By Stephanie Kelly, CIT Student Union Vice President for Education 2018-2019.
To truly tell the story of my mental health I need to travel back 10 years to when I was 14. I always knew that I was different but it really came to a head after junior cert, I didn’t want to go to school, I struggled to get out of bed and I didn’t want to socialize. Yet the silence when I was alone was deafening.
I waited until I was 17 to seek help as I always just put how I was feeling down to hormones. I went to my doctor and was diagnosed not only with depression but also with borderline personality disorder, on top of all this I was also coming to terms with my sexuality and figuring out I was bi-sexual. All the while trying to get ready for my first year in college.
I was scared I didn’t know where to turn and I started to shy away from all the things I once loves. I felt worthless and allowed myself to be treated as such in toxic relationships, all of this lead to me dropping out of college and developing an eating disorder as I felt this gave me back some control over the life which was once mine.
DARK – ALONE – NO PROSPECTS – TRAPPED
This vicious cycle continued for 18 months until the light at the end of the tunnel which realistically I was in since I was 14 not just for 18 months finally started to make an appearance and the only reason for this was because I opened up and told my mam which I had been putting off for so long as I did not want to burden her and in some way I felt she would be ashamed of what I saw as my weakness. But it was the best thing I ever did, she drove me to my first counselling session and waited for me until I was finished little did I know this would be the first of 7 counsellors which I would attend over the next 7 years.
That first session changed my life for the better each step was small but still in the right direction. I am now 24 and each day is still a step but each of these steps now pave my journey to my promising life. Each day is now a privilege and I am glad I am on this planet which for a long time I hated. I have found my outlets. Each story now makes up a collection of art on my skin. I am lucky enough that I now have a degree, a stable relationship and also the privilege of being Vice President of education in CIT students union. My life has changed because I finally accepted who I was instead of hiding from myself and everyone else.
Life is short so take every moment and embrace the good, the bad and the ugly.
BRIGHT – FREE – ME