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Jess: Loving myself despite my depression

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Overcoming severe emotional disturbance and self-harm

My name is Jessica, and I suffer from major SED (Severe Emotional Disturbance). Sometimes I wonder if most people go through life with blindfolds over their eyes and fingers in their ears.

I’m not too sure when it started or why, but it did.  The next thing I knew I was falling into an emotional pit of “Why me?”  It’s not as if I woke up one day and said,  “I’m going to be depressed!” It wasn’t a choice, just like how sexuality or race isn’t a choice.

My life at home was great; I was never abused or neglected like most would think. I just wasn’t happy and couldn’t ever get happy, no matter how hard I tried. Of course, I thought it was normal, nothing I could do about it. Not saying there wasn’t a time when I had big eyes and long hair caked with dirt from making mud pies, because there was. Those days are just long-gone and impossible for me to conjure up into memory. Growing up, I remember feelings, not pictures of laughter and painted nails, like most girls my age remember of their childhood.

Eventually my depression would go away for a time but then hit me randomly, like a giant wave coming at you in the ocean. I’d be super happy but then, all of a sudden, I just did not want to do anything. I didn’t want to get out of bed.  I didn’t want to eat or even wash my hair. All I could do was think and think and think and think. Sometimes the words would form themselves in a steady rhythm. That’s when poetry became my new addiction. If I didn’t write, it would eat at me.  And if it would eat at me, I’d be back in the depression so deep that I wouldn’t be able to get out. Of course, sometimes I just couldn’t even bring myself to write. That was the first time I tried to kill myself.

Killing myself wasn’t something I planned out every day of my life. I would think of it, yes, and think it was the only way out, so I tried it. It was simple, really.  But it didn’t work. Why it didn’t still baffles me to this day Trying to kill myself wasn’t the only thing I did to harm myself. I did cut, almost every night, for the longest time. It made me feel alive, free, not so pathetic.  It made me feel in the light, instead of suffocating in the cave I made for myself over the years. But I quit and have been clean for two years now.

Many people have seen me, my pictures, heard my name, have read my poetry, but not one of them really knows me. I’ve started writing again, and I am smiling more often. I have friends who care about me and some who are faker than Barbie. Writing comes easy to me. Just give me time. Laughing, I do it all the time. Dreaming is my specialty. Changing my hair is how I let go.

My name is Jessica, but you can call me Jess. Sometimes I wonder why I am who I am, but I love it anyway.

Comments

Responses

  • avatar2

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    gravity

    This is beautifully written and it inspires me so much. Thank you for this sense of hope and reassurement that I’m not alone.

  • avatar2

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    technomiles77

    Wow. Two years. I can’t go but a month or so without cutting. Its like a part of me. If the chance arises I take it. And afterwards I’m like, WAIT! What’d I just do. They might baker act me again! That would be the worst. But I don’t know what to do. I’ve read all the blogs about what to do instead of cut but snapping a rubber band against your skin doesn’t make blood. . . .

    • avatar1

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      ReachOut

      Hi -
      Getting over cutting, stopping, is hard to do—and you seem to know that. It’s also very hard to do on your own. Most people who cut, and want to stop, find working with a mental health professional to be helpful. A therapist or counselor can help you figure out why you have the need to cut and can help you develop some strategies beyond the rubber band technique for stopping. Have you checked out the My Green Box video on ReachOut? http://us.reachout.com/wecanhelpus/#/player/67 We th.ink you might like it!
      The ReachOut Crew

  • avatar2

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    hurt_but_living

    this story is exactly like mine. But I’ve been cutting for almost 3 years now. My 2 best friends have stopped, but I can’t. It’s my escape pretty much. I still write, but it’s stopped helping me. I’ve stopped eating and I don’t know how I’m supposed to keep on pretending that everything is okay when it’s not. On Monday I’m going to a doctor’s appt for a completley different reason…. What if they see my scars…

    • avatar1

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      ReachOut

      We encourage you to tell what’s going on to your doctor. Stopping cutting isn’t something one can generally do on their own. Take the step - ask for help.
      The ReachOut Crew

  • avatar2

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    Jenny

    wow Jess, your story is exactly like mine! i wish we got to get to know each other more! good job and iwish the best for u in life!

  • avatar2

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    Staceyluvz101

    Wow, this is basically the same story i have. I’ve gotten so bad to where i cant pull myself out of bed at time. never thought i could have the same story as someone else

    • avatar1

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      ReachOut

      Hey there -
      We hope you are feeling better. Those feelings of not wanting to do anything can really be tough to get through. Just remember, you can always call the Boys Town National hotline (note for boys only) if you’d like someone to talk to right now! 1-800-448-3000. It’s anonymous—and available 24/7.
      The ReachOut Crew

  • avatar2

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    anonymous

    i feel the same way except im kinda sick pysiclly my lungs are messed up and i have panic attacks and pain all the time but thats not what makes me sad idk what does but im just depressed  i feel like the whole world is closing in and like i might go insane

    • avatar1

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      ReachOut

      Hi Jess -
      We want to reassure you that you can feel better. Often those who feel the way you do find it does get better and that getting help from a mental health professional is important. Have you checked out the section on ReachOut about Finding People to Help and Support You? It’s under the Get Help tab on the main page. A mental health professional can help you figure out what’s triggering your feelings and then help you learn some coping techniques to help yourself feel better.
      We are thinking of you and encouraging you to reach out for help.
      The ReachOut Crew

  • avatar2

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    Kalie_Dae

    This.. Is exactly how I feel.. I don’t know where my depression comes from.. It’s just there. I have everything to be happy about. And I honestly try to be happy about everything, but I can’t.. I’m always down.

    • avatar1

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      ReachOut

      Hey Kalie, we’re sorry to hear that you’re depressed, but hopefully you don’t feel alone now that you’ve read Jess’s story and read all of the comments from other people going through something similar.  It must be frustrating to not know what is wrong, but there are people out there who can help you figure that out.  Have you spoken to your parents about how you’re feeling?  People can be depressed occasionally, but if it’s a constant feeling, talking to a mental health professional can help, so check out this fact sheet on how to find help: http://us.reachout.com/get-help/finding-people-to-help-and-support-you.  For more info on depression; see this one: http://us.reachout.com/facts/factsheet/depression-causes-types-and-symptoms.  We encourage you to talk to someone you know, but if you need to talk to someone anonymously right away, please call the Boys Town Hotline (not just for Boys!) 24/7 at 1-800-448-3000.  Wishing you the best! The Reach Out Crew

  • avatar2

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    Youdontneedtoknow

    I want to get help, but then I end up feeling so pathetic for being in this situation in the first place. I have no reason to be sad, I just get this way and can’t stop. Im ashamed of myself for crying, for hating and for being so damn pathetic! I should be stronger, but I’m not. I dont even know why Im here or why Im posting this, or anything. I want to backspace all this, but maybe posting will make me feel better.

    • avatar1

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      ReachOut

      Hey -
      It’s OK to feel the way you feel and sometimes people do feel sad without really knowing why. The good thing is that with help, you can feel better. Is there a way for you to connect with a mental health professional? You might want to check out the Finding People to Help and Support You section on ReachOut. And if you want to speak with someone anonymously, give the Boys Town National Hotline a call at 1-800-448-3000. They are ready to listen and help 24/7. We are thinking of you and so glad you found ReachOut.
      The ReachOut Crew

  • avatar2

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    ...

    i didnt know there were so many people who felt like me. “it will get better” is the only hope i have. all of you here are living proof…

  • avatar2

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    Princessolivia13

    i understand unfortunately though i was abused sexually but it baffles me because idec that it happened. thats not why im so full of Self-hatred i can honestly say that i can have a million things said to me an in my head i can find something bad to cover up all the good thats said. i cry alot because of it but i cant help it. i did the whole cutting thing and that di nothing for me but make me feel worst and i feel like no one understands and they dont even try to. i want help but the minute i bring up therapy i get callled the crazy one in the family, and it just makes me want to die. i never asked for those boys to bully me and harass me in 8th grade but they did. and i guess in a way it scarred me and now im stuck feeling alone and crappy and unhappy. 

    • avatar1

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      ReachOut

      Hey Princess Olivia, You’re right, it’s NOT your fault! It sounds like you would really benefit from getting professional help. Have a dig in here to get the facts on finding support: http://us.reachout.com/get-help/finding-people-to-help-and-support-you
      lf your parents are not willing to help you get counseling, then perhaps you could get another trusted adult or your school counsellor to assist you? You’re not alone, and NOT abnormal for wanting to talk about how you’re feeling. In fact, you’re very brave! Another option is that you call the Boystown Hotline available 24/7 to talk and listen on 1800448300. Also check out ways you can challenge your negative self talk here: http://us.reachout.com/facts/factsheet/challenging-negative-self-talk Thinking of you!

  • avatar2

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    jess

    I’ve read this 1,000 times… and I still cry everytime.  It feels good to know that there is someone out there that felt the same way I do now..

  • avatar2

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    Elmtree789

    i have the same exact story…

  • avatar2

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    Adalis_

    I DIdnt Know There Was Someone Like Me Out. There .... I Dont Feel Alone Anymore…

  • avatar2

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    Kayemce27

    your story is amazing and you must have so much strength to be able to overcome this because i sure done. i told my mom i tried to kill myself, i showed her my cuts, and she still hasn’t done anything.  i want to live i want to be awake. but im so close to ending it and im not scared of it anymore

  • avatar2

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    it

    I feel the same way but everytime I tried to talk to my parents they wouldnt belive me. 

    • avatar1

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      ReachOut

      Hi there -
      It is so important that you not give up trying to get help. If your parents won’t listen find someone else you trust to tell how you are feeling - maybe a teacher, school counselor, another relative, or older sibling? And, remember you can always give the Boys Town National Hotline at 1-800-448-3000. They are available 24/7 just to listen and help.

  • avatar2

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    Curlylilly

    This happening to me and i dont know what to do im going crazy!

    • avatar1

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      ReachOut

      Hi Curlylilly, sorry to hear you are going through a similar situation to Jess. It sounds like sometimes you feel overwhelmed by your emotions, this is very normal and common. As you can see many people have commented on how they also relate to Jess’s story and feelings, just like you do. Have you ever thought of talking to a mental health professional or a doctor? Having someone trained in making a diagnosis review your symptoms with you could be extremely helpful and bring some relief. They can also help you to get on a path to overcome the challenges you are facing. For more information on who can help with your emotional challenges, check out the Get Help, Finding People to Help and Support You section on ReachOut.com. Another option is to give the Boys Town hotline a call at 1-800-448-3000. They are not for boys only and are available 24/7 to help and talk. Thinking of you Curlylilly and keep on Reaching Out.

  • avatar2

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    Lonesome_hell

    I never knew anyone felt the same way I do…

  • avatar2

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    Tirzah

    Almost exactly what I’m going through…

    • avatar1

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      ReachOut

      Hi All. Thanks for sharing.  You’re not alone, other people feel the same way as you!  Jess’s story shows how she found ways to cope during a difficult time in her life – writing poetry, changing her hair color, and laughing with true friends.  Self harm and cutting is NOT the way to cope! Check out this fact sheet for some helpful info on coping without harming yourself.
      http://us.reachout.com/facts/factsheet/deliberate-self-harm
      And remember you can always give the Boys Town hotline a call at 1-800-448-3000. They are not for boys only and are available 24/7 to help. You can find out more about Boys Town under the Get Help tab on ReachOut.com.

  • avatar2

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    Maria

    Wow! You described exactly how I feel How did you overcome it/

    • avatar2

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      Jessica

      Patience. But I’m not exactly over it. I’m still struggling with it, and am taking it one step at a time. But I am WAY better than I was yesterday, but not as good as I will be tomorrow.

  • avatar2

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    Jill The Pumpkin Queen

    i didnt know it was possible to have the same story and feel exactly the same as one person. i read this, and it feels like wrote it, its kida creepy, only im not gettin better….

    • avatar2

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      I am lost

      I agree. It was exactly as I would have written it. I’ve become a poetry addict in the last few years, I have a decent life, lots of friends, but I am still depressed. I do not cut myself because I don’t want to inflict pain on myself. I have told my parents that I am depressed, but they do not take me seriously. When I tell them, they will always try to change the subject, or say that it’s depressing them, or just call me a drama queen. I just think that they don’t want to admit that their “perfect daughter” has a very serious problem. I really don’t want my friends to think that I am a freak, but I have considered taking my life many times. I just want them to LISTEN.

      • avatar1

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        ReachOut

        i feel exactly like that! see my mom went through depression and tried to commit suicide. but if i tell her im depressed she ignores me completly and trys to change the subject. kinda like a yeah right. but i wouldnt think she’d want me to end up in the position she did if i dont get help so why does she ignore me????

        • avatar1

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          ReachOut

          Hi there -
          Talking about depression might be very difficult for your mom—and it might not have anything to do with you. Sometimes it helps if you can have another person you trust (maybe a teacher, your dad, another relative or older sibling) speak to your mom with you. Please keep trying so that you can get the help you feel you need. You might want to check out the ReachOut fact sheets on communicating with your family. (http://us.reachout.com/facts/family-relationships/communicating-with-your-family for some communication tips. Thinking of you….
          The ReachOut Crew

      • avatar1

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        ReachOut

        It is very difficult when parents don’t take concerns seriously. Have you thought about confiding in another adult you trust—maybe a school counselor or teacher or maybe an aunt—who may help you talk to your parents about your worries? It might help! You can also give the Boys Town National Hotline (1-800-448-3000) a call anytime you feel the need to talk—and they too can help you think about how to get your parents to listen. Please hang in there… We care about you and we are listening.
        the ReachOut Crew

    • avatar2

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      dazed and confused

      hey jill the pumpkin queen. that my favorite movie by the way. after reading what jess had wrote than seeing what your reply was, this is exactly how i feel. and im not getting better either.

    • avatar1

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      ReachOut

      Hi Jill. Thanks for leaving a comment. Sometimes when people feel like Jess, they find that getting professional help use what is needed to get things moving in the right direction.  You might want to check out the fact sheets on ReachOut.com that tell how to find people to help and support you.  These fact sheets describe the different kinds of mental health professionals, what a counseling session is like, and how to find someone in your area.  And remember if you just want to talk to someone you can always give the Boys Town National Hotline a call (1-800-448-3000) or find them online for online chat - Reach Out Crew

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