Alicia Simpkins

There was a girl who was 16. She lost a good friend, her grades slipped, her relationships suffered, and she was thrust into a new environment with new peers and new sounds, feeling lost and scared, wondering what she was meant to do when everything that was familiar was now a thing of the past. She no longer enjoyed the sports and activities that once gave her so much joy and put the sparkle in her eye. Her eating habits changed. She became irritable; isolating herself from those who cared about her. Darkness closed in around her heart and mind.

That 16 year old girl was me.

My mid to late teenage years were a rough time for me. Depression piled on me like a ton of bricks, and for a long time, I saw no way out. For a good couple of years, each attempt to reclaim my life and fight back against my depression was difficult, the chains often held me down and often found myself back at square one. I had no idea what to do or where to go or who to turn two. Two counselors hardly cared anything about me; my will to carry on slowly diminished.

Then, after I turned 18, I decided that it was time for an all or nothing attempt. I touched base with a new counselor, and I began to write. And I wrote and wrote and wrote. I emptied so many feelings that had been buried deep inside of me, I cried it out. I stood up, I looked myself in the mirror everyday, and I would say something positive. I even started leaving myself positive notes around my notebooks and throughout my room. Anything to start changing my mindset.

And I did.

Everyday I tried to strive for the best. I began to talk about the dreams I had. I began to take in all the little things in life – the green grass, the blue or grey skies, even the different colors of the flowers. I focused my energy into writing and into my dreams, deciding that one day I would make a difference one step at a time.

It’s been a few years now and sometimes, I have rough days – but that’s okay. I try to remember that the sun will shine again, we just have to hold out for some silver in the clouds. What I want to say to anyone here; please don’t hesitate to ask for help. Please don’t hesitate to use your voice. There are so many options available for you.

And remember that you are brave, you are honest, you are strong, you are beautiful.



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