What Believing Does for Me

 

Having a positive outlook helped me through everything.

Having a positive outlook helped me through everything.

 

What was the one experience that completely changed your life? What happened? How did it change your life?

I went into depression once. I was sixteen at the time, feeling extremely hopeless. I hated everything about myself. One day I decided to cut, and that’s when my life turned upside down. I began “self-harming,” because I felt like the worst person in the world. I was and still am, dealing with body image issues. I’m overweight and hated how I look. I loathed seeing myself in the mirror, and turned very insecure. I wished I was beautiful. I wished I was perfect. I was somebody else.

I was at the dorm the whole time I dealt with the loneliness, miles away from my family. At weekends I’d go home and shut myself in my room, telling my parents that I was busy finishing  homework due next week when I was just sulking on my bed thinking how ugly I was. It was really hard for me to cover my sadness. Nobody noticed how I truly felt. I was so scared that people might find out about me. I was convinced that they’d be disgusted once they knew I was depressed.

It was hard to keep a balancing act in front of everyone. I was a jolly kid,  a  responsible daughter, and a diligent student. I graduated with honors in high school, so I had to excel in college. It was the pressure I put onto myself that dragged me down. It was my maxim to always keep going, but things were becoming a disaster when I punished myself for not keeping up with my own expectations.

It became difficult to focus in class discussions. My mind would go blank at times and I hardly understood anything about what the professor said. I’d read books and notes late at night to cope up with my studies.

I also found socializing with my classmates hard. I only had few friends in my first year in college, and sometimes I zone out when we chat. I was tired of feeling alone. But the more I tried to fit in with everyone else, the more I hated myself. I often asked myself, “What’s wrong with me?”

I was suicidal. I did lots of things to hurt myself. I cut my thighs. I scratched my skin. I banged my head against the wall. I binged and purged. And it felt like I deserved all of that.

You’re probably thinking now, “This girl is an idiot!” I guess you’re right. I was too dumb to realize that  I was worth more than I thought I did. You probably do not understand why I did those things, but I do. The pain was just too much for me, too intense that I had to hurt myself physically to let the pain subside even a little. But I was wrong. The pain was so addicting, I was afraid to stop. It gave me a fake sense of relief every time I’d succumb to it. I knew I was wrong, but I kept doing it anyway.

I cut where no one would see my wounds–my thighs. I didn’t want attention. I didn’t want anyone to catch a glimpse of my dark side. It’d scare the hell out of people, but the person who was scared the most was me.

I could just kill myself if I wanted to. But there was something that’s telling me no. There was a voice in my head that would say, “You’re going too far.” And I listened. Sometimes the other voice would say otherwise. It was prodding me to make another cut, and there would be a clash of the two versions of my conscience in my mind. In the end, I got to choose who would win. And I bet you know who did.

December came and things took a different turn. I sent myself to the guidance counselor after drinking bleach. I realized how stupid I was, playing with my life and all. We discussed my problems, and she was very kind to me. That day, I went home and decided to fix my life. After that I told my mom about everything. And well, she cried a hell lot.

It has already been a couple of months since that, but I still remember everything clearly. I’m now learning to love myself and I’m making progress. There’s never a day that I don’t think of that past, but this experience makes me a much better person. I’ve learned to accept my flaws and embrace my imperfections. Not everybody will like me for who I am, but at least I have myself. I try to be optimistic with everything, and I am very happy now. My family loves me for who I am, and I am grateful for that. I was able to recover. I got into the Dean’s List too. When I have time, I meet up with my friends from high school and catch up with their lives. Life is pretty great for me now.

Because I believed it would be.