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”.