I have suffered from mental illness since the ripe age of eleven; this happen to be around the same time I got my first period. I know this because that’s when the tantrums and rebellion began. I remember the fights I would have with my mother. The screaming and emotions that got invested in every argument. The explosion of anger, the tears and the exhaustion that followed. I would always think of death at the end of every fight. I would imagine what my funeral would look like and wondered how sad people would be.
I was eleven years old and already feeling the pressure of fitting in. I worried about where I would sit at lunch and who would play with me at recess. Anxieties started to form and I would have no idea until years later that these feelings were that. ANXIETY. My first depressive episode happened in 1997 when I was 11 years old in grade five. All that I remember is refusing to go to school and then being switched to my brothers elementary school. As the year went on, my behaviour got worse. I would act out by smoking and hanging out with the older kids. I became boy crazy and had a new crush every other week. The few girls that were in school with me that year either stayed away or created trouble. This started to become my trend. Every year from grade five on was another school. Another fresh start for new friends and normality, or a fresh start for more trouble and cuter boys?
By the time I graduated high school, I had tried numerous drugs and fooled around with a handful of boys. My reputation was dragged through the mud. A high school (that I never attended) had a picnic bench dedicated to me with words that I will not type out because they were so awful. The friends I had, the things I did, the thinking behind my actions were fearless and reckless. I put myself in situations that were traumatic and dangerous.
Today, I’m a mother of two under 3 years old. I have a son and daughter. I imagine what high school will be like for them and how they will make decisions. I truly believe in nurture vs. nature and if you are provided some tools you can make educated decisions. My goal as a mother in general is to provide my children with the knowledge I have obtained throughout my life. I hope to instill good values and morals and only expect them to have respect for themselves and others.
Cofounder Mothers Mary