Rachel

I envy my big sisters, and I have my entire life. At the start of my high school years I always felt as though I walked in shadows. I had convinced that all my friends didn’t actually like me so I retreated to my own world and place. After school I would go directly to my room and stay there till dinner and then return for the night, surfacing every now and then to keep up an appearance of a happy child. Sitting in silence with my thoughts was a scary place for me. All through high school, I kept up a happy façade even on days I just left defeated and worthless.

I hid my depression from everyone for fear of feeling vulnerable and being centre of attention. I grew up in a small town in Vermont and news spread like wild fire and I feared that my depression would reach my parents and they would worry about me as all parents do. I hated disappointing my parents and I felt like this would be a disappointment to them, so I kept up the act.

I had convinced myself for so long that I wasn’t good enough, that I couldn’t turn it around. It followed me to university where it got worse. I tried so hard to fit in in high school that I developed a body image, which never left me, not even at university. I lost 5lbs, 5lbs that I didn’t have to lose. My first two years on university I spent battling my on and off depression periods and refused to seek help. To this day I regret not going to therapy. My stubbornness was my poison. I believed that through my religion, nature, and time, that the soul can be healed (I still do believe that, just with help).

Since participating in the Mental Health campaign, I have a goal to get back to a happier place in my life and to come to terms with my illness, as well as encourage others to smash the stigma. I acknowledged the fact these periods in my life will be with me for a majority of my life, but they are manageable and they DO NOT define who I am. I battle depression and a body image issue, but that doesn’t mean my outgoing, caring, and charismatic personality is tainted or forgotten.

 

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