them to not vent to me. Depression started in again, so I reverted back to cutting. It was such a release to forget my mental pain. After a month, one of my students gave me a letter. She told me she didn't know what she would do without me. This reminded me of my worth. I had to be strong for myself. I stopped cutting and finally saw professionals about how I was feeling. I learned it was never about my weight. Never about how I didn't have many friends. I learned my depression developed threw my own thoughts of myself, and how I never went to anyone with my feelings.
Now, I look at myself as beautiful. As worth it. Because I am there for myself, and there are those who care and who will remind me of how I "look like an angel." Or how I am so worth it, they "wouldn't know what they would do without me." Those people were the students I was around. It may not be family or friends. It may be a stranger. For me, it was children that reminded me of my worth. The message I took from them is, they were right. I'm worth my life. Speak out with depression, and listen to those who say you're worth living for. They are right.