My story begins during my freshman year of high school, when I sat alone every day on the floor outside the band room, even if it was raining. I was usually scared to go home, but I had no friends at school as everyone I knew met a new and better person pretty quickly. Being alone makes you a target for bullying, which I was used to from before, but it got worse. Fast forward to my sophomore year after various not-so-great events occurred and you'd see someone who was nothing like the out-going and positive person she was before. I was diagnosed with severe depression and later anxiety as well. The anxiety is genetic, so here isn't really anything I can do to get rid of it. I began medication for both almost immediately but was not required to go to therapy, and after bad experiences with it when I was 10, I didn't want to go anyway. I would take stupid risks like walking on the edge of a railroad bridge in the dark, riding a bike in the middle of the street, or testing to see how many pills I could take without feeling sick. Suicide was not just a thought for me, especially because I was dealing with more stuff in my life than just mental illness alone. It was more like an option or a decision, and there was one time my junior year when I actually went there, but (obviously) failed.I had begun to self-harm before my diagnoses through snapping rubber bands and cutting on my arms and legs. The only way I knew how to deal with emotional pain was to make it physical, and it usually worked. I learned to like the pain because it helped, even if it made scars. At the beginning of this year, my senior year, a teacher reported me for it after he noticed some pretty fresh marks on my arm. Pretty soon, I was called to the school's social worker, whom I was hesitant to associate with due to similarity with therapy. It turns out I was right, as the social worker was rude, aggressive, harassed me, and made me feel extremely uncomfortable when he was around, so I stopped attending his meetings.By this time, I have gained quite a few friends since my start as a freshman. A few of them began to wonder what was going on when I started receiving notes to go to the social worker. For the first time in a while, I opened up to someone, and I knew I finally had a person to turn to if things went sour. Through everything, I had labeled myself as agnostic. But, when a couple people I had spoken to told me they were praying for me, I realized that if they believed it maybe there was some sort of truth and power in this God everyone talks about. With companions, I explored my faith. I have known of Tenth Avenue North since my middle school years, but never really listened when I needed to. I haven't beaten depression or anxiety, but I have found a hope in Christ and I'm happy to say I've become significantly more involved in my church along with another friend. I've also decided to attend a Christian University next year (Azusa Pacific) to further my relationship with God at the same time I continue my education. My story may not have the happiest ending, but that's because it's not over yet. As for right now, I'm content with where I am and I have hope I'll be okay in the end.
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