Something I used to do frequently was stare at myself in the mirror. I would bury my eyes into my reflection, trying to see who or what was there. Sometimes I would lean in, pressing my nose against the glass and ask: “Who the fuck are you?”
I suspected I was depressed at the age of 12. By 16, I was a full-blown mess. I skipped school, I self-harmed and I regularly fought with my parents. At 17, I graduated high school and eventually dropped out of university because of my depression. I began to spiral, barely leaving my bedroom and crying everyday.
When I looked in the mirror, I saw a loser, a pathetic girl with no future and two swollen eyes. Some days, I would open the cabinet before brushing my teeth so the mirror would face the wall. I didn’t want to see it or myself. When I looked in the mirror, I just saw my depression.
It was only two years later, in late April of 2018, that I would finally receive treatment that helped me — inpatient treatment, a day hospital program and an anti-depression that proved to be a lot more effective.
Now, three months later, I finally feel like myself again.
And I finally have to start living my life.
I spent my teenage years depressed — growing up with the idea that my future was non-existent, making important decisions using my volatile feelings and dropping everything that made me feel pleasure. I grew older but really, I didn’t develop. Time just passed while my mental health worsened.
I gave up . After years of seeing my psychiatrist and trying new medications, I accepted that it couldn’t get better. But it did. And while I’m grateful to finally feel like a person, to finally be able to function and live and breathe… I also have to figure my shit out.
Now, I have to sit down and ask myself: Who am I? Who do I want to be? What do I like? What do I want to try? What are my dreams? What are my goals?
Now, I have to do the work: I have to wake up before noon, take my medications and resist the urge to go back to bed. I have to go out everyday if I can and try not to isolate myself. I have to reach out to people and fill my days with activities. I have to dedicate every day of my life to feeling better.
When I look in the mirror, I’m okay. I don’t feel the need to ask myself the question I always used to ask. I’m a girl in recovery, a work in progress — I’m growing. I still don’t know who the fuck I am but I’m growing.