Abbie, February 12, 2019

“I was angry at myself, at everyone. I felt isolated even though I was sat with a big group of friends each day.”

It all started as just a few thoughts. 

But over time, I started having extremely bad anxiety and was becoming more depressed. School was using the little effort I had left. I gave up all my after-school clubs, all sporting events. I wouldn't eat at school or at home.

After a few months, I reached out to my friends about what was happening. But sadly, at that time they just came out with remarks about how I was being ungrateful and it was all for attention.

I felt extremely judged. Their comments made me feel worse.

I started self-harming and had suicidal thoughts. I was angry at myself, at everyone. I felt isolated even though I was sat with a big group of friends each day.

By the beginning of next summer I had hit rock bottom. I kept thinking that suicide would be a way out whenever something bad happened.

In the end a friend noticed something was up and reached out to me. She supported me all summer and helped me work my way through my thoughts. She spent time just talking and it made me feel better. A few days during the summer she came to my house and we just watched funny movies, cooked lunch together and just had a laugh. But it was as little as asking how I was feeling that made me feel like someone cared about me.

I told my parents and they helped me, and I got the help I needed from professionals.

Now I'm doing well in school. I can say I'm happy, and while I still have my bad days, I have the support I need from my friends and family. I feel like my past is behind me and now I just live life as good as I can.

If you’re struggling with your mental health, don't be afraid to talk to your friends, teachers, parents, guardians, whoever you trust about anything that is happening to you. Chances are, someone will support and help you through it.

And if you see someone who looks like they are having a bad day or they look a bit stressed, just ask them if they are okay, it could make a big difference to them. Don’t be afraid.

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Too many people are made to feel ashamed. By sharing your story, you can help spread knowledge and perspective about mental illness that could change the way people think about it.