To anyone experiencing anything like this I would say there are so many more people than you think that have gone through it as well.

I was going to write a bit about this on the 15th of this month but I just heard of a young woman, a year older than me, who took her life two days ago. So I figured sooner is better than later. I've never been suicidal- at the time I just knew there was something wrong- I knew things needed to change.

Four years ago I was in the strangest, scariest and saddest place my mind has ever been. I was fairly depressed. I could not take care of myself. I could not function. I did not brush my hair. I did not get out of bed. I dropped out of college after trying it for two weeks. I saw no friends. There was a long lead up to that point. But it was the lowest I've ever been- November/ December 2009. I was 18.

I was going through old journals yesterday. I had written in this journal a lot over the summer. I stopped when the fall hit and I became more depressed. I remember writing this page. December had come. I was lying, sprawled out on my floor at 3am, face down and wide awake. Desperate.

I couldn't think. When I refer to the brown, white and purple- those were the colours on my floor and walls.

I often tell people my mom had to ship me out of town to get the help I needed. I did go and I did get the help I needed.

In a lot of ways the place I was in when I wrote this was my rock bottom. I've never been so low since. This time went by so slowly. But it passed. It has been 4 years now. I shaved my head the following February- wanting to symbolize a fresh start. It has more than grown back.

I am in the same life situation I was in going through this in 2009. I still live at home, I work at the pool,etc. Though now I am well. The 4 year journey to this point has been a slow one. Though it has been so amazing too. So unexpected. Lying on the floor back then I had no way of knowing that the next December 15th I would just be returning from a time living in Africa, learning french and meeting amazing people. The people I've met over these last 4 years have been so inspiring, understanding and supportive. They've pushed me and walked with me. I am so amazed and proud of the people I've been able to meet and the places I've been able to see.

The more I hear about others experiencing depression or committing suicide inspires me further to share bits of my story.

There is not enough help for mental illness in the community I live in. There is not enough education or support in school systems for it either. I fought hard to find the path that would get me out of this state. I went in circles with doctors and social workers ( there are no psychologists in Rupert). Telling my story over and over again was the worst. In the end, I found a community I've been able to settle into. From it I get peace of mind, clarity, and so much support.

To anyone experiencing anything like this I would say there are so many more people than you think that have gone through it as well. Keep fighting for what you need and if you can't- make it fairly obvious to those who love you that you need help and most likely they'll find it for you- or put you in the right direction. Try and listen to them. I stayed clear of drugs, alcohol and psychiatrists- choosing to opt for a psychologist and self help groups- which gave me a vocabulary to what I was going through and ways to support myself through and after it.

Stay strong, recognize and fight for what you need, and be easy on yourself.

It has been 4 years from the time I wrote this journal entry. I couldn't be further from the state my mind was in- I couldn't be closer to the life. I suppose it's what I've been meant to do.  I am thankful.

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