Journey to Recovery

At 12, I was faced with a tragedy that no one should ever have to endure — sexual abuse. At a devastatingly young age my innocence was stripped from me. I was left scared, confused, and very much alone to deal with the aftermath. Over the next few years, I sank into a deep depression and was overcome with unbelievable amounts of anxiety. Soon enough though, I felt nothing. I became nothing more than the mask I put on every day. I thought that if no one else saw my pain then it wasn’t real. Much like a soldier back from combat, my demons kept coming back and with a growing vengeance.

Thinking about death is scary, but the thought that death may be better than life can be catastrophic. With my 15th birthday came a blow that landed me in a harsh reality. I was literally brought to my knees by emotions that my body was forcing out in any way possible. I had convulsions and catatonic phases that lasted for hours on end, and multiple panic attacks that wracked my mind and pulled me back into my darkest moments. That was the bottom. But, I was one of the lucky ones. I got help. Thus began my voyage back from hell.

PTSD – so now I have a label. But with that label came the support I needed to start living again. Sure, I am behind in school and, yes, I need medicine to help me stay in control, but I am alive, and that is what matters. For a while each step forward was exhausting and painful. There were plenty of times I wanted to give up and give in. But I didn’t. I made it, and every day I’m getting stronger.

This strength is not something I developed alone. Along my journey, I connected with a multitude of people in similar situations. All I had to do was look around and ask. There were so many people in my area that had experienced similar misfortunes. Connecting with those people helped me to feel accepted, hopeful and excited for the future. I am now a straight ‘A’ student and on my way to independence. Little things like driver’s education and getting a job excite me.