At the beginning of my freshman year of high school, I was 14, naïve, and had a developing passion of life.
My life was going well- everything was going my way. After I thought things couldn’t get any better, I met Zack.
He was older, attractive, and for some reason he liked me. Talking to him was like drugs; he made me feel so alive. I had never-ending butterflies in my stomach when he was around. In my eyes, he was perfect. After about a month of “talking,” I became his official girlfriend. Needless to say, I was ecstatic. I had my first REAL boyfriend, what more could I ask for?
He was my Prince Charming.
We’d talk for hours over the phone nightly and see each other every weekend. Zack was the sweetest person I’d ever met. He made me feel like I was the most important person in the world. As you can probably imagine, I fell for him rather quickly. He had all of my heart. Since I was only 14, he became my first everything, and I mean everything.
I was so nervous and scared, but I all that I could think about was how much he meant to me. I knew that losing my virginity was a “big deal,” but what I didn’t know is that my attachment to Zack would become so much deeper. At the beginning of our relationship, I thought that Zack liked me way more than I liked him. Boy did I turn out to be wrong. My love for him became all-consuming.
He became my whole world.
I saw him every single day, and I couldn’t imagine life without him. He became my happiness. It got to the point that I had legitimate anxiety attacks when we fought in fear that he would break up with me. There wasn’t a thing that I wouldn’t do for him; I was positive that I was going to marry this boy (I told you I was naïve).
There were so many fights about pointless things and so many signs that our love was fading. He started pulling away from me, and I started desperately clinging to him in hope that my love would be able to pull us through. I couldn’t live without him.
I thought that I could make a one-sided relationship work- it had to. On March 30, the inevitable happened. We had a fight, and, long story short, he broke up with me. Drunk. I still remember him walking out of the door and officially out of my life. I completely broke down. My knees buckled, sobs came crashing out, and my heart felt like it shattered. For the next week, I alternated crying and sleeping until I became physically sick. I felt like I didn’t know how to live anymore.
He was a part of every aspect of my life, and I didn’t know how to do anything without him. I’d never experienced a pain this potent. This started my battle with depression.
I stopped being me because I honestly wasn’t sure who I was anymore. I couldn’t find happiness anywhere. I didn’t laugh anymore or enjoy myself. My family voiced their concerns for me almost daily. I tried to find any relief for the emotional pain that I was feeling through alcohol, smoking, boys, or anything that would make me feel okay for at least a second. I was at my lowest point, and I wasn’t sure it would get any better. I couldn’t take it anymore.
The point where my life changed was a few months later when I put myself in the hands of God. Religion had never been an important part of my life until one night that I was crying and screaming out to God to take away my pain. I was so angry and so hurt that it was all I could feel.
It even hurt to breathe. I knew I couldn’t carry on much longer, so I broke down and called out for salvation from my Father. I will never forget the moment when I felt something rise out of my chest and dissolve. After that, it didn’t hurt to breathe anymore. God took away my pain, and I knew it was my time to rise up and take my life back. I became so adamant that I would be okay again. This was my life, and I’m going to live it.
I celebrated little victories like deleting his photos off of my phone or remembering that I hadn’t thought about him that day. Slowly, but surely, I started coming out of my shell. I stopped taking anti-depressants and started being completely independent again. I loved it! Through God, family, and one of the best friends in the world, I made it through. I. Made. It.
Today, I still have the emotional scars. My depression still flares sometimes on the bad days. I push people away because I’m still so scared of becoming “not okay” again. I’m working every day to break down the walls that I built around me. I’m different, more jaded, but I’m strong now. I’m a version of myself that I can say I’m damn proud of. There’s even another guy in the picture now.
I’ve realized that I am my own happiness- no one can take that away from me. I’m still making improvements to become the best “me” I can be. I can honestly say that I’m okay. And that’s the greatest thing I could ever hope for. Against everything that I thought, I’m okay.