When Things Changed

I wasn’t always this way. I didn’t always have depression and anxiety. Yes, it started at a very young age for me, but it’s something that I picked up along the way.

I still have memories from when I was a happy child. There aren’t many, and I wish there were more, but it’s all I have to work with. I remember playing with other kids on the playground during recess. I remember when a teacher told me I smiled a lot. I always greeted people with a smile, it was my way of saying “hello”.

By fifth grade that all changed. Things happened to me in my childhood that made me feel ashamed of myself. I learned to hate myself instead of embracing who I was.

Fifth grade, that’s when I made my first suicide attempt. I placed that gun in my mouth with little fear and pulled that trigger. Fifth grade is when I lost all hope. Fifth grade is when I looked at myself as no longer some happy kid, but instead a kid that had no reason to live anymore.

My talents, skill and love for everything was no longer embraced. Instead my flaws were thrust into my face. I was reminded of my weakness’ on a near daily basis. I was no longer that happy kid smiling at everyone. Instead, I dreaded recess. I began to hate the thought of having to interact with others. I didn’t want people to touch me, I didn’t even want them to look at me. I learned to be ashamed of myself.

Soon enough it didn’t matter what my abusers said or did to me. It was consuming my mind all on its own. They didn’t have to say anything because I was saying it to myself, even to this day.

You see, once those thoughts start to consume your mind, it’s really hard to get rid of them. It’s a constant battle inside your head everyday. The stakes are high in this war, someday you may lose and completely give up.

At 30 years old I’m still here. I’m still fighting this war and little by little I’m winning. I’m winning because I’m still here.