Working at Teen Line, I have heard so many calls regarding depression and anxiety. When focusing all the challenges callers face, I find they are all rooted in their fears for what could happen and their lack of motivation due to sadness. I can so easily relate, when I feel overwhelmed I begin to feel so defeated. Sometimes I just want to hide in my bed and shift my room into a chasm of my own dark feelings.
A few years ago, this chasm took over my life. My weekends with friends, my academics, my relationship with my family. I felt hopeless, I thought I’d never get out of this hole I created. I began to idealize about the only way I thought I could get out. I thought ending my life would be a solution. And one day after winter break, I tried.
Due to how private the story is, there will be holes in this account.
My family took me to the hospital, doctors were in and out asking me the same questions over and over again. One, I don’t think I will ever have a good answer to. “What triggered you to try to kill yourself tonight?”, as if I was saving the act for a rainy day. When it wasn’t the day that triggered me, but the endless months leading up to it. But how could I explain this to all the different doctors coming in and out of my room? I didn’t know what to say. By the next day, I was put under a 5150 and the ambulance took me to another hospital for help.
I was really scared, and for the purpose of keeping the hospital a secret I won’t go into detail about the center. But by the third day, I realized I didn’t want to be that person anymore. The experience completely changed me. What I saw and learned about myself made me realize how bad it can really get, and how I don’t want to be there. My first night there I thought to myself how ready I was to leave as the nurses did night sweeps. By the third morning, I appreciated what I learned and wanted to take it with me for the future.
I learned healthier ways to cope. For me it’s music, writing, walking in parks, volunteer work, and venting. I thought no one would understand what I was going through. However having my parents visit me in the hospital and having my friends call me I realized who my support system was. I saw how they wanted me to be happy, and wanted to listen to me. I didn’t need to leave my negative feelings pent up. So I found therapy helpful. I also found listening to other teens like me helpful. It’s so brave for kids like me to call into Teen Line to talk about how they feel. Something I would have never done before.
The journey to self love is long. However when I face challenges now, I recognize they are not bigger than me.
— Brian, Age 16