When I was in high school, I got good grades. Everything was easy to me, I never stressed and yeah I would complain about not “doing as well” as I wanted, but I was happy, I got good grades, got into college. I was at ease with the way my life was going. But, when I entered college, everything changed.
It was so fast paced and I found myself failing my exams for the first time ever in my life. I could not keep up, I was away from my family, I was secluded from my friends, and I felt so alone. I didn’t realize it then, but I started to develop a lot of mental health problems. I started to feel like my friends–the friends I’ve known for years–were out to get me. I started to feel like they were looking down on me and I couldn’t deal with the fact that I was not doing well in school and I was so embarrassed that I started to push them away. I saw my peers do better than me, excel in classes, while I struggled and didn’t do as well, so I pushed them away also.
I fell. I fell so far away from the person I used to be. I went from that girl who would always smile and laugh or make jokes to the girl who locked herself in her room all day. I started to have trouble sleeping. I would lay awake at night and stare into the darkness and be consumed with anxiety at the thought of my future. Would I even get into medical school? Is being a science major worth it? Why aren’t I as smart as my friends?
I used to cry. I would cry between the gaps between my classes, as I was driving home from school, in my room, and I really hated myself. I hated that I couldn’t do well on my exams. I hated that my parents and family had such high expectations for me that I could not reach. I hated that I was not good enough. But it got worse. I like to think it was school that was the main reason for my problems but it wasn’t just school, it became a bunch of other things and my mental health started to get worse and worse. I would beat myself up because I wasn’t a good friend. I would get called out by my friends for not wanting to hang out which made me feel horrible about not being a better friend. I started to get really bad at replying to text messages which caused my friends to call me out on being a bad friend and so I started to have anxiety every time I would get a text notification, so I stopped replying to text messages.
I hated the fact that I was not a good daughter. I could not get the grades I used to get in high school and it scared me because how was I supposed to fulfill my parents dreams of going to medical school if I could not do well in school. I hated how I was not the perfect daughter, the one who makes her parents so proud that they would always want to brag about her. I hated that I could not be happy. I wanted to be happy, I want so bad to be carefree, but I couldn’t. I found myself constantly drowning in depression and the thing about me is that I always smile, and that’s what made it so hard for people to see how much my depression was consuming me.
I tried to tell my parents about my depression, but they brushed it off and told me I was too young to have depression or it’s normal and probably just stress. It made me feel embarrassed to talk about it because I felt like I was just being dramatic. But don’t view them as the bad guys. They are the most supportive people you will ever meet, I just did not realize it back then but even so, I don’t blame them for not seeing how depressed I was. How could their always smiling, happy, and constantly laughing daughter turn into one who constantly cried herself to sleep, shut out all her friends, and locked herself in her room all day doing nothing but think about how insignificant she was? It was truly, the darkest part of my life. Never in my life, had I hated myself so much. Never in my life had I felt so worthless.
The thing about mental health is that it’s really hard to talk about it because there is so much stigma against it. It’s something that is not very obvious. People brush you off or think you’re over dramatic or even just joking. There was a point in my life where I was consumed in the worst mindset. I felt like I was just dragging everyone down and I felt so alone with all my problems but the thing is, I was not alone. There are so many people out there with the same problems and it’s so important to talk to it about it. Even in the darkest moments of your life, you are never alone. Don’t forget that.
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