My name is Emma and this is my story of resilience. I was on leadership on my Cheerleading squad, captain of the tennis team, President of the Hope Squad, Seminary President, member of the rugby team, and apart of many other clubs at school. I have now been able to realize that I was doing so much to cover my pain and show people that I was okay even though I clearly was not. I struggle with depression with psychotic features, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts and ideation. I was first hospitalized after continuous depressive panic attacks in the fall of 2021. These happened multiple times a week at all times of the day. Honestly there was nothing I could do to stop these. I was so embarrassed but quite frankly just wanted my pain to go away. I begged my parents to take me to the hospital but being the protective parents they are, they said no until I woke up from surgery talking about killing myself. The impatient facility was what I needed and honestly I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity I had to go there and focus on myself. Nonetheless, it was the hardest week of my life. I was away from my family with 1 call a day strictly to talk to my parents. Coming out of the hospital I felt like everything was healed until a couple weeks later when my psychotic attacks started happening. I had SO many scary feelings of people watching me, people coming to get me and hurt me, voices in my head and more. My doctors put me on different medications and tried to diagnose me, but it just wasn’t right, I couldn’t find relief. 4 months pass and I continue to be in pain. I am so frustrated why no one could figure out what was wrong and how I could get better. I insisted that I was better off dead so I stopped taking my medications entirely. The immediate decrease in my behavior caused by me going off my medications cold turkey and after another suicidal attempt I wound up back in the impatient facility. I resisted this time because I wanted to be dead. This time the hospitalization was focused on correcting my diagnosis, and with different tests, a new start to the medication, and patience I figured it out. I realized that this pain was not going to magically disappear. I learned that I have to make a conscious decision each and every day to make sure I am being honest with my feelings. I have created a list of coping skills that work for me that I physically taped on my refrigerator. Each day I am reminded to practice skills as simple as coloring and yoga to make sure that I am taking care of my mental health. In addition to this list, I made a promise to myself in the impatient facility to take my medications every day. And if for any reason I don’t think that my treatment plan is working for me, I reach out to a friend, therapist, doctor, parent, or even the SafeUT app. I thank God for the experiences that I have lived and for the lessons that I have learned; now I live to help others. No human should have to suffer alone. Life is precious, be a friend.

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