Since the day I was born, privilege and excellence played a dominant role in my character. I was raised in a flawless and largely wealthy area. My father is a developer, and my mother an interior designer. The appearances of the interior and exterior of our life have always met the highest standard. My parents achieved greatness through business. My eldest sister obtained amazing academic achievements, and is now attending a pristine university. My other sister has always been loved for her individuality. She received her praise through athletics. She went onto college playing volleyball at a division one school. Growing up, I was energetic, demanding, and charismatic. When I crashed into middle school, everything changed dramatically. I became involved in drinking, and smoking. I hungered for independence and the ability to have flaws. I hid my new lifestyle from my family. However, my new embrace with imperfection revealed itself through disastrous mood swings. Since the beginning of my struggle, it was pounded into my mind that these emotions were not acceptable. I would swallow my pain until the pressure was bubbling over. To release my emotions, I furthered my issues through self destructive behaviors. My experimentations morphed into heavy drinking, drugs, and more smoking. These however, were the least of my problems. I felt as if I was locked inside of myself. I knew that breaking free of the spider web I was caught in would take more strength than I had. I became suicidal. I made countless plans, and suicide notes. I ran away constantly. By then, my parents came to grips with everything. Calls from school, and the occasional words that broke through angry sobs forced them to take this seriously. My issues became a know secret in the family that nobody talked about. At home, the illusion of normalcy was maintained except for the occasional outburst. No longer able to ignore myself, I found relief in self injury. The cutting started in the seventh grade. Things had become so bad, that I found comfort in physical pain. At first, I would cut with safety pins, then scissors, and eventually straight razors. It continued to get worse until the end of middle school. I had been going to therapy once a week. The cutting subsided, and I worked my hardest to stay strong throughout my freshman year. At the beginning of my sophomore year, my misuse of substances had come to an end. I however, felt myself sliding into old habits. My appetite was gone, I scarcely slept, and depression had reappeared. I began to cut again. The cutting constantly got worse. Finally, I asked for help. I have been threatened with inpatient treatment countless times, but that is a last resort, and I am willing to work in other ways. Therapy and support have helped me greatly. Things have gotten better, and I’m hope full now that I can walk away from this stronger. I know I have the strength to beat this. This, I believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.