Q: A few months ago I moved to a different country, then like 2 months after I had changed schools, I started suffering from stress and anxiety disorders. It was a really bad period of my life, I had friends who helped me through it, but I still felt so alone all the time. Anyway, I went through a lot at that time, my boyfriend and I had just broken up (and I really loved him), then my best friend that I have known my entire life pretty much backstabbed me twice and tried to turn everyone in my new school against me (it didn’t work though) and then I started dating someone new and he betrayed me. And that’s when my Depression became worse. I was constantly sad, I felt alone even though I had tons of friends there for me, I started hating myself and then I started cutting myself. For almost two months I was cutting myself and no one knew. I’d always pretend I was really happy and people would always believe it. Then one day I was at school, I had a lot of tests that day and I literally broke down in the middle of the hall just like that, I exploded. I ran to the bathroom and all I could think of was cutting myself, that’s all I could think of. So I did it locked in the bathroom, except this time I was so out of control I accidentally cut too deep. And then the bell rang so I had to go to class, I tried putting tons of paper on the cuts to stop the bleeding but it was too deep, so I put toilet paper on them and tried to hide them as I went to class. But unfortunately as I was walking the paper fell off and I didnt even notice, the blood was dripping down my arms and all of my friends saw it, they called the nurse. At that point the nurse just called my mom and told her, so ever since then I have been seeing a therapist and I am supposedly a lot better and happier now. For about 4 months I felt a lot better, everything went back to normal, I was happy and I didn’t cut anymore, everyone kinda just forgot anything even happened, everything was good. But now, its been about two months I think, I feel like I’m right back where I began. Last week I cut myself again for the first time in months, it wasn’t deep though, and no one knows about it, but I cried so much after that. I feel so guilty. I feel like I’m trapped in a really deep dark hole and just as I thought I was getting out of it, I fell back in.
Im the best student in my class, I have really good grades, I’m always the one who works the most and who always does her homework. And I’m just so sick of it, its like I have this reputation to keep, and I always have to work so hard for everything at school otherwise ill just be a huge disappointment to everyone, and like I’m just sick and tired of working ALL THE TIME. And no one even notices how hard I work, they think I just kinda get good grades without really working hard. And my friends are so nice and all, I love hanging out with them at school, but they never ask me to hang out outside of school, like they always plan stuff together but never actually invite me. Last month I invited a couple of friends a few times but when I realized they never invited me I stopped. And I feel like my life is just a boring routine that I have to keep following and I hate it, its just school and homework all the time, there is nothing else. I don’t even feel sad anymore, I just don’t feel anything, I feel empty and numb. I cant even cry anymore I just stare blankly. And I’m also starting to feel something I’ve never really felt before, I feel hate towards my own body, I feel so insecure all the time, I hate my body and I feel like I eat too much and I try so hard to strop eating but I just cant and even now I eat a bit less than before but I think I’m even more fat. Everyone tells me I have “body goals” and “curves” and its true that guys check me out pretty much everywhere I go but I still feel so fat and ugly. And also everyone tells me I’m beautiful and guys usually tell me I’m hot and all but I still don’t have a boyfriend and I know this shouldn’t bother me but it does. I just feel so alone and like I’m stuck. I just feel stuck. I feel empty and numb. Im sorry for exploding like that. I just really hope you can give me some advice. Thank you.
A: My heart goes out to you. You’ve been through so much from moving to a new country, experiencing heartbreaks, to learning to manage your Depression. That’s a lot of sh*t for one girl to handle! Let’s take a minute to commend you for seeking out help from a therapist and putting in the work to grow emotionally. That takes guts and you were in a good place for 4 months. You should be proud of yourself. I know I am. Perhaps you were under the false belief that you were “healed” and everything would be fine after that. That’s not how Depression, Anxiety and quite frankly, life works. There are ebs and flows. The challenge is learning to flow with them, rather than against them. I would suggest talking to your family about how you’ve been feeling and continue to meet with your therapist to work on building your self esteem and learning to accept and love yourself from the inside and out, for all your beauty and for all of your so-called flaws. What seeps through your words under the pain of ex boyfriends, backstabbing friends, body image etc is unhappiness with yourself. It may sound cheesy, but once you learn to love yourself, you will have a strong foundation to handle whatever life throws at you, without crumbling. You sound like such an amazing girl with so many talents and strengths, but you have to be the one to see that.
Coping skills are essential when managing those difficult moments and emotions. Rather than hurting yourself, you need a plan to redirect yourself. For me, meditation and yoga have been life savers. It erases any anxiety I might have and makes me feel calm. There are so many cool apps that make this convenient, such as headspace. I also love taking a walk with a friend, listening to soft music and riding my bike. Figure out what new coping skills might work for you. You may want to try art or music therapy or join a support group with people your age.
To counteract your feelings of boredom, think about what you are passionate about. If you don’t know, ask yourself what do you enjoy doing that feels effortless and you easily lose track of time? Writing, music, art, sports, volunteering, reading? Whatever it is, devote more time to your passions.
Please keep me posted on your progress. Sending you lots of positive vibes and love.