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I remember being the crazy, energetic, and different kid. I was always laughing at the most random things out of nowhere.

Then 2020 came and things started to go downhill.

Covid didn’t affect me like everyone else. I was healthy. Instead, it led me into a severe case of depression, struggling with suicidal thoughts and high anxiety disorder, at a mental hospital. Unfortunately, Covid wasn’t the only thing that mentally injured me.

I recall having two fighting parents who would physically, emotionally, and verbally abuse both me and my brother. My whole life I lived with insecurities, fears, and ideas shoved in my head that over the years only damaged me more. My father was never there for me emotionally and to this day I struggle with what my generation calls “daddy issues.”

I wasn’t allowed to be myself and I was gaslighted into thinking my home environment was normal. It was hell on earth but he’d pretend to be an angel in public.

My mom had clarity and we decided to leave and live in a Safe House. At first, things seemed to be going smoothly, until my first suicide attempt. I was taken to the emergency room, then to the psychiatric hospital. I felt incredibly sad seeing people who cared about me worry. I too was sad that I thought about leaving everyone behind without holding on a little longer to see my life improve.

I was sure I wouldn’t end up in the hospital again, but I underestimated the difficulty of my life at that time. Two months later I had another attempt. In November, I had a final attempt and by this time I was done. While I was trying to escape the pain, I had done so much work in my life that I couldn’t possibly quit now. Witnessing my family in tears and my friends becoming increasingly worried and anxious brought me the most pain.

Then, I became motivationed to help males struggling with mental health and decrease the number of male suicides even by a little. I also want to decrease the chances of another kid at my school attempting suicide. Therefore, I admitted myself to the hospital.  This time there was no attempt. I conquered my biggest goal and admitted myself, before hurting myself.

Before long, I got a dog and slowly my life started to get on track. There were bumps on the road, but I always pushed myself to practice the tips my therapist gave me. I allowed myself to experience uncomfortable situations, and I connected with someone in my support group as needed. Prior to this moment, I was in ambulances, cops showed up at my house, and I had a difficult time getting out of my room even when I needed the most help. It wasn’t easy but I pushed through.

Today, I am close to graduating, I’ve held my job for almost a year, suicidal thoughts have dramatically decreased, and I am looking forward to many things in my future! Growing up in a conservative, religious home didn’t allow me to listen to “world” music. Now I am 18 and this summer I will be attending two concerts. I got three tattoos, some piercings, and I have never felt more like myself or happier.

I want people to see that it’s okay to not be okay. Sometimes in order to get better, things get worse, but they don’t stay like that.

And for my male readers, I want to tell you that crying and speaking about your problems and emotions is not a weakness but a strength. It takes courage to speak about these things and plays a huge role in the healing process in order to live happily. We all have different stories and different versions of the hell we’ve been through, and we’re all fighters and at the end of the day, human.

© Josue Deloera. All rights reserved. If you are interested in quoting this story, contact the national team and we can put you in touch with the author’s teacher.

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