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My name is Ryan, and this is my story

I am 15 and I struggle with Depression

I remember being in 6th grade, cowering in a bathroom stall, rocking back and forth and hearing nothing but intense ringing in my ears. No idea why this was happening or how to make myself calm down. All I could focus on was the idea of death and how pleasing the idea seemed to me at the time. After throwing up a bit and screaming into my bookbag so no one would hear, I made my way back to class like usual. This was a routine event in my life throughout middle school.
My name is Ryan, and I struggle with a lot…

Since I was about 11, I struggled with major depression and anxiety. Going to school was the hardest task I had ever faced. I felt completely worthless being there, surrounded by all these happy, perfect people. And with that came serious self loathing and body image issues. I think I was around 12 when i first made myself throw up. I would go days sometimes without a bite to eat, just so I could feel like i had SOMETHING going for me. In my mind, I was ugly, depressing to be around, annoying, stupid, the least I could be was skinny, right? This continued up until earlier this year. I made myself completely miserable, all I ever focused on was the numbers that popped up on a scale. It was around then that I discovered I had an eating disorder, as well as body dysmorphia.

My biggest challenge in school was my anxiety. It controlled everything about me. I never knew when an anxiety attack would come on, it could be in the middle of a conversation, or when I was answering a question in class. I was constantly on edge, walking on eggshells around myself so as not to trigger an attack. It made everything a challenge, from public speaking to asking someone to pass an extra napkin, I had to summon all the strength in me to do the simplest tasks in the world and it sucked.

Dealing with all of this, eventually made me feel like a complete zombie. All my emotions seemed to disappear after awhile, it got to the point where I just felt like a walking corpse, so I took it out on myself, starving, self harming, anything to make myself feel like I was alive. The problem is when I did feel things, they were mainly feelings of uselessness and worthlessness. I treated myself like i was a pile of dirt on the side of the road, hating everything about me.

One of my most fond memories was when I was in 8th grade, I was home alone at around 12 am and all I wanted to do was die. So I took a razor from my parents’ bathroom and with a shaky hand, attempted to end my own life on the floor of my bedroom that night. Every time I tried to cut, I felt this overwhelming sensation of fear and utter dread and I just couldn't make myself do it. In a screaming and crying panic, I started running, the next thing i remember is being in the middle of a field about a half mile away from my house, I have no idea what happened in between. I just sat down in the pitch blackness and felt the blood from my arm and felt absolutely disgusted in myself. I wouldn't leave that field that night without forcing myself to throw up and some more self harm. Eventually, at around 3am, I made my way back to my house, and tried again, and again, and again. To the point where my arm looked like a Jackson Pollock painting. At about 5am, I got up, took a shower, got dressed, and went to school, with the biggest smile i could manage. It was nights like these, that made me question everything in my life.

On top of all of this, there was one more thing. I was in the closet. I had been trying to figure out who i was (sexually speaking) for coming up on 4 years. This only lead to more and more self hatred. Growing up in an environment where the terms “gay” and “queer” etc are thrown around as insults, and are mocked and made fun of didn't exactly make it easy for me.

All of this combined, made me the most unhappy and self hating kid anyone has ever seen, and I’m willing to bet money on that. I felt completely isolated and alone, like all I was to other people was a problem. So, I suffered in silence for a long time. It wasn't until recently that i started telling my friends about it, and to my surprise they understood. They helped me through a lot of hard times and have become the closest people in my life.

I am now 15 years old, and a lot has changed. Though I still struggle with a lot of mental health, I am much better than I used to be. Quite a few people have walked out on me but the ones who have stayed have become the best friends I have ever had. On top of this, I ended up falling in love with my best friend, who has managed to do the impossible, he makes me happy. We’ve been dating 4 months this friday. The moral of the story is no matter how lost and alone you feel, how outcasted you think you may be, all you have to do is tell someone how you feel. Corny, I know, but i swear it makes all the difference in the world. Even if it's just one person, they can change your life, trust me, I know.

I’ll admit, I’m nowhere near complete recovery, but I am making progress and right now that's what matters. Just remember, to anyone who’s reading this, you matter, and you're not alone.
My name is Ryan, I am 15 years old, and this is my story.

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