On the day of my high school valedictory, I was drowning in my own tears. My friends were puzzled as to why I was so emotional because they knew high school had been my living nightmare and that I had hated every second of it. But it was for that very reason that I was inconsolable.
My high school career had been ridden with bullying, tears, heartbreak, mental illnesses and the suicide of my friend. There had not been a single day where I had not woken up wanting it to be already over. Self-harm scars aligned my wrist and I was completely lost. I resented myself for being alive. I thought I would’ve taken my own life long ago… so on the day that I said goodbye to my own personal hell and opened the door to the next season of my life; rivers ran down my face because I never thought I would make it to see my graduation day.
For those of you who have battled with depression, anxiety, PTSD or any other mental illness that leaves you feeling dead and exhausted on the inside: you’ll understand how amazing it is to actually be grateful to be alive.
I wake up with a smile on my face, do my skincare routine with a skip in my step, wiggle into my clothes and practically dance my way down the stairs. I greet my mom beaming and belt out songs in the car ride. I have found this new love for my life and I am overwhelmed with emotions because I have never been happy to be alive, until now.
I don’t care that I am single, I don’t care that I am not Miss Popular, I don’t care that my skin is not as clear as Gigi Hadid- I’ll scream Heroes by David Bowie, put on my bumblebee earrings, dance to Come On Eileen and thank God for giving me this beautiful life.
For those of you who are reading this and find yourselves feeling the way I felt throughout high school: it gets better. When people used to tell me that, I never believed them. I thought they were just saying that so I wouldn’t do anything. But after rewatching Perks of Being a Wallflower recently; I realize they were right. I found myself relating to Sam and realized I was Sam. High school had crippled me and people had built a reputation for me based on gossip and my mistakes; I was a wallflower- and now I am free. I’m free and my life has gotten so much better.