2023 Awardee – Hannah Baer – HWRA – Wasatch HS
How I Found Myself
Hi. My name is Hannah Baer, and I am a senior at Wasatch High School. It’s weird being able to say that; I never thought that I’d actually live long enough to be able to say that. You might be thinking to yourself “what does she mean by that?” Well, let’s start from the beginning.
When you’re young, you think of life as being the greatest gift of all and you don’t have a single worry in the world. That’s how I thought of life for a long time. I didn’t have any problems; I had tons of friends, I was active in sports and school activities, I did well in school, and I loved my life. However, that changed once I got to middle school. Everyone has that weird stage in middle school where everything and everyone is just awkward, so I didn’t think anything was “wrong” when I went through that awkward stage. Little did I know it would turn into something bigger.
We all remember when our school’s guidance counselors would come into our classrooms and give us the lecture about depression and suicide–living in Utah, suicide is a big deal, especially since we’re in the top 10 highest suicide rates in the U.S. Every time the counselors would talk to us about it, I always thought to myself “that could never be me. I’d never feel like that, and I’d never get to that point.” However, when they gave that talk in middle school, I had a different feeling about it. I wasn’t sure what that feeling was, but it wasn’t like the ones I had before.
About a month into my seventh-grade year, that awkward middle school stage had turned into something worse—depression. My guidance counselor was the one that told me, but I honestly couldn’t have cared less. That same day my counselor called my mom and told her, her reaction was the same as mine. Of course, she cared, but not enough to actually believe it.
The summer before my eighth-grade year is when it started to get bad. I tried coping with reasonable things like therapy, but I never felt satisfied. That was when I started self-harm. I knew it wasn’t right nor the best thing for me to do, but it worked. When I got super stressed about something, I did it. When I was having a hard day, I did it. I did it because I felt as if it lifted a weight off of my shoulders. Around the same time, I started losing friends, I lost my care for sports, and I stopped caring about school.
By this time, I had been self-harming for a few months. I had been reported on SafeUT three times, but I never cared. I felt alone, no one believed that I was depressed, and people thought that I was cutting myself for the attention, but the last thing I wanted was the attention.
January 4, 2019 was the first time I tried to commit suicide. It was a failed attempt, I (XXXXX we don’t publish how someone has attempted. It triggers people. But we honor and respect this young lady for her honesty XXXXX). When I woke up the next morning, I was so disappointed that it didn’t work. February 11, 2019 was the second time I tried. Another failed attempt of me trying to (XXXXX we don’t publish how someone has attempted. It triggers people. But we honor and respect this young lady for her honesty XXXXX). November 7, 2019 was the third time. This time I tried (XXXXX we don’t publish how someone has attempted. It triggers people. But we honor and respect this young lady for her honesty XXXXX); however, it didn’t work, and I didn’t bother to tell anyone about it. May 17, 2020 was the fourth and last time I tried to end my life. This final attempt was the day before fifteenth birthday. I kept all four attempts a secret from everyone in my life.
It took four tries for me to realize that it’s not worth it. I was so convinced that I wasn’t loved and that no one would have cared. Looking back at it, all those people who told the guidance counselors about my self-harm, my parents, and those people who reported me to SafeUT, they all cared about me.
Once I realized how valued I was, I started to love both myself and my life again. I started making new friends, I got back into sports, and I started doing well in school again. Not only did I find myself again, but I find my passion and motivation again. Once high school came around, I was me again. I was Hannah again.
(Hannah, we are glad you are here!)
About the Author
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