To the Kid with Depression in High School… ( #13ReasonsYouBelong )
Dear Kid With Depression in High School,
I know what you’re going through.
Maybe I don’t know exactly, but I’ve been there in your Converse, Doc Martens, ballet flats, or whatever shoes you’re wearing right now. I have wanted to die so badly that I wished a bus would hit me. I wanted the pain to end, and I couldn’t make it stop. I was 15 years old when I first had a suicidal thought and it scared the shit out of me. I thought there was something terribly wrong with me, and I didn’t realize that I had a mental illness. When I was 18 I was finally diagnosed with depression and anxiety and put on medication for those things.
But at 15, I didn’t know what was “wrong” with me. I felt different from the people around me walking the halls of my high school. Even though I had friends and supportive parents, I was hiding something from them. I couldn’t be the “real” me, for fear that they would judge me or think I was weird. I thought about death constantly, I thought about how I would cut my wrists open and my dog would find me dead on the floor.
Why didn’t I try to kill myself?
In the midst of my suicidal thoughts, I threw an anchor into the bottom of my brain somewhere near the hippocampus. I promised myself something that I remember to this day.
Promise me, no matter what happens, that you WILL NOT kill yourself.
I remember making that promise to myself, and today I remember it.
When I am feeling like garbage and like I want to not exist anymore, I remember that thought, that promise I made to my teenage self. I somehow knew that things would get better. I had to believe that they would. And guess what? They fucking did, they got better beyond what I believed what imaginable.
Being depressed isn’t forever. You will get through this time, because remember that everything in life changes.
Pain is a signal to your mind and body that something needs to shift and change within you. It doesn’t mean that something is wrong with you, it means that you are aware of yourself. You are a beautiful person, and the world needs to you figure that out right the fuck now.
Don’t die, whatever you do, keep living.
You know who needs you? A younger version of yourself.
If I took my life when I was 15 I wouldn’t be writing this right here, right now. I’m glad that I didn’t die that day that I wanted to.
I want you to go look in the mirror at your face. Look into your eyes and be honest about what you see. Say it out loud, whether it’s painful, happy, a compliment, an insult, whatever you are feeling toward yourself, say it out loud, because it’s fucking real. You have a right to your emotions. After you do this, go tell an adult you trust that you are hurting. Believe it or not, they give a shit and they want to help you.
It’s the hardest thing to ask for help, but I am so fucking glad I did, because if I didn’t, I would be dead. I’m alive today, because I did that, I told my mom that I was depressed and I needed help. I got the therapy and medication I needed, and you can get the help you need too.
You matter, you belong, you are needed. By who? BY YOU.
Be who you are, because who you are is beautiful.
The role of men is changing in the 21st century. Want to keep up?
Get the best stories from The Good Men Project delivered straight to your inbox, here.
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash