Mental Health: My Personal Battle, Pt. 2

I secretly suffered from depression all through the remainder of high school. I remember tenth grade being a shitty year. That's when I came to terms that there was something wrong. But I refused to do something about it. Pile that on with school, teenage drama, and a cheating boyfriend. I don't think I've cried so many times in one year. Sophomore year, in a nutshell, sucked.

The only person that truly knew of my internal struggles was my best friend James,* who just happened to be coincidentally best friends with my [then] boyfriend. You would think that he would apply the bro code but he didn't. He didn't say one thing about what I was going through to his best friend/my boyfriend. On some level because we did grow really close, he felt some type of loyalty to me too. When I explained to why my boyfriend doesn't know or better yet, why I refuse to talk about it with him, he understood why and became my listening ear until 2007, the year he passed.

2007 was a hard year for me. My best friend passed away. My boyfriend and I broke up for what seems like the 100th time but this time for good (at least it was supposed to be but that's for a book). And the one woman I referred as my grandmother since my own grandmother had passed before I was born, had suddenly passed away. All this topped with unnecessary friendship drama, I was in a dark place. Suicidal thoughts that disappeared slowly crept back in and I begin getting friendly with my razor again. I was not happy.

Senior year was the only period that I can remember that I was okay. Maybe because finally all the high school drama would be over and I would never ever have to see these horrible people again. Whatever it was, my depression was at a mininum and my cutting was at bay. I had some ups and downs but all was good in my world. I thought my five year ordeal had finally disappeared. But it didn't.

Once I moved to NC and started college, everything started all over again. I was back at square one battling depression and contemplating suicide. I couldn't deal anymore but I kept refusing to seek help. Black folks don't go to therapists. That's for white people. They go to church or the Lord. I didn't go to those either so there's that. Instead, I went to my [former] best friend who was a psych major. I was pretty much her guinea pig. But her "diagnosis" weren't real because well, she wasn't licensed and I probably should've went to a licensed professional but I didn't. I kept being depressed and cutting my wrist hoping to be freed.

I stopped cutting myself when I was 20 years old. I vowed at 19 when I cut myself that this would be the last time. But something happened and I pulled out a razor a year later. However, I only made one cut and vowed to stop. I haven't slit my wrist in 5 years as of today. What made me stop was that it wasn't taking away the pain like it used to. I felt weird being a young adult still battling this issue. I wanted to stop. It wasn't cute or cool to walk around with scars on my arm. So I found other ways to cope with my depression.

So where am I today? I'm in a place where I'm deciding to when to see a professional. I've made an appointment with counselors and psychiatrists twice and canceled each time out of fear of what they will tell me. I wasn't ready to face the reality that I already know to be true. But as of today, I'm not in a good place and I can finally admit that there is really something wrong and need help. Now, I just need to get the courage to do so (and some damn money).

But don't cry for me Argentina. Don't send any police officers to my door (cough, cough). I know there's something wrong and I am going to get help for it. I just need a little more time.

S.S.

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