Shatter the Stigma Mend The Mind

Maddy

Jun 10 2013

Hello. I’m fifteen and I’ve been through a lot. A lot more than a typical fifteen year old girl goes through. In October of 2011 my life completely changed. I became very, very, very depressed. I always felt self-conscious, I was always bigger then my friends, I was struggling to handle it. Then a boy I really liked, called me fat, and that day is when it all went downhill. I used to have a 90 percent average, I played travel soccer, I went out every single weekend. After that incident, my average dropped to 60, my mom forced me to go to soccer because I didn’t want to play anymore, and I never left my bed, with the exception of school.

I started self-harming in May of 2012. I don’t know why. It just seemed like the only possible way to stop the things I was feeling. My “best friend” went around telling everyone I was lying, and that I was an attention seeker. He told everyone I can’t be depressed considering I had a smile on my face every single day. If only he knew that underneath my smile was a broken, shattered girl. If only he knew that under my sleeve was a bunch of cuts and scrapes, if only he knew.

I got new friends and by the time summer came, things were a lot better. Friends came over a bit more than before, I wasn’t as sad all the time and I stopped self-harming. Then, high school started, and I was feeling good for a while, until, I broke down again. I started self-harming again and suicidal thoughts were coming in my head constantly. I got to a point, where I couldn’t do it anymore. I decided I needed to kill myself. I was going to do it, I tried it, but it did not work. My mom came storming into my room, and said she was taking me to the hospital. We didn’t end up going, but it was not a fun night. The next day, I felt even worse than before.

The next day, I went to school feeling horrible. I decided I needed to talk to someone. I went to see the guidance counselor but she wasn’t in her office. I went up to my French teacher and asked “do you know when the guidance counselor is here?” she said “every day but Thursday.” And of course, that day, was a Thursday. Then she said “Do you need to talk?” I replied with “yes, but only if this will be confidential.” She said “of course I will, stay after class.” So I did. I told her absolutely everything. I don’t know why, I think I just had everything built up and she said she wouldn’t tell so I just exploded and everything came out. I told her about the suicide thoughts and the self-harming. She talked to me and I left for my class. Then, by 1 o’clock, I was in the office, sitting there, broken, bawling my eyes out.

That teacher told the office everything I told her. I was mortified, hurt, broken, done. They asked me so many questions, and I was so offended and mad. I was mad that the teacher told the office, after she said it would be confidential. The school called my mom, and I had to go home early because I was in “an emotional state.” Many things went around about me, “she drank bleach”, “she tried to stab herself”, “she got caught smoking weed and they suspended her.” No, none of them knew what really happened to me. None of them knew what I was really feeling. I decided I needed help.

The self-harming was still occurring, but I got into counseling and I was put onto medication. I was in counseling for three months, and my case was recently closed. My medication is almost finished. I experienced hell for two years, but these past two years has also taught me a lot. I’ve learned who my real friends are, I’ve learned that trust shouldn’t just be given, it’s earned. I’ve learned that giving up isn’t the answer, and more than anything, I’ve learned to put a smile on my face. Yes, it’s hard to look at myself and see all those scars on me, but it also makes me think “I am strong”. Because I know that I went through hard times. But I still managed to get myself up, and stand tall. Throughout the past two years. The most important thing I learned was how to smile, and for once, mean it.

Maddy Apold is a 15 year old soccer and volleyball player, who lives with depression.