I’m A 13 Year Survivor

My life was pretty fine and dandy in the early years. Nothing traumatic. Nothing horrible. But when I was 17 and a Junior in High School, my life started taking a dark turn. I’m not even sure what started it; but by the end of fall semester, things had taken a downward spiral that I eventually learned was a major depression. Through the support of my friends, family and doctor, things eventually became more hopeful.

Depression and anxiety have been a common theme in my life, with the typical ups and downs. And probably not with too much surprise, when I was first diagnosed, I was so profoundly scared of talking about that part of my life. Scared that I was at fault. That I would be judged. And that my struggle wasn’t anything people would want to deal with.

But as life moved forward and time has passed, I grew more comfortable with who I am, what I deal with, and have been able to talk about my struggles. The odd thing I found when allowing others to see that part of me was that so many others had or were going through the same thing. Sharing stories about pain became an incredible way to form bonds with others and has been a huge reason I’ve gone back to college in effort to get a psychology degree.

And although I’ve been many different things throughout my days, probably the most important thing I’ve done with my life has been becoming a crisis counsellor with IMAlive.org. Every shift I work, my hope is to help and inspire the people I get to talk with to take a new step towards recovery, knowing that they aren’t alone. That they aren’t beyond help. That things can and do get better. And that there are always people that care.

If my story helps to save one person from darkness, it’s worth it. I’m a 13 year survivor and together all of us can make a difference. Let’s do this ❤

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