As a 25 year old who has suffered from anxiety and depression since the tender age of 12, I have made great strides to better my outlook. I have had countless rounds of therapy, been on a variety of medications, I’ve even been part of a support forum before in an effort to cope with my mental instabilities. My story of today really starts back when I was 18. I was unstable then as I am now, but tragedy has a way of exaggerating mental illness. My family, I am the oldest of 5 children, lost our home to a house fire that destroyed not only most of our worldly belongings, but all of my faith in the universe. We ended up relocating to my Aunt’s farm an hour away from our whole lives and into a environment of her own creation. Of course my family was so very grateful to have a place to live after losing everything, but as time would tell things would be far from comfortable.

The year after we moved in I could count the number of times I smiled on one hand. I was overweight, withdrawn and deeply depressed. My daily life consisted of doing laundry and daydreaming of way to commit suicide and leave the pain and misery of my life behind me. I was always the center of cruel jokes because of my weight and the few friends I did have were not good quality because my self-esteem was too low to facilitate anything better. I was completely alone and devastated as I began my adult life. I used self-harm as a distraction when being creative failed to produce anything other than more self-doubt and finally I had met my limit. One autumn evening I found myself putting on my favorite t-shirt, painting my eyeliner on, and setting my playlist on my iPod. I cleaned my room until it was spotless, turned out the lights, and took every pill I had gathered over a months time. As I placed my letter on my bedside table and put my headphones in I remember being calm for the first time in almost a year, it was almost over. Finally.

I don’t know how my body could have lived through the night- but it did and I awoke the next morning with perfect clarity, fix it. I lost 100lbs, went to pastry school , and met my future husband all in the year after my failed suicide. I was going to rise from the ashes of my miserable life before and make something better. By 20 I was married and living a stable, healthy life with my husband. I worked consistently and we made a comfortable life for ourselves. I was doing it, I was capable! It was never easy, I was never too far from that slippery slope of depression, but I was doing it.

I am now 25 and finding myself returning to my old ways of thinking and feeling. My marriage that was once my beacon of light is now chore that drags me into that panic of being trapped I once felt as a teenager. I moved back in with my Aunt and my parents to afford to go to college full-time and that has added to the feeling of desperation in spades. I am back where I started after all these years. History works in cycles, it always comes back to where it began. So here I am, trying to handle the life I build from nothing and my mental illness.

As always, in through your nose and out through your mouth,



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