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Well, it’s 3:27 a.m and I’m trying to find the words on how to start this. Let’s start from the beginning, as all stories do. Growing up I always thought there was something wrong with me. Everyone else loved going to school, seeing their friends, making play dates on the weekends. I didn’t understand it, all you had to do was look at me and I’d run out of the room crying. What was wrong with me?

As I got older it only got worse so I was brought to doctor after doctor until they finally put me on this little red pill called Celexa. Nobody would tell me what was wrong with me, it was always hush hush between my mom and my doctors. As weeks, months went on taking this medication nothing was changing. I couldn’t handle talking to people, I couldn’t make eye contact or go to school without my headphones. I still struggle with these same problems to this day.

Things continued to get worse, so I stopped taking my medicine. My anxiety attacks went from 5-6 a day all the way up to a peak of 9. It was out of control and I still didn’t know what was wrong with me. Out of frustrations I started bad habits that I’m not proud of them but we all have our pasts. Prescription after prescription, nothing they gave me was working. I needed to get my life together, I just wanted to be normal. That’s when I found the diagnosis paper on the dining room table and I understood everything. In bold it read, SEVERE DEPRESSION, SHOWS SIGNS OF BIPOLAR DISORDER, SUICIDAL, G.A.D. I was stunned, I knew that I was different but what did all these things mean.

I researched deeper and learned about all of them. G.A.D stands for general anxiety disorder, they said my case was one of the worst they’d seen in a child so young especially the social aspect of it. I was completely and still am antisocial, struggling to communicate with others. Why was I like this? Why did I have a cocktail of medications to take in the morning while peers got to eat breakfast and kiss their parents goodbye before getting on their bus? As I got older my mom put me into therapy, I was so embarrassed.

I would lie about it when family asked about what my plans were after school and say I was grounded or had study groups on the corresponding days. One of the many therapists I went through recommended a program called Innovation Tech, I hadn’t heard of it before. She explained how it’s a smaller school with PBL (project based learning) and was more hands on. I got an application and was praying I’d make it in, I finally did and was overjoyed. And here’s where I am now. I am not better. I am not my past. But I am trying and that’s all I can do, take things one day at a time. That was my story, what’s yours?

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