When I was 16, I was diagnosed with depression. I remember the day I realized something was wrong. I drove home from hockey practice still in my gear because I was too exhausted to change, not from practice, but from constantly battling my own mind. I dropped my gear on the floor in front of my parents and said I didn’t want to do it anymore. I didn’t want to do anything anymore. I wanted to quit every club and sport I was involved in and I never wanted to see another human being ever again. I was trying to dodge the punches that were being thrown at me like a seasoned boxer, but my opponent knew my every move before I did, because my opponent was myself. It was a losing battle.
The importance of counselling was never emphasized to me, and I believe this had a major effect on how enduring my mental illness has been. It wasn’t until I was 22 that I started to see a therapist. After some changes in my life, I enrolled in the winter semester at STU in 2013. In a somewhat cathartic manner, I finally realized that my role in this world is to help other people so that they can get the help they need to face their own opponents. I have a passion for helping those who are experiencing challenges, and I’m a huge advocate for removing the stigma attached to mental illness. Ultimately my goal is to become a social worker and therapist.
At this point in my life, I can truly say I’m the happiest and most content and confident I’ve ever been. I love my school, I love my program, and I love my life. Of course there are bad days and things that don’t go according to plan, but now I have the tools to combat the negative and invasive thoughts that are common with depression and anxiety. I still have panic attacks, I still get sad, I still have moments when I fear I will fall back into the depression I worked so hard to overcome, but now I know there is always a reason to stay alive and keep fighting.