For the past 17 years, all i've known is chaos. When I was 2, my parents got divorced. My mom moved in with her parents, and my dad bought the house he had grown up in from his mom. I'd spend a week living with my dad, who let me do whatever I wanted, and the next week I would spend time with my mom at my grandparents house. I'm not sure if I can say I was really living with my parents because they were both pretty much absent for the early years of my life. All my dad did was lock himself in his room and smoke weed, and my mom cared more about partying, and who her next hookup than she did about her two daughters. Despite it all, I was a happy kid, probably because I had my mom's two amazing parents basically raising me. I had so much love for my mamaw, and papaw. My papaw was my best friend though. We spent so many nights eating popcorn in his office and countless days playing "I Spy" in his truck after he had picked me up from preschool. He was my favorite person in the entire world. Unfortunately, in June 2005, I had to watch my best friend pass away. He had a heart attack early in the morning and I was awake to see it it all. That day completely changed my life.
Fast forward 7 years to my first year of middle school. Those three years were absolutely terrible. My mom ended up moving 45 minutes away to her boyfriend's apartment leaving my sister, and I behind. I had filled that empty space my mom had left by adopting a "new mom". My best friend's mom, Donna. She was always there, and comforted me in what had been the worst time of my life, so far. Not many months after my mom had left, Donna was diagnosed with lung cancer. In November 2013 she has lost her battle with cancer, and passed away. It felt like anyone I got close to would always leave. After Donna's passing is when I started feeling the sadness. Life just wasn't what it used to be anymore. Not much made me happy anymore.
Almost a year later, I started high school. I was so excited for this new start in my life. A month into my Freshman year, I met a boy. We were together for a total of 5 months, and they were some of the worst months of my life. I was scared to leave him. Our relationship mentally abusive on both parts, and on few occasions he was physically abusive. Shortly into our relationship, I had started drinking, and using drugs, anything I could get my hands on. I also became very suicidal. In March 2015, I was hospitalized for my first time after I found out my boyfriend was cheating on me and had been the entire time we were together. After 3 days in the hospital, I finally decided to leave my boyfriend. I was hospitalized four times after that. I was eventually sent to a residential chemical dependency treatment facility where I was hospitalized for 6th times. 3 months later I successfully graduated rehab. By then i had gone through countless therapists and psychiatrists. I was also on an infinite number of medications for depression, anxiety, insomnia, and a cluster B personality disorder. But after treatment things were finally starting to look up for me.
It is now October 2016, and I can actually say that i haven't been hospitalized in 8 months, and I have been free from self harm for 11 months. I know my depression is never going to completely go away, and I know I'm still going to have bad days but I can honestly say this is the happiest I've ever been. My parents are now much more present in my life and are very supportive. It wasn't for my parents, my countless hours of therapy, the support from my friends, family, and my boyfriend, and my own strength and hard work, I'm not sure if i'd even be here today. I'm just so thankful that things have worked out the way they have and because of my struggle, I have turned into something much better than I'd ever thought I'd be.
It take a ton of strength to overcome any mental illness, but I'm proof that it's possible for anyone. I hope that anyone that is struggling will open up and reach out for help like I did. I promise things will get better.