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Eight years in the making

I believe I have had depression since I was only 9 or 10. Whilst being bullied at school I began thinking people - including my family - would be better off without me, I wanted to run away or die, I sat on my bedroom windowsill debating if the fall would kill me or if I could leave unharmed. This was the simple beginning to the person I am now.

With few friends to turn to I looked to secondary school as a hope of a new start and new friends. The first six months went quite well until I was teased once more. People called me "emo" due to the music I started listening to and some of the clothes I wore. Slowly I slid back into unhappiness.

It was a year or so after when I was roughly thirteen that I turned to self harming. It was a punishment for being wrong, as well as a way of feeling real again. Knowing I was real. By this point I seemed to think it was normal, just another phase as I had several other friends in similar situations. One of them in particular, who over the years has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar, depression and anorexia, said I had nothing to worry about. I did not have depression and nothing was wrong with me. I took her word for this at the time.

Later things got worse. By now I was fourteen and beginning to face exam pressure from school and my parents. I began to have what I started calling "anxiety attacks" where I would get extremely stressed and nervous about the tiniest little thing and worry over nothing. These wouldn't last long but left me feeling tearful and drained. The same friend who told me not to worry convinced me to see the schools counsellor about both this issue and the suicidal thought I had been having. I bottled and merely told her about the anxiety attacks, which soon died down. Having to explain to my mum about the counselling was extremely hard and she seemed to have a "so what?" attitude that only made things worse.

When I was fifteen I met my current best friend and boyfriend who saved me from myself many times. He has been there for the past three years for me, the only true friend I can always count on.

A year later and things were looking up. I was happy and another half a year passed with little incidents. I was feeling happy. I was content and all thoughts of suicide had died down.

However in the past few months I have begun to find myself with fewer and fewer friends. It has come down to three people and my boyfriend. This has led to the return of my suicidal thoughts and I cry for no reason, despite the fact I have everything I want and need and should be happy. Sometimes, prior to these tearful times I feel like a zombie for several hours, even a day, and I feel nearly no emotion except sadness and impending upset. During this time I have realised I certainly do have a problem, most likely depression and have had for a long time. My boyfriend is the best support I have as I have not explained to my parents yet.

I came back from work 2 weeks ago and begin crying. My dad just shouted at me saying I can't cry due to the slightest bit of pressure. He doesn't understand. I began trying to explain to my mum but didn't get very far due to bursting into tears. She merely seemed to say "it's normal to cry every once in a while", which isn't my problem. My boyfriend leaves for uni in a couple of weeks and I worry what will happen next.

However I know now that this is me. Who I am and I cannot change that. In some ways my unpredictable personality can fuel my art work so if I can harness it correctly my future may look up. For now, this is my focus.

This is me.
This is my problem.

But here's how I can use it.