There was a long period of time where I was in such deep darkness, I didn’t think I could ever be happy. I was so depressed that I’d forgotten what happiness even felt like. I was numb. I was living in a black hole. I was scared. I was sad. I was angry. I was screaming for help on the inside but couldn’t communicate how I was feeling to other people. To feel so depressed and empty is awful and terrifying. It’s a feeling that no one can prepare you for, and I would never wish it upon anyone. Depression ruined my life for 3 years. I completely lost sight of happiness during those 3 years. However, using all of the energy, effort, and motivation I could find, I pulled myself out of my deep, dark, depression and I rediscovered (or maybe discovered for the first time?) true happiness.
The past 3 years of my life have been some of the happiest years I have ever experienced. I spent my freshman year of high school at a small private school (it was basically a therapeutic school but not technically… idk how to explain it) and in a psychiatric hospital. It was a tough year, but in the end my mental health got much better and I decided that I wanted to go back to my public high school for the rest of high school. I knew that at my public high school I would be challenged academically, which was honestly the biggest reason I chose to go back. I did have friends at my other school, and I do miss them, but 3 years later, I’m now a senior, and I’m positive that I made the right choice by going back to public school. The decision to go back to public school was scary. When I left, everyone knew I had been having mental health trouble. I was scared that no one would talk to me and that people would always look at me and talk about me like I was “that girl with mental health problems,” and I didn’t want that. I was beyond terrified of that. I was afraid that if it were to happen I would be launched back in to the depression I had worked so hard to fight off. Lucky for me, I completely flew under the radar when I returned. People of course noticed that I was back, and probably talked about me in their friend groups at least once, but no one ever said anything about my mental health crisis to me. Instead, my transition back to public school was probably as smooth as anyone could hope for. I easily slid back into my old group of friends (with some new additions 🙂 ). I can’t explain to you how incredibly lucky I am to have the friends that I have. They are the most supportive and caring people I know. We all drop everything to help out one of our friends when they need it. It’s kind of incredible, and I absolutely love it. They made my transition back to public school so much easier. They are also the people who made me feel happiness again for the first time in years.
The first time I clearly remember being happy for the first time since my depression was when I was added in to the group chat my friends had. I was added in within a week of my returning to the school. I literally smiled for hours because to me, it was acknowledgement that I actually had friends and that they weren’t just pretending to be friends with me. I never told any of my friends how much it meant to me, but it was honestly what launched me back in to the world of happiness. I was now in on all of their inside jokes. I was being invited to all the hangouts. I saw the little disputes my friends had with each other every once in a while and sometimes, I was involved. I saw how much everyone supported each other. It made me feel like I was becoming part of their family, and I was, and it was really special to me. For a person who hadn’t felt happiness for a long time, the way that being added in to that group chat and being included in conversations made me feel was something incredible. It was something I never thought I would feel again. It was happiness.
From sophomore year to senior year, I have continuously gotten happier. I am closer to my friends than I have ever been. I no longer see the dark side in everything. I can see the light within everything and everyone. I am now able to relax, smile and laugh with my friends. That’s something that I was not able to do my sophomore year. Each year I have grown a little bit more. Sophomore year was all about transitioning back to public school and forming friendships. Junior year was about making those friendships stronger and learning about myself. Senior year (so far) has been about continuing to learn about and accept myself, slowly telling people things I’ve learned about myself over the past year, and forming a social life that I never thought would exist. This year I have felt so included and like I’m not COMPLETELY invisible to everyone at my tiny school. It’s made me really happy realizing that more people want to be friends with me than I thought. It’s been incredible.
If you had asked me 3 years ago where I thought I would be in 3 years, I would have looked at you like you were crazy because I didn’t think I was going anywhere. I didn’t think I was capable of getting in to a college I would want to go to, but I have been accepted to every school I applied to. I didn’t think I would make any new friends. I didn’t think I would succeed in most of the things I did. I hoped, of course, but I didn’t think any of this was possible. I never thought I would learn to love myself. I thought I was going to live on the edge of happiness forever but not truly find it. I never thought that I would be able to be as happy as I am right now, but I am, and it is absolutely spectacular.