Not a lot of people know the struggles and obstacles I have overcome in my life. I was a bit hesitant to share my story and put it out for the world to see, however, I have found strength in knowing I am not the only one that has suffered. I want to share my story to help give strength to others.

I am a survivor of suicide. Like many others, I struggled through high school trying to find my own light. I spent my time trying to fit in and be “good enough” for the popular kids. I was in relationships that were unhealthy because I wanted to feel good enough for someone, even if it meant my own worth was less than my partners. I was dealing with the physical, mental, emotional, and sexual abuse I had experienced over the past several years. Finally, the trauma and mental manipulation caught up to me. In the early spring of my sophomore year, I found myself just going through the motions in life. Waking up in the morning was one of the hardest tasks. I was smiling through the day as I pretended everything was okay. My closest friends kept saying “it will get better, you just have to move on.” On April 20th, 2013 I decided I could not be strong anymore and attempted suicide.

After I was hospitalized I realized one thing: I needed to recover for myself. I could hardly bare the thought that my brother wouldn’t have a sister to grow up beside. My parents have only one child to raise. My best friend who texted me the night before said, “Kaylee promise me I will see you tomorrow at school” wouldn’t have seen me tomorrow. I didn’t want to live, but yet I did at the same time. I was too afraid to ask for help; that even sharing my emotions made me feel like a burden. I thought that if I did ask for help I would appear weak or dramatic. It took me a long time to finally open up to my friends, family, and therapist about my emotions and thoughts going on inside my head. I am so grateful I had a second chance.

I struggled yet again my freshman and early sophomore year of college. I developed this thing called anxiety, which I had no idea existed until college.  I fell into depression and started to feel more anxious about the littlest things. I struggled to talk to people about how I was feeling. I was finding myself going through the motions in life, but not actually living. I realized this time I was going to pick myself up and ask for help. I struggled when the doctor told me I should take medication. I felt that I was a failure and weak minded. I started taking the medication and soon realized how different I felt. I felt like a cloud had disappeared over my head. I had the energy to get up in the morning and go on with my day. I am so proud for not giving up on myself again. I yet again had another chance to fight for myself.

Looking back on my story I can only say how thankful I am to be here today. I have the greatest support system. I still have days, and sometimes weeks, where I feel down and have emotions that are hard to describe to people. However, after realizing that it’s okay to ask for help, I can now make it through my hard days. After everything I have experienced in my life including; the physical, mental, emotional, and sexual abuse, I am proud to say I am a survivor. Although it was a struggle for many years, I am grateful I started asking for help. I am now a Registered Nurse working with those who suffer from a mental illness, and a huge advocate for mental health awareness. I try my hardest every day to show a little light to others that need it on their darkest days. I wanted to share my story to help others that are suffering, or have suffered, to show they are not alone. Asking for help doesn’t make you weak; it makes you strong. You too can make a difference in the world by spreading your own light and helping those around you spread theirs. Together we can end the stigma on mental illness.