September Warrior – Rebecca

September Warrior – Rebecca

Welcome to my next Warrior of the Month guest post! This month’s warrior is very close to my heart. She is one of my best friends and I have known her for about 10 years now. Rebecca is one of the lights of my life and she means so much to me. Like most people, she’s had her struggles and tough situations in life. But add depression on top of that? She is so strong, and I am so glad she agreed to be my September Warrior. Read her story below:

Courtesy of LaurissaClare Photography

Hey there! I’m Rebecca and I recently turned 24. Cierra and I have been friends for a very long time. She’s seen me at my best, worst, and very dark times in my life and has been the one person to stick around through it all. I’m here today to tell you about some of those dark times that lead me to where I am today. Let’s dive in, shall we?

It all started to go noticeably downhill when my great grandmother passed away. I was 14 and it was the first time I’ve ever experienced a death in the family. It hit me hard and that’s when the depression really started. I began acting out in school to hide the fact I was hurting. I developed an eating disorder which I still have troubles with to this day. My friends began going to different schools and leaving me behind to fend for myself. That’s when the thoughts and that little voice really came to life. I had nothing and no one there to notice my pain, so I started to believe those voices telling me that no one would care, and it would save everyone a world of trouble if I just ended it all. Some nights were worse than others and sometimes the demons inside won. I began cutting myself to feel something because all I felt was numb inside. No one asked or questioned the sudden change in clothes, make up or why my arms were always covered because it was “just a phase kids go through”. This went on for what seemed like forever and I did a pretty good job of hiding my pain and scars. My dad worked away and mom let me have my freedom because it was easier to give it than have me sneak around and do it anyways. I made everyone around me believe I was a happily troubled teenager going through a phase. I had everyone so convinced that no one knows I tried to kill myself more than once when I went to have one of my “bubble baths” but for some reason I couldn’t do it. I’m not sure if I was just too cowardly to do it that way or there’s a reason I couldn’t go through with it and maybe I’m supposed to be here. My third and final attempt is what finally pushed me to telling my mom I needed help. The hardest thing I had to do was look my mother in the eyes and tell her I wanted to kill myself, but it was the best decision I ever made. We went to school counselor the next day and I spent almost a year seeing a therapist biweekly. If I didn’t speak up and tell someone I don’t think I would be here to write this warrior of the month.

Fast forward a couple of years, it’s the end of the year and I’m finally free from the hell hole they called high school. I start a new job and fall head over heels for who I thought was “the love of my life”. It didn’t take long for us to move in and start our life together. What I didn’t know was it was about to be a life full of lust, lies, and lots of drugs for the next 2 and a half years. I traded my razor for a straw and I took my pain out in a new way. I hated the person I was becoming but my rose-coloured glasses somehow blinded me from seeing I was in an abusive relationship. Not all abuse is physical, and I was being drug down an emotional roller coaster and the light was being drained from me once again. The demons were back in my head and the more drugs I did the louder they got. I was going down a very dark path and my direction didn’t seem to be changing until the day I decided to stop being selfless and started being selfish. I left, built myself up from the ground he tried to bury me under and cleaned myself up with help from the few people I can call friends. I’m now 4 years clean and proud to say it. It may be part of my toxic past but it’s something that made me stronger.

I still struggle daily with those voices telling me to disappear and my anxiety causes me to chew the skin on the inside of my mouth and overthink every situation. I don’t have very many friends and I’m constantly feeling alone and unwanted like I did when it all began, but it’s been 6 years since my last self harm incident and now I use tattoos as a way to let the pain out. Tattoos are my last bit of pain before I end that chapter of my life.

I have a tattoo that says, “I could tell you my adventures beginning from this morning but it’s no use going back to yesterday because I was a different person then.” This is one of my favourite tattoos simply because this describes exactly who I am as a person. Another very important tattoo I have is my semi colon piece. I incorporated the semi colon into a something my mom would (and still does to this day) tell me when I was in my dark times. Instead of a place that used to be filed with cuts and scars it’s now replaced with the constant reminder “just breathe” Every time I look at it, I can hear my mothers voice in my head and I’m filled with love instead of pain.

I believe everything happens for a reason.  My struggles don’t define who I am as a person and I’m not ashamed of my past. There is a lot of things people don’t know about me and this is only part of my story. So, thank you for taking the time to read this part of my journey. Depression doesn’t just go away and not talking about it isn’t going to make it either. Don’t be afraid to speak up because it’s okay to not be okay 100% of the time. It saved my life, maybe it will save yours or your sister, friend, or parents. It’s up to us to end the stigma that comes with mental health.

 

My goodness, how amazing is she? Thank you Becca for letting me share your story with my readers. You truly inspire me every day. You have been through so much and you still manage to keep a smile on that beautiful face.

Stay tuned for next month’s Warrior post.

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