A Second Chance

Daniel - Orrington, Maine
Entered on February 13, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

Throughout my entire life, I’ve suffered from major depression, both chemical and situational. I go through countless phases where I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, I can’t even speak because I fear it will somehow hurt me.

I have spent countless hours searching for a cure: reading books, searching the internet, talking to victims of depression. But all I can find are detailed definitions of the word “depression” and a few anecdotes.

It wasn’t long after high school started that the problems became unbearable. I yelled at my parents, I yelled at my friends, and I occasionally found myself yelling at inanimate objects. I went to see another psychiatrist, but once again all she could suggest were some more pills and a few meaningless reassurances that it would be okay.

I decided to stop trying. The medications weren’t working as promised, my friends were finding bigger and better things, and in my isolation, it seemed that everyone had forgotten everything but my name.

The next few months brought me into a period of existential thinking. I questioned why I was here, where I was going, and even if life was worth living. My grades dropped drastically and everything became strenuous. By the end of my freshman year in high school, I was a mess: lazy, obnoxious, rebellious, and troubled. I had become something horrible, and I was the one to blame.

The summer before sophomore year started, I stopped associating with my friends and took it all out on myself. I would bottle up my emotions and either scream it out or resort to self-mutilation instead of talking about it. I came to the conclusion I should end my life. I pictured it as the perfect solution. I could escape the struggles of life, while “helping” everyone around me by disappearing. So, that’s what I tried to do.

After several failed suicide attempts, my mom caught on. She heard me talking on the phone to one of my friends about it and confronted me. There were a lot of tears and shouting, but we compromised on one visit to my psychiatrist. One day later, I was waiting in the emergency room for an ambulance to the hospital.

After a few agonizing days there, I was home again. Truthfully, I had every intention of trying again, but when I was riding to school one day, something clicked, and I could move forward. After all the trouble I’d been through, after all the suffering, I’d found something to look forward to: my life.

I believe that the future isn’t written in stone, and that it can be changed at will. Certain struggles can hold people down, but there’s always a chance to get back up. There were many points where I wanted to die, but every time I pulled myself out of it, and now I have a decent life.

It’s funny, I always pictured myself dying alone, but now I see that it’s not a choice. I’ve recently found several people I care about; a few close friends, a hero of some sort, and even a few bearable family members. It may not seem like much to anyone else, but I guess I’ve finally found something I never knew I wanted: a second chance.