Written by a BRITE young adult spokesperson.
In primary school, we were practicing for a school play and I remember there was a guy that didn’t want to play his role because it meant being alongside me. I never knew what the issue was but that day after school I went home and cried because I felt that something was wrong with me. My mom saw me, and she asked what had happened and I just couldn’t bring myself to open up because I thought it was such a dumb reason. It made me feel self-conscious. Ever since I was young, I always looked to people for some sort of validation where I would need someone to tell me I was pretty or that I had nice clothes or whatever it might have been. I wouldn’t say that I had many friends, but I spoke to a few people. However, I was never close enough to any of them to open up about what I was going through. I was never medically diagnosed but I felt depressed all the time and never had anyone that I felt I could really talk to.
I always felt that I stood out, as though I was never connected to the people in a room. This could be a room full of people that I knew, whether it be family members, friends, or even classmates. I moved around quite a bit when it came to schooling. Every grade level I would be at a new institution and I got so tired of it that I wouldn’t speak to many people once in a new environment. The most times I would interact was when it was mandatory and even then, I never felt good about my participation. I kept to myself throughout most of my primary school years and didn’t really know how to cope with what I was feeling.
It wasn’t until I got to high school that I found someone that was actually willing to be a friend. Our friendship remains to this day and she has always been there for me and helped me when times have been tough. It felt good to finally have someone to express myself to and receive feedback from that made me feel better about myself. I appreciate her very dearly and am thankful for the obstacles she’s helped me tackle. As I got older, I learned to never let others’ opinions drag me into a depressed state of mind. I believed in myself more. I saw how beautiful I was, inside and outside.
Once you believe in yourself, you’ll start to notice how amazing you truly are. You may not be the best at everything and that’s okay. Self-love is the best love. I had someone to help me to prosper into the person I am today and maybe you’ll find someone or even a hobby that makes you happy.