Cheerleading has shaped me into the person I am today

Everyone has something in their lives that makes them genuinely happy. Everyone has that special something that gives you a reason to wake up every morning. For some people, it’s a person, and for others, it’s something monetary. Mine was cheerleading, competitive cheerleading to be exact. I started competitively cheering in 2002, when I was 3 years old. I started at ‘Cheer America’, went to ‘Tatarus Allstar Cheerleading’, and then migrated to a very special place, Premier Athletics. I started going to Premier when I was in the 4th grade, 9 years old to be even more specific. My mom told me I was going to a special practice after school. I was so nervous, I remember crying on the way there because I didn’t know anyone, and I didn’t want to be the new kid. The very first team I cheered on at Premier was Coral Sharks. I can vividly remember my coaches, at the time, Angie and Danielle, bending down next to me telling me how happy they were to have me on their team. They introduced me to the other girls and right at that moment, I felt like I was already at a place I’d soon call my home. The more I watched these girls perform their routine, the more in awe I felt, yes even at 9 years old. I later tried out for the next season and was lucky enough to be on coral sharks again. This year was different, I got my first back handspring! It was the happiest moment I had at that point in my life. My 2nd year on coral sharks I made some of my current life-long friends that I still have today. Just to name a few, Alexis, Reagan, Macie, and Bailey, and the young lady that taught me my very first tumbling skill was the infamous ‘mama Sus’, a woman who I would soon look up to as a role model.

My third year at Premier, I made the roster of the newly formed team, the Rainbow Sharks. That year I made some incredible friends. The Rainbow Sharks girls were unstoppable, and you couldn’t tell us anything because we knew we were the stuff. We would have tons of sleep overs, I remember, and we were wild at practices. These group of girls are a group I have grown in the gym with since we were on rainbow. A memory I will never forget with Rainbow Sharks is the pool party we had at one of our teammates house. I couldn’t swim, so all my teammates made sure to hangout with me in the jacuzzi, and I just thought that was the nicest thing ever.

I took a couple of years off and came back to open arms by my past teammates and coaches. This is where I was lucky enough to be coached by two of the greatest people on earth, Levon and Kendall. This year I was on Gold Sharks. Gold sharks was an incredible experience because I was so much older and started developing more of my tumbling skills. That year, we were was the closest I had ever been with a team. We went to Dollywood together, had sleepovers, and inside jokes out of the wazoo. That year I met even more amazing people who I am still friends with today. Those group of athletes were the most supportive people I have ever met. Our coaches were hard on us at times, but that was only because they loved us so much, that they wanted to see us succeed. Whenever any of us were having a bad day, I could always count on coming to practice and having Levon and Kendall make us laugh until our stomachs hurt. They taught us about struggle and perseverance. No matter the outcome of our performance, they always let us know how proud they were of us, and no trophy or title would ever compete with that feeling.

As I got in my mid-late high school years, I was blessed to compete with athletes that made up the infamous Thresher Sharks. That year, hands down, was the best year of my life. That year taught me about love for your teammates, encouragement for one another, and overall taught me many life lessons that I now use in college. That glorious year, I was coached by Susan and Vince. Those two were incredible coaches together. This team was incredible together. Vince pushed me to do my very best every chance I got, and Sus was always there to pick me up when I fell down. Susan is and will always be like a second momma to me. She took me as I was, and loved me for who I was. She pushed me as an athlete and as a person. As an athlete, she would never let me put myself down. She never let me accept failure.  As a person, Susan taught me about self-love, something I was lacking at that point in my life. She taught me that I needed to love myself, and learn to pick myself up in bad situations. My very favorite memory I have with her was when I went to her office and became very vulnerable about how I was feeling mentally. Not once did she tell me that my feelings don’t deserve to validated. She looked at me as a coach and friend and said “Tay, I will always be here for you, I’m just a phone call away”, and that has stuck with me since she said it. I look up to her, as the rest of the gym does, as a role model. She is the most kind-hearted person I know, and I am forever thankful to have crossed paths with her.

My point is, this program has changed my life for the better. I have shed blood, sweat, and tears at this gym, but I would not change the experience for anything in this world, and because of this, I have life long friendships, and experiences I will take with me every-where I go throughout life. I was lucky enough to encounter all of my coaches I have ever had, and to see the athletes I grew up with getting new skills and pushing themselves to be there very best is so inspiring. Cheerleading is a sport that will forever hold a tender place in my heart because it taught me to love everyone as they are. It taught me to push even when I can’t push on anymore, and it taught me about the value of a family, biological or not. The end of my cheer career was one of the most heartbreaking moments in my life, and if you are at the end of the road for cheerleading, especially with Premier Athletics, cherish ever hug, laugh, triumph, and failure you have with your team and fellow gym mates because you’ll beg for those moments back. My 8 year-old sister told me she wants to do what I did, and I told her it will change her life only for the better.


The person I called my best friend decided the position wasn’t for them anymore

The day I was diagnosed with my mental illnesses, was the day I started to lose the people closest to me. Mental illness is a very serious and real disease, and having someone in your life battling It can be stressful because you don’t know how to help them. The only thing you can do for your loved one, is to just be there for them. For me, I had people there who could handle it, and those who could not. When your loved one is dealing with something as powerful as mental illness, the last thing you want to do is leave them.

I had someone in my life who could not handle my mental illness. At first, they were all about helping me through this struggle, and being there with me every step of the way, that is until it got to much for them. By no means am I blaming them for our lost friendship, but I shouldn’t have been blamed for it all either. This person broke off our friendship because they said I was a very terrible friend. This person did not come to me in the beginning and tell me this, so we could fix this and talk about it like real friends would have. This person left me in the dark for months. They no longer answered my texts, they ignored me in public, and wouldn’t say a word to me for about 4 months. This person was my best friend.

After months of asking them why they were being so distant because we went from talking and hanging out every day to not saying a word to each other, I felt I had the right to know why my best friend was acting like they hated me. Well, turns out they did. This person finally blew up and told me that I had been a terrible friend throughout our entire friendship and they wanted nothing to do with me ever again. I was so confused and hurt because I wanted to know what I did. After me begging them to tell me what I had done, they told me I was never there for them, and that I never acknowledged that they were my best friend. They said I was self-centered and I always had a problem. They didn’t like that I was always sad all the time, and put a damper on everyone’s mood, and that I needed to shut it off in public. They said the relationship was all about me, and me venting to them all the time, and it was only one sided. Well guess what? They were right.

I was battling Severe Clinical Depression and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. In no way am I saying that is an excuse, but yes, I was sad all the time because every day I was trying to find new ways to end my life. I had problems all the time because I was sick mentally and I needed my best friend. I had no idea they felt like I was treating them like garbage, and they have every right to feel that way. In a way, even if I didn’t think I was, I was neglecting our friendship. My illnesses caused me to be distant towards the people in my life, this person included. My illnesses caused me to be tired and never wanting to do anything thus, never really inviting them to do different fun things with me. I promise with everything in me, I wasn’t intentionally being a terrible friend. I was sick and needed help and my best friend just left me because they didn’t understand mental illness. I am not blaming them because a lot of people don’t, but when your best friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, or anybody you’re close with, has an illness, whether it be physical or mental, don’t give up on them. I was never given the chance to say sorry and make things right because they never gave me the chance. They made the decision for the both of us regarding our friendship. They never stopped to think how I would feel if this friendship was over, they just left. There is and always will be a void in my life because they aren’t here to see how far I have come in my road to recovery. They left when things got too tough, and now we don’t even know each other. I will always have so much love for them. To this day, I pray they are happy, even if their happiness doesn’t include me. I miss them very much and the pain gets worse every day, but I have to respect that this is what they want, and how they feel.

If your loved one is battling mental illness, please don’t give up on them. Sit down and talk them because they need you more than you need them. They’re sick and broken and they already feel like the world is against them, don’t be against them too. Tell them you love them, and be there through their road to recovery.

Intensive Outpatient Care

April 12, 2016 I decided I wanted to take my own life again. My mom found me the next morning unable to move, feeling scared and panicked she rushes me to Children’s Hospital. I was weighing at 100 pounds, my face as grey ever, and me looking sick as ever. That is when things got scary for me. They called social services who told me I was going to be admitted into a Psychiatric ward at Children’s Hospital. I begged my mom to do something but I didn’t have much to fall back on since I was the one in the hospital bed. They told me I didn’t have to do inpatient if I agreed to do intensive outpatient therapy for 1 month, 5 days a week, 3 hours a day. I was really hesitant at first because I was thinking about school and work and a million of other things I was stuck having to deal with since I failed my suicide attempt. It was inpatient or outpatient, so of course I chose intensive outpatient.

My grandfather came and sat next to my bedside crying asking me why I would do such a thing? Why would I try to destroy something God worked so hard to create? It had not fully set in at how deep I was in. I was in trouble, I needed help, immediately. I missed school all of that day, my friends were worried sick because I had sent them a shivering text the night before. I attempted suicide on a Friday and they started me on intensive outpatient care at Peninsula Lighthouse that Monday. I was so terrified. It was like started the first day of high school all over again. I didn’t know what to expect or who to expect.

I met some of the most amazing people in treatment. These people were just like me, struggling just like me. I wasn’t alone. You’re never alone. I spent 1 month in an intensive outpatient treatment program causing me to miss the first part of the school day and drastically effect my grades. My relationships were non existent at this point, and I just felt completely alone. I didn’t eat, I would self harm everyday just to cope. In IOP (Intensive outpatient care), I learned healthier coping mechanisms other than sleeping and self harming. My therapist was incredible and pushed me to be my very best self everyday, and for that I am thankful.

Treatment changed me for the better. If I hadn’t gone to treatment I would be in a psychiatric ward wishing I was dead and making zero progress because I’m just that stubborn. Instead it gave me 3 hours every single day to detox, and to talk about how I was feeling, and to here someone validate my feelings. My problems were never too big nor to small. I was introduced to new medication that has done such a good job in keeping my spirits up. It was exhausting being exhausted everyday. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. IOP is a program I highly recommend for someone going through a time of self hatred, and a feeling of the only way out being death. No one should EVER feel like dying is the only way for them to be at peace. Everyone deserves peace on earth and a loving support system, and IOP provides both of those.

Therapy & Medication

I started going to a private therapist in November of 2014. My parents had to practically drag me to therapy every week. I didn’t think I needed it. I thought I was doing just fine without it, but truth is, I wouldn’t be here without it. I was seeing her regularly for a month until about mid December when she told my parents I needed more help on a bigger scale, a scale she could not provide me. She told my parents I needed to be enrolled into Peninsula’s care immediately.

Peninsula is a mental health facility who deals with inpatient and outpatient therapy. My parents enrolled me into a Peninsula’s care with a therapist who also recommended me a psychiatrist who I still see every month to refill my mediations. March of 2015 I was prescribed my first dose of the antidepressant, Wellbutrin. My psychiatrist put me on the highest dosage she could prescribe. I took that daily while doing therapy every week. Throughout my sessions, my therapist thought I needed something else because I seemed to be getting worse, and It was starting to scare her. So, my psychiatrist prescribed me Prozac and then Abilify. I was on those three medications for 2 years, and was recently prescribed another medicine, Zoloft, after another attempt on my life.

I currently am on all four medications on the highest doses possible. I take them every single day in the morning with some type of juice. I have been in Peninsula’s outpatient therapy for 3 years now, and was in their Intensive Outpatient therapy for 1 month last year. It has helped me tremendously. I was extremely resistant to both therapy and medication at first, but they keep me alive so I utilize them. The medicine helps uplift me everyday, and aids in helping me get out of bed every single day. It helps divert my dangerous thoughts away while therapy teaches me coping skills to use while on my medication. My dream is to be able to function like a regular person doing day to day tasks without the help of medicine.

If you are struggling with mental illness, medication and therapy is the best route to take. It is noting to be ashamed of. Those two things will keep you alive until you’re able to healthily function on your own. If you are a parent watching your child struggle, medicine and therapy will be a good start. It was very hard for my parents to put me on medicine because they were embarrassed which is perfectly normal, but in the long run it will help you or your child healthy again.

I consisted of flesh, blood, and bones.

If you didn’t know me you would most likely just assume I had super high metabolism, but that was not the case. I was diagnosed, by many physicans and psychiatrists with Anorexia Nervosa. Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by low weight, fear of gaining weight, and a strong desire to be thin, resulting in food restriction. 

I was very much in denial when I was constantly being told that I was dangerously underweight until one day it made me severely ill. It was late July of 2016 and I was home alone while my family was out running errands. I started to feel sick and disoriented. I was hearing and seeing things that were in fact not there and called my mom freaking out. She reassured me nothing was in the house with me and that I was just being ridiculous. Little did I know she called my dad to check up on me because she was worried that something might’ve been wrong. My head started shaking and I couldn’t keep it upright. My speech began to slur and I couldn’t talk. I began to get scared, but my body wouldn’t move, so I sat there in a catatonic state until my mom got home.

She was scared when she found me on the couch not in my right mind so she drove me to the Children’s Emergency Room. Doctors ran tests and found that my vitals were alarmingly low. They put saline into an IV and hooked me up. I was still disoriented until the saline was good in my system. The doctor came back in 10 minutes later and said I was severely malnourished and continued to bring up my weight. He asked my mom if I had been eating and as far as she knew I had been. That was clearly not the case. I eventually told the doctor I hadn’t eaten in about 4 days, and his eyes got as wide as quarters. He wanted to admit me into a psych ward for starving myself, but after much begging and a new diet plan, I thankfully didn’t have to go there. My disorder caused me lots of health problems in the long run. I cheered at the time this was going on so my body became weaker because I was never eating and my immune system became weaker and weaker and became a hindrance to my cheer life. It has caused me to be short of breath by doing just simple things like brushing my hair, or putting on my clothes. My stomach is constantly growling even when I just ate a four course meal. Every where I went I would go to the bathroom and try to throw up whatever I ate, knowing good and well I hadn’t eaten enough to throw it up, so my throat would become raw, and nothing but blood would come up. When people see me, whether it be friends or family, they will say little comments like “oh honey, do you eat?” “You need to eat, you look like you’re dying”, like I already didn’t know. When people have a real life disease, like Anorexia Nervosa , It restricts them from being the person they truly are. They want to be this lively person who always gets invited to things because theyre so fun to be around, but they don’t get invited to things because they’re always tired or always sick. 

Never tell a person that they need to look a certain way, or that they look like something is wrong with them because that person already believes they aren’t perfect as they are. They feel they need to go to greater lengths to look a certain way. I’ve been told all my life I was little, and for the most part I just grew up skinny, but as I got into the mentality of I had to be bone thin, it started to consume me, literally killing me almost. If you are going through the same thing or know of someone going through this too, Please contact this help hotline and they would be more than happy to talk to you and help you!! 

National Eating Disorder Hotline–1-800-931-2237

March first, two-thousand and eighteen

March 1, 2018 is self injury awareness day. Self injury, also known as self harm, is the act of intentionally hurting ones self. November 30 is the day where people where a black ribbon on their wrists if they’ve ever self injured. November happens to also be the month I self harmed for the very first time. 
I had just come home from practice and was angry. I had Depression so I didn’t really need a legitimate reason to be angry, being alive was legitimate enough for me to be angry. I was angry, I wanted to hurt something so I decided to take it out on myself. I had cut myself for the very first time that month. I took a pencil sharpener blade and took it to my left wrist. I made about 3 more cuts on my arm before I stopped for the night. About 3 weeks later I was getting ready for school and my dad had knocked on my door to give me something, I was getting dressed so I cracked the door and just put my left arm out to retrieve what he was trying to give me. I had totally forgotten that my arm was all cut up, otherwise I would ave reached out with my right arm. My dad yanked my arm back and asked me what was on my arm, I told him it was nothing, he didn’t buy it. He slammed my door and went into the living room. I heard him crying from my room. My heart broke. Hearing my dad cry because he was so broken, because he was watching his child harm herself and there was nothing he could do, broke my heart . I then vowed, that night, I would stop self-harming. 

That vow was broken because the next week I started again. It continued on for 3 more years. It was an addiction. The blades got bigger and bigger, the cuts got deeper and deeper, and the pools of blood on my bathroom floor got harder to clean up. It was brutal. Three years later and my left arm was cut up from my wrist to the top of my forearm. I also cut on my right upper thigh and left lower midriff. I starved myself as another form of self harm. I wouldn’t eat for days and eventually it landed me in the hospital for malnourishment, and eventually I was so underweight that doctors wanted to admit me into a psych ward because I was so very unhealthy. 
I would purge my lunch at school, if I even ate lunch, and if I did it would be 3 or four crackers so nothing would come up except blood from the constant strain of my stomach muscles being pumped. I was slowly but surely killing myself. My self harming got to the point where it was so bad that I did it every single day causing me to where long sleeves 365 days a year fearful of the looks I would get from my arm looking like It was just attacked by a shark. 
Self harming is a complicated concept. If you’ve never done it then you won’t know why those of us who do do it, do it. I personally started self harming because I was angry and numb. I was angry and wanted to hurt something, so I hurt myself. I was numb and wanted to feel something, so I cut into my skin, I starved myself everyday. Self harm ruined the relationships I had with people, it restricted what I wore, it took over my life. 
Millions of teens around the world, boys and girls, self harm every 3 minutes. Sometimes they don’t self harm because they’re trying to kill them selves, sometimes it’s a cry for help or a coping mechanism because it was a coping mechanism for me. So as a celebration of being self harm free I will be wearing a black ribbon on my left wrist on November 30th. If you see anyone wearing one on that day go up to them and tell them to continue to stay strong, because it’s a battle. A dark, silent, painful battle.

The day I killed myself.

It was a Sunday night and I said goodbye to my coaches and teammates realizing it was the last time I’d see them, and them not realizing I was saying goodbye and not goodnight. I got home, took a shower, and said goodnight to my parents, little brother and sister, and went to bed, or so they thought.

I waited until the house was dead silent and everyone was sound asleep. I went into the medicine cabinet, grabbed every pill bottle I could see, went back to my room and popped them all into my mouth. 105 pills later I started seizing and foaming at the mouth. It was happening, it happened. I was dead.

My mom and dad found me the next morning, screaming for Jesus because they couldn’t believe their baby was gone. I ruined my family from that point on all because I was selfish enough to kill myself. My 5 year old sister didn’t understand why her sissy wasn’t coming home ever again. My 14 year old brother thought it was his fault and wanted to know why his best friend didn’t talk to him about her struggles. My parents blamed themselves for not loving me enough, when in fact they did. My dad couldn’t get through one sermon without breaking down in the pulpit. My mom couldn’t get out of bed anymore, she wasn’t the vibrant mother she once was while her “stinker winker” still alive. That’s what she called me and my sister.

All my friends who I thought never cared about me, attended my funeral, broken. I let my teammates down. They went to every competition with a new fill in, being reminded that they never saw it coming. My best friend who I thought abandoned me, and didn’t love me anymore, tried to kill her self because she thought she could have done more.

Now that I was gone, I never got the chance to meet my idol, my role model, my person, Kerry Washington. She would have no idea that I even existed because I decided to take my own life, of course that isn’t her loss it’s mine. My internet friends whom I met trough scandal wouldn’t see me live tweeting on Thursday’s anymore, screaming through my phone as I tweet about olitz. They would no longer see that anymore. My dog would no longer see me come through the front door running towards him ready to give him all the kisses and hugs in the world. My grandparents would soon die of heartache because they could no longer live with the fact that their Tay Tay was never be coming back.

Everyone in my life who I thought never loved me, or cared about me, who I thought wouldn’t have cared whether I lived or died, actually did. They cared this whole time. You see, if it wasn’t for my long time friend depression, I wouldn’t had been introduced into my new friend suicide. Because of Depression, I will never see my siblings grow up, I won’t see my parents get along for once, I won’t see my best friends ever again, I won’t ever meet Kerry. Because of Depression, I am no longer here. If I would have had that one spec of encouragement and love from those around me maybe I’d still be here, and maybe I wouldn’t be six feet under in a marble box, maybe I’d be the lawyer I was in school to become, thriving in D.C. raising my beautiful children with the love of my life, but I’m not. I’m gone. All of this happened because I killed myself… So please don’t think suicide is the answer because it isn’t. It doesn’t end the pain, it just passes it down to everyone that loves you. You’re not alone.

It happened to me

I was just your average American teenager. I did what I was supposed to do in school, I made straight A’s, I was in competitive cheerleading for 13 years, and I’m a pastor’s daughter whose very active in her church, but that girl was long gone. My friends didn’t know, my family didn’t know, I didn’t even know, but little did we all know my world was about to be turned inside out. It was late October 2014 when this all had started. I went to practice one Wednesday night and wasn’t in the mood to do anything. I didn’t want to practice, I just wanted to lay in my bed. My coach came up to me and asked me if something was wrong, so I told her nothing was wrong, but something was wrong. Later that night she texted me saying she knew something was as off with me and she wanted to know what it was so she could help me through it. Of course I said thank you but no thank you. I wasn’t supposed to be weak, or show vulnerability, I was Taylor Jordan. As the weeks went by I became more lathargic, I never left my bed, I slept 20 hour days, and I never ate. I was deteriorating day by day. I didn’t talk to my friends at school, I didn’t eat lunch, I didn’t do my homework, I just wasn’t me, but my friends never noticed. The 26th of October, 2014 I attempted suicide for the very first time. I waited until my family was asleep to do it. It was around midnight that I had gone to my medicine cabinet and grabbed any over the counter drug I could find and took it. I took over 75 pills to my room. I started crying hysterically, I was scared because I was really about to die, or so I thought. I started remembering how no one would notice if I had done it, or even cared for that matter so I started swallowing the pills one by one with a glass of water at my bed side. I finished all of the pills I had taken, and fell asleep. That is when my world took a turn for the worst. I woke up around 4 a.m. with hot and cold flashes in 5 second increments. I was hallucinating, thinking someone was in my room, I felt paralyzed from the waist down, I felt nauseated and really shaky. I could feel myself about to regurgitate any moment so I tried getting off my bed to make it to my bathroom, but my legs wouldn’t move. I puked all over my floor and bed and did it for about 10 minutes nonstop. After I had finally calmed down I went to my kitchen got cleaning products and cleaned my room up. I had thrown up all of the pills I had taken. My body was saving itself. I was dying and my body told myself to save itself. It’s like my mind wanted to die but my body didn’t. I woke up that morning around 6 a.m. for school and acted like nothing ever happened. That night before I had sent a text to one of my best friends telling her I was ready to leave forever. I was being very vague, but I figured she would catch on. I felt so weak going to school that day. I had felt all of my energy was taken out of my body at once and nothing was left of it. Brie came to school crying and screaming that day asking if I had really done it, I told her yes and she became hysterical. Our group of friends walked in about 5 minutes later wondering why she was so hysterical. She told them why and they became silent. They were stunned at what they just heard, they didn’t want to believe it was true, but it was. Later that day I was called to the guidance office. I didnt know what I was there for but I went willingly anyway. My guidance counselor asked me if I knew why I was called into her office, I told her no and she proceeded to tell me a group of my friends came up to her and told her what I had done. My heart stopped, I became numb. Someone I wasn’t comfortable with knew my secret, they knew I was imperfect because heaven forbid I was imperfect. She called my parents which was the worst mistake, but it had to be done. My mom took me home that day and didn’t speak a word to me the rest of the day. I felt betrayed by my friends, I was angry with them. I was angry they told my secret. Later on in November I was diagnosed with Severe Clinical depression and General Anxiety disorder. I was prescribed Wellbutrin and Prozac to help with my mood. I had been in and out of the hospital and peninsula intensive outpatient for a while. My 2nd attempt, I was taken to children’s by my mom, and they called social services and wanted to put me into a psych ward. I begged my mom to not let them take me. So the conditiom was that I did outpatient instenive therapy at peninsula. It was an 20 day program, 5 days a week, 3 hours a day dor 20 days. I had to miss the first 3 hours for school for the next 2 weeks. My entire schedule had to be changed. I felt like my world was being turned upside down. I had to talk to my principals and was put on suicide watch at school, I was broken. I was now introduced to self harm. I cut into my body deeply to feel pain, because most of the time I felt nothing. I needed to know I wasn’t dreaming, that this was all very real. I have cuts that line my hip, my right thigh, and left arm. People ask me sometimes when they see my arms, what happend. For the rest of my life I will be reminded of the darkness that was my life sophomore year through senior year. It was now 2016 and I had had 5 previous suicide attempts. I really just wanted to die. I was numb all the time yet I could feel everything at once. Later on that year I was now diagnosed with borderline Anorexia. That put a burden on my mom. She believed I was perfect just the way I was. She was watching me slowly kill myself. I was losing relationships left and right, and putting my friends through hell. They didn’t want anything to do with me anymore, I was too toxic for them, so they left. That broke me down even more. I couldn’t breathe, all I wanted to do was die. So one day I did. Not physically but mentally, I was gone. It was over. Taylor was gone. She wasn’t coming back, but I’m sure that’s what most people wanted in my life. They had watched me suffer and did nothing about it. I had lost 2 of my best friends that year and that’s what broke me. That was the final straw. They promised me they wouldn’t leave but they did anyway. I felt so alone. No one to turn to not even therapists. I just wanted my best friends back. Later I was put on Abilify and Zoloft along with with Wellbutrin and Prozac.  Those helped me stop sleeping 20 hours a day, literally. I became self destructive every single day. At school I had to act like a totally different person. I feel like I would be judged if my classmates knew about my mental illnesses. I’m supposed to be the strong friend that helps her friends when they need it. I thought I wasn’t going to make it to graduation, 3 years ago, but here I am, almost there, ready to cross the finish line. The last 3 years of my life were taken from me. I had lost 3 years of my life to depression, anxiety, and anorexia. They became my only friends. I don’t want the other kids in my school going through this to feel like they don’t have voice on these issues. I don’t want to lose a classmate because they felt no one cared or no one knows what they’re going through. Mental illness is not something to be messed with. Mental illness stole my life away from me. It stole my family’s life away. I will never be the same person I was 3 years ago. I go to Farragut High school and I want the kids going through this to be able to come to me, even if we don’t know each other, when they feel like they have no one else to talk to. I’m here. I’m a real life witness to the saying “it could happen to anyone”.