“I am not my hospitalization”

I have been in therapy since I was 9 years old. When I was 16 I made a suicide attempt. I was subsequently diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder, something that hurt deeply for me and my family.

I don’t know why or where it came from, but everyday I live in a sort of fear, with this stigma and secret latched inside me. This past year I found myself in my dorm crying uncontrollably for a month. Again, I don’t know why or where it came from, but I decided to take the semester off of school to engage in intensive treatment to once and for all deal with these deep seeded issues.

For the longest time I thought no one could ever really love me if they knew what I’ve been like at my worst. In the past few months, I’ve shared my story with old and new friends, only to realize that the people worth keeping around are incredibly accepting of my story. Still, sometimes when I have a bad day, when I just have to cry, my family and doctors ask me, “Are you slipping?”. They have come to know me as someone always on the verge of a breakdown, someone who keeps them on edge just waiting for the next time Emily isn’t okay. Most of the time, I know they are wrong. Sometimes, I fear they are right.

No matter how strong I feel, nothing is ever a guarantee. Today, I am on the right medications and take active steps to be more empowered, more resilient, and more loving than I’ve ever let myself be before. I feel like I’m breathing for the first time, even when i have a bad day.