“I tried to kill myself”

Teen Voice #2

Sana shares her story in an attempt to heal, in an attempt to tell others like her that they are not alone and in an attempt to raise awareness on issues usually swept under the carpet. 

 

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Realistic Charcoal Painting Of A Lonely Girl: Kaushik Varma

“Last March, I tried to kill myself. I was exhausted and desperate, searching for an escape from the gray plains of my depression. At the time, swallowing pills seemed like the only way to muffle the voices that reverberated within my head — the ones that whispered about how worthless I was. The doctors told me I was lucky to be alive.

It is easy to give into that hopeful narrative; to hide underneath a candy-coated veneer of happiness; to nod and smile and agree that yes — I am doing so much better, thank you for asking.
“I’m not lying,” I tell my dad over Skype. “I’m all right, I promise.”
“I’m fine, Mom,” I insist, whenever she calls. “More than fine, actually. I’ve been doing great.”

In truth, I still cling to depression like the threadbare baby blanket I drooled over when I was four. Every now and then, I even find enjoyment in the modicum of companionship that it provides. Depression dulls the sharp edges of my world — soothes my frayed, tattered nerves in the instances when I forget how to simply be. I may be better, but I am not fine — and I am certainly not great. As much as I want to conclude this narrative on a note of cautious optimism, recovery is not a linear progression. My obstacles are not easy to overcome; I am not a fictional character who emerges on the other side as a stronger, wiser version of herself.
I’m not all right. I am, however, learning to accept the complexities of my illness by navigating its rough-hewn landscape. I am learning that what is familiar is not always healthy, though it does provide a fragment of comfort. I am learning that my ability to endure does not make me brave — just tired.
I am learning that I’m not okay — not yet, maybe not ever. I am learning that all sad stories do not have happy endings. And I am learning how to live with that.”

(We would like to reiterate that our stories are shared to raise awareness about the issues faced by our children and youth, and to create a shared solution bank/ support system. If you would like to share your story, collaborate or reach out to us, send us a message or email us at ingrouphelp@gmail.com, sequelsingapore@gmail.com.)

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I Tried Hard to be Liked

Teen Voice#1

M talks about how she was bullied as a new kid and how she found strength in drama.

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Source: Winnie the Pooh

Name: M
Age at the time of the incident: 15
Gender: Female

M: I was a new kid at school and I tried hard to be liked. So I agreed with everybody. Later on I found out that they laughed about how I was a ‘yes person.’ In class, they would throw pencil shavings and crumpled papers on my head. I hated myself and thought I wasn’t worth much.

In-Group: Did you ask for help?
M: No. I thought I will get in to trouble at school. And I didn’t want to tell my parents because they would be sad to see me sad. So, when teachers asked me, I said I was fine and at home, I was very upbeat. I even told my parents that I was making many new friends.

In Group: How did it end?
M: I got selected in a play. That built my confidence and I began caring less about pleasing others. Slowly, I made friends (not the bullies) and the group of people who bothered me backed off eventually.

In Group: How old are you now? And how are things now?
M: I am 19. I still have a tendency to agree with people. That’s my nature but now I try to care less about pleasing everybody. I have accepted that not everyone will like me and that’s ok.

In Group: Any advice to those who are in a similar situation?
M: Yes, I want to tell them the following:
(1) Know that you are not alone. Many others might be in a similar situation but they are just hiding it.
(2) Find something positive to anchor to. For me it was performing on the stage. For you it might be sports, studies or music. It might even be being polite, or organised or anything at all! Find a positive trait in you and build on it. It will give you strength.
(3) Lastly, I started out as an underdog… the most unpopular girl in the class, the average and the insecure. Now I am doing better than most of the people who bullied me, academically, socially and otherwise too. I have learnt from this experience. My advise is to treat such episodes as something that make you stronger and not weaker.

In-Group team thanks M for sharing her story. This story has been slightly edited to fit the space.

(We share these stories to raise awareness about the issues faced by our children and youth, and to create a shared solution bank/ support system. If you would like to share a story, collaborate or reach out, please send us a message or email us at ingrouphelp@gmail.com, sequelsingapore@gmail.com.)