Your Mental Health Is Important

“I’m going to be spending the next four years here.”

“Let’s make this great — we will be here for a while.”

“I’m ready for this.”

Some of my first thoughts, the first things I said, in the beginning of freshman year.

I was so excited to start high school. I would finally be away from some people in the middle school. I would see my upperclassman friends. I was going to take an actual history class. (I love history — so I was pumped for that.)

Boy, was I in for a rude awakening.

My freshman year — it started out pretty nice. I had my old friends, I made some new ones. I was getting good grades, and there was a guy. (I don’t regret having a guy in my life, but I will not be doing that again. I was only fourteen. 10/10 would not recommend letting a guy be your first priority.)

In fact, when everything went down with the guy, that’s when it started getting worse.

Ridiculous, right? Letting a guy take over my life? Take my happiness away from me? It damn well was stupid.

The reason I don’t regret it is because he brought me closer. Closer to God.

To all of my friends from church who may be reading this — who is he? That’s one thing I’ll never tell.

But he also took my friends from me. I no longer felt safe around him. He showed me what it was like to be afraid of somebody.

That’s when I started to feel my mental health spiral out of control. I had panic attacks whenever I would see him. My anxiety got worse, my depression hit me like a bus.

I was always so sad. I was constantly anxious, meds barely helped me. I stopped trying at school. I just sat there, I read, I didn’t care.

Sometimes, teachers or people in my class would notice. But barely ever. I had days where I was silent, I barely said any words.

That school year was hell. A living, breathing hell. She said so, too. (Don’t ask, I won’t give you the answer.)

A had a few days where I would want to come home from school because I felt insane. I felt like I wasn’t breathing right, I couldn’t control myself.

But my father never let me come home. I couldn’t ever miss a day. Why? Because my grades were more important than my mental health.

There was one day that, by fourth period, I already had three panic attacks.

Did I get to leave school? Nope.

Did my father know that happened? Yep.

Let me tell you one thing: Your mental health is more important than your grades.

Mental health days are normal, you need a day to gain composure. It’s not healthy to continue piling that stress on top of you. You need to breathe.

The fact that I have to choose between my grades and my mental health is really screwed up.

Don’t people notice that something must be wrong with the education system if kids feel uncomfortable at school, or they feel sick/depressed? That should be a sign that something isn’t right.

At school, you can have a broken ankle, and not have to take part in physical education. But if you have social anxiety, you are still forced to present in front of the class.

I’ve had the mentality “I hate myself, I’m depressed, I feel like I’m insane, and I’m scared. But that’s alright, because my grades are more important.”

And that sucks. It hurts.

I don’t want to ever see somebody go bad because they feel as if their mental health is not important.

I don’t want someone to feel that pain like I have.

Please, keep yourself safe and healthy.