I was put on medication for depression when I was in second grade.SECOND GRADE. I was 7 years old. I remember at that time rolling up in a ball crying, moaning, aching, feeling broken . I couldn't breath, I couldn't talk, I couldn't even explain to my parents what was happening to me, but they could tell something was. My mothers describes me as a butterfly child in my toddler years, always flying never able to pin me down in one place. I was bright , happy.. but that started to change when I began school. You see the education system in all its good ways could not understand this butterfly girl and tried to "pin" her down. I could feel myself shrinking and my parents started to get worried. Then 2nd grade hit.
I had a teacher who, simply put, was a bully. She, for some reason, loved to call me out and degrade me in front of my peers. I remember her telling the class if I received an A on a spelling test ( which I never did) the whole class would get rewarded. I was used as a spectacle, a laughing stock and an example. She would call me all sort of names like stupid or slow and would put me in the corner of the class away from everyone else. I was absolutely horrified and embarrassed everyday of my second grade life.
My parents did not know what was going on with me - I never told them until later in my life, it was just to hard as a 7 year old to grasp what was going on - but they knew something needed to change. My spirit was fading and they were desperate to get their little sunshine girl again. So through pray and study they decided to home school me for my 3rd grade year, take me counseling and then to put me on medication...And things started to get brighter.
Now the point of this story is not for people to feel sorry for me or angry at my teacher. I have since then forgiven and made peace with this part of my life. The reason I wanted to share this part of my story is to help take away the shame out of getting proper medical care for those fighting mental illness. Because it is real, oh so very real and sometimes people really do need help and it really can help.
Recently a video was released at www.lds.org entitled Like A Broken Vessel about this subject. It is so moving and I urge everyone to watch it( It is posted below). Even if you are not of the Mormon faith I feel it helps us understand our worthiness and love our God has for us and we can have for ourselves even during our darkest days. I also love how Jeffery R Holland ( the speaker in the video) talks about if you have appendicitis you would be expected to take care of yourself and get the proper medical care needed, the same goes for mental illness. This is so true.
I want all those who are going through a hard time to know that they can get help. You are not weak and neither is getting help a weak act. To all my butterfly people out there yearning to feel the thrill of flying and joy of living again, have hope.. it takes time to grow and you don't have to go at it alone.
You can watch the video below: