My Fight for Life
by Janet B.
Although starting High School was scary and made me question my self-discipline, I started it with a smile on my face and God in my heart. I was a fun girl who enjoyed every minute of life. In July of 2007, my sophomore year, my parents who seemed to have loved each other for 19 years told me and my brother that they were to get a divorce. I never suspected a thing, although the many years of yelling behind closed doors should have been a clue. I was devastated that my dad would be moving to the city next to our small town and not be living with us anymore. After a few weeks, I started to calm down and become less angry at my parents. But for some reason, I decided that I should be an impulsive person and try dangerous things. I started off with sneaking out late at night to sit in the park. Then, I got a hold of cigarettes from an older friend of mine. I also started dating a guy that had been in juvenile jail and sold drugs. I hated to think of myself as the sweet and rule-following girl I used to be. I decided to make myself permanently imperfect. I heard of cutting from many places (friends, tv, books, etc.). I never expected it to be something more than just one night when I was depressed. For the first 6 months of school I had been cutting myself and going through phases of depression. I would be sad, angry, verbally abusive to my family and friends, happy but too outgoing to be recognized as the girl I was. It affected more than just my friends and me. My mother was worried about me and always asked me if something was wrong- never knowing the extent of it. I broke up with a boy I really liked because I couldn't give him the attention that he deserved. And I didn't want anyone to blame themselves if I ever decided any time soon that I didn't want to be on this earth anymore. One day, my 16th birthday, one of my best friends took me out on their family's boat for a little trip. It was beautiful and for the first time in 8 months I felt free of worries. When I got home I went to youth group, talked to my pastor, and told my mom what had been happening to me because I wanted to tell someone my secret about cutting myself and being depressed. I got therapy and medicine and it seemed to work. I felt happier- the best I had felt in a long time. I was on a medicine called Lexapro for a full year when I took myself off of it- slowly and safely. I wanted a life without relying on a medicine to give me my old self back. I wanted the real thing. It was hard at first. I relapsed so many times there's no way to recall. But then the urges dissipated, and then I stopped. The urges come and go, but faith and my constant fight to retrieve the old me has pushed me through them. I may not be the same person I was before, but I am someone better. I am stronger and more willing to fight for life. "But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet." 1 Thessalonians 5:8