This article was sent in by Olivia, 13, from America.

Hi! I’m Olivia, and this is my story. I have been emotionally, sexually, and mentally abused and seen some terrifying stuff growing up…but through all of it, I told myself that I was okay, that I just have to hide behind this mask and everybody would think I was happy. I felt that if people saw my sadness, my anxiety, my cuts and scars, my eating disorder, that I would disgust them and they would just laugh at me. So my whole life, I lied about my feelings to people and I even lied to myself.

At age 11, was when everything went downhill (worse than normal)..the abuse got worse and worse everyday. Especially in this society today…it’s hard to live in because we are told “we have to be a size zero, and have big breasts and a big butt”, “that we have to be a certain gender, skin color, sexual orientation, etc.”, and its like we have “to fit peoples standards or else your not good enough.” I fell for all these lies & what’s these things the bullies were saying.

The thoughts running through my head were the number on the scale, whether I stayed alive or didn’t self harm that day, and that I was worthless on the inside and out.

 

A year later,I made my first suicide attempt. Weeks later I ended up in my second short impatient stay at a behavioral health center. I got out and I ended up going back to that impatient stay 2 more times, until I ended up in a residential. (6 months to 1 year stay) by then, id completely lost hope. I was unwilling to get help because I thought since my 4 short impatient stays didn’t work….that residential wont work either. So I continued self-harming & hiding the fact I had suicidal ideations and hiding the pain I was feeling.

 

It wasn’t until my 3rd suicide attempt at residential that I realized I was struggling and I wasn’t okay. I realized I needed help. I opened up, and it was the best thing I could ever do and I recommend it for anyway else struggling. Let me tell you though, it probably the hardest thing I had ever done in my life, but I did it and recovery become possible. I’m currently 5 months clean from self harm, (as today of 5/31/18) I no longer have suicidal thoughts, I communicate my feelings to my family, I almost 100% love myself, and I’ve repaired many relationships with my past and present bullies. Without residential, I wouldn’t be alive and that placeĀ  blessed my heart!! I’m so thankful to be alive and to have a second chance at life!!! I’m so blessed and I wish u all the best!!

Follow Olivia on Instagram at @_Olivia_the_local_beast_ to keep up with her mental health journey.