It Does Get Better

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

It's been less than a week and already the support for Life is Sweet month has been pouring in. I was featured on a bunch of blogs last week, including Val's, who is today's guest poster. I've had the pleasure of getting to know this passionate, driven lady through the Toronto social media scene and was thrilled when she said she would be willing to share her story for this project. 

I started taking medication for depression and bipolar disorder when I was 12 years old. I had moved to a new city and as the new girl in school, underwent some extreme bullying that forced me to switch schools. Without getting into too many details, the bullying I underwent affected me so deeply that my young emotional self was simply unable to handle it.

I became withdrawn and depressed. I was scared to leave the house. I basically hated myself and wanted to die. I could not understand for the life of me why these people hated me so much. I started to believe that there must be a reason for it, there must be something wrong with me.

I had extreme suicidal thoughts. I was in therapy, underwent psychological assessments. It was determined that I had a chemical imbalance and was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The bullying trauma had brought all of this to the surface.

I have battled with extreme bouts of depression throughout the rest of my life. My teen years were the worse. The inner hatred I had for myself started to express itself in severe body image issues. I became anorexic and bulimic and went through a cutting phase.

There are still days when I cannot force myself to get out of bed. The cloud of depression causes my head to be foggy, tears to come to my eyes at little or no provocation and physical pains throughout my body.

The thing is though, I have an amazing life. 

I’ve recently gotten engaged to the man of my dreams, my career is taking off and I feel better and more confident about myself then I ever have. If I could tell anything to my teenage self who wanted to die, it would be that things do get better. You learn how to cope and there is life past the confines of junior high and high school. Life is a beautiful and amazing thing. I truly believe that my teenage years have made me the person who I am today, and I like that person. 

Life is worth living and I’m so happy to be alive. 

Val is a Toronto lifestyle blogger and founder of Charming Media


Kaitlyn S. C Hatch said...

So true. I would tell my teenage self the very same. I'd also throw in: "And you're worth it. You deserve your own love and respect more than anyone else on the planet."

Ashley Gibson said...

I wholeheartedly agree.

MariaAguilar said...

Ashley, you were right! I am loving these posts - and kudos to Val for sharing her story. I think we've all been through something similar and I love that these posts help speaking about these issues more open.

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