Lost and Found: An Essay in Which I Spill my Guts

Dear reader,

Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Aly. The Editor in Chief of ROSEBLOOD magazine. I feel as if there is a curtain between the two of us, so I decided to write to you and tell you my story.
I’d be happy to hear yours as well. It’s time to get intimate.

Let me start with a disclaimer that this is NOT an “it gets better” letter. It is simply one sharing my short journey so far in this world dealing with mental illnesses. Dating back to the sixth grade, I started to loose pieces of my innocence. That’s natural for a child my age, but the matter in which i lost my innocence across the next five years was not one of the normal variation. I was bullied by two girls who were once my best friends. Short and sweet, they had began to exclude me from activities after I got extremely sick and was absent for nearly a month. Middle school rolled around and it was hell. Rumors were spread and those girls “ruled the school” I had maybe one friend for a few days before the girls had found out and told that person to stop talking to me. this carried on through my freshman year of high school.
The amount of trauma caused was of epic proportion. The school has a legally filed bullying case on one of those girls. This caused me to start to slip into depression around seventh grade. It got bad that summer, and by the beginning of eighth grade I cried myself to sleep every night. I have been at the lowest of lows.
I got help halfway through my freshman year of high school. i had lost all substance, and all my passion. I was a fucking vegetable. I had lost my longest and closest friend who I happened to be in love with. Sophomore year rolled around and things looked up. I found supportive friends, i became comfortable in my sexuality (thats a whole different story), yet i didn’t feel “right.” My therapist began to monitor my moods, and noticed a pattern. after months of extensive journal keeping and analysis she came to the conclusion i was type ii bipolar.
This scared the living shit out of me. It took a year for me to be alright with telling my parents. We had other family issues I felt more important than mine. My mom was diagnosed with stage 3B lung cancer. A month after that, my grandpa died of lung cancer. Two weeks later, I broke up with my first girlfriend. The follow month, my entire friend group collapsed and separated causing me to loose a close friend.

2015 had been a nightmare of a blur. This year, I have received help from a psychiatrist as well as remaining in therapy. I have been on mood stabilizers for about two months and the change I’ve seen in myself is one that i’m happy to share as well as my reflections and conclusions.
After four years battling depression I finally had beat it. I didn’t realize this because of my bipolar depressive episodes which were made worse by being solely on an antidepressant. Five years later and I am accepting my disorder and coping with it. I owe it to my therapist and psychologist, really. But having the ability to say truthfully that I beat such severe depression after four years makes me feel an immense amount of pride. And im working every day towards being a happier, more whole and raw, me.
While I still wrote all those years I was engulfed by my depression, nothing was of substance to anyone but myself. I hid it from the world and did not want to share.
In October, I started up ROSEBLOOD with the help of Gabi. Here I am now, two months later. I have regained my passion within the arts. Music, poems, paintings, stories, anything. It lights me up and inspires me every time. My depression made me a vegetable unable to process and function and enjoy what I was experiencing. I am now enjoying and learning and growing every minute.
This is not a “it gets better” letter. It’s one of congratulations to myself. It’s one to give a small crack of light at the end of the hallway to whomever needs. I still have my dark weeks and my manic weeks, but I feel more in control of my own actions. Which was an ability I did not have before. I have accepted that I will deal with bipolar disorder the rest of my life, and probably be on a cocktail of medications the remainder of my time as well. But I am okay with it. I am okay with being me, mentally.
I want you all to know I truly love you, and all that you share with me. If you read all the way to the bottom of this, because you needed the encouragement or were just curious, thank you. I hope you continue to share with me and support ROSEBLOOD. I will be as raw with you, as you are with me.

I am here for you. Do not forget that.
With love,

Aly your Editor in Chief

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