This past year, I have been tried several times by my mental health. Acknowledging that there was something wrong was hard for me, and I kept telling myself “you’re being dramatic” or “people have it worse than you.”

It’s taken me a long time to figure out why I’ve been feeling this way — I’m still trying. This past fall, I felt the most alone I’ve ever felt before and I had no idea what to do. I was scared to reach out because of a lingering fear of judgement, and I was scared of putting a label on whatever I was experiencing. I didn’t know if it was depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder. This school year was my first time living by myself, so a lot of time was spent alone in my room. There has been countless nights where I’ve felt so alone and my chest has felt so heavy. During the night my mind would often drift to a dark place and I would focus on all the negative parts of myself. I have such a hard time truly loving myself and the kind of person I am. I’m constantly telling myself that I am not good enough, no one actually likes me and I am a waste of time.

Once the bad thoughts started, they couldn’t be stopped. This led to more sleepless nights and a lower self-esteem. I stayed up all night feeling awful and I would spend all day sleeping when I wasn’t required to go to class or an event. For months, I wasn’t feeling like myself and I lost motivation for the things I loved; and still, I neglected to reach out. It wasn’t until I got home for winter break that I realized how truly unhappy I was. My sister and mom knew almost right away that I wasn’t feeling myself and they made it a little bit easier to talk about.

After finally reaching out, it felt like a weight lifted off my chest and I could breathe again. Though I still have some bad days here and there, I’m happy to say there’s a lot less than before and I enjoy the things I love again.

I am still learning everyday about my mental health. I’m still learning how to reach out to others when I need help and I am still learning to love myself. If anyone reading this has felt the way I have, I urge you to reach out to someone because it can really go a long way. You are not alone.

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