Student @ HMC
I don’t know if this was when I started experiencing the symptoms, but grade 10 was when I started to acknowledge them. I started deconstructing everything I knew. I went through constant mood changes. I felt messed up, alone, and confused mostly. I don’t know how else to put it. During my process of trying to better myself, my mood would be immensely elevated for a few days and then it felt as though everything started crashing down… it was a constant cycle. I went through phases where I really wanted to get hit by a bus or some immensely large vehicle and not exist. I depended on having “epiphanies” and looking at copious inspirational quotes in attempts to pull myself out of it… but then have immense disappointment in myself when I wasn’t actually doing any of the stuff I was trying to teach myself. I was angry at myself for knowing what I needed to do and not being able to do it.
I was going about life waiting for “The Shift” to happen, that day where everything just became okay, that day where I would stop feeling the abyss from manifesting within the crevices of my soul... that day where “The Shift” would happen permanently. I was mad at myself when I didn’t get the exact outcome I wanted to attain from the temporary shifts of… motivation.
That anger not only translated with how I treated myself, but there was this one time where I was so angry and rampaging/organizing my room, my sister said I was scaring her.
It was difficult, because I never was the type to talk to anyone about how I was feeling, I didn’t want to burden anyone with my problems. I had this one person that I spoke to about stuff and he helped me start my process on trying to have a positive outlook on life. The things that were going on with my family made things… difficult, because growing up I felt like my emotions and my perspective on things were disregarded (possibly due to cultural reasons as well considering that I am the youngest in my family), there was always more focus on my father and what he was going through (which isn’t a horrible thing, it just made it feel like approaching my family for anything wasn’t an option). We were all going through things and dealing with my mom’s passing differently. My sisters and I all handled my dad’s mental health differently… when it had escalated after his heart attack, he’d started to tell us he wanted to die - and his anger issues and depression that he seemingly coped with by gambling...
I don’t know, I just remember not being raised in such a way where… caring about my own happiness was important. I skipped class a lot, ate a lot y’know - I tried numbing myself via. various things. It wasn’t until I was living in Calgary with just my Father and his girlfriend at the time that I started to actually act on my own happiness. Living there for the first few months, constantly crying but then always smiling and acting happy around my dad just to make him content when he was becoming more depressed. It eventually got to me and I used whatever means I can find started overworking, and staying at my friend’s house often enough that her mom started calling me her “adopted child.” My father eventually started calling me the “rebellious one,” but I never saw it that way, I just made the decision not to conform anymore. Because I had to make the decision to be happy.
I started indulging myself in first experiences, purposely choosing to get lost in the new city in hopes of finding something… anything. Ever since the 10th grade I’ve been trying multiple outlets like journaling, music, hiking, spoken word… really anything I found myself genuinely enjoy doing. I chose to be brutally honest with myself. Because you have to… it helps me identify things that I need to work on, poor habits I needed to let go of, all in the attempt to become the best version of myself.
If I were to give someone advice I would tell them that “The Shift” doesn’t exist, I don’t mean that in a hopeless way - I just mean that you’re not just going to wake up one day, read a lot of quotes… look at a vision board and then be happy and motivated for the rest of your life.
I would tell myself that back then because I used to just be so disappointed every time my emotions dipped again, then it would discourage me to continue. It wasn’t until I started taking things one day at a time… and tried to genuinely start to try and live in the present, and stopped believing in “the shift” that things started to become more stable.
I am grateful for the experiences that I’ve gone through. As cliché as that may sound too. But if I look back, if my mother didn’t pass away, if all the things with my dad didn’t happen/are happening, if the unfortunate events that occurred with past friendships and relationships didn’t transpire, than I may not have developed this desire to try and help people… to try and make a difference.
I am grateful because it motivated me to take control and ensure that my adversities don’t go to waste.