Ana Febres-Cordero

“I’m so glad I’m still here. When I was in high school, my life looked pretty perfect. By holiday break of my junior year, I was in my first serious relationship, had finished a great cross-country season, and had picked up a part-time job at a restaurant , which I really loved. I had amazing friends, and I was doing well in my classes. But I was carrying a weight I couldn’t shake. Literally, I’d gained eight pounds, and it was all I could think about. Normally confident, I became self-conscious about how I looked. I started getting jealous if my boyfriend hung out with other girls. I had a thousand bad thoughts. I’m not pretty enough… I need to be skinnier… I started to experience anxiety, especially about my boyfriend graduating and going off to college while I was still in high school. We went through a very ugly breakup.¬†The rest of high school I didn’t feel like myself, and it continued until my first year of college. I didn’t have a label for what I was feeling it’s not like I woke up one day and suddenly knew I was depressed. I thought of it as teen angst. I felt overly sensitive, fearful, anxious, and lacked happiness. I felt like I was falling apart and then things got worse. I got sick with mono and couldn’t compete on the cross-country team. Not only was running something I loved, but it was also how I thought I’d make new friends. Instead, I spent most of my time alone in my dorm room watching Netflix. And then my suicidal thoughts I’d had a few in high school started up. I told no one. A few months later, I was at a party that I didn’t want to be at. Suddenly I felt a huge weight on my shoulders, like a boulder. It became physically impossible to smile, and I felt an urge to cry that stemmed from deep within my stomach. The girls I was with noticed and made sure I got back to my dorm. The next morning I woke up and remembered the meltdown I’d had had the night before. It involved me crying hysterically, falling to the ground, and being so out of it the girls had to put me in my pajamas. I was shamed and disguised with myself and felt like everyone would be better off without me. I saw no hope, no future, nothing. That night, I texted hearts to everyone I knew, wrote a letter to my parents in a journal, and attempted to kill myself. My friends found me and called 911. For the first couple of hours after my attempt, I hated that it hadn’t worked. But as I really came to, I began to feel like the luckiest girl on the planet. The sense of relief I experienced when I realized I’m alive was something I cannot explain. I have another chance to find my passion, go to college, and even just spend a day with my family. Therapy helped me realize I’d had lenses on that clouded my view of reality. It’s not like every day now is sunshine and rainbows, but there is nowhere I’d rather be than here. To anyone struggling. Give yourself a chance for the cloudy lenses to come off it will change your life.” -Seventeen

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