December of my senior year in high school, I gave into the voices and tried to end my life. I was behind the wheel of my dad’s car and a dark road spread out in front of me. Tears stained my face and I was set on making the pain end. 5 miles from my house, I tried to run the car off the road into a power pole. I truly believe that God stopped me before it was too late and I was able to pull the car back onto the road. It was in this moment that I recognized my depression and asked for help.
This event seems so long ago, and yet it’s not. There have been other dark places since. But I know that it gets better. I know that depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts still exist in my life. There are days that they show their faces and I retreat into myself. My extroverted self withdraws and wants nothing to do with anything or anyone.
Depression is real and can pull you under like the strongest riptide imaginable. Educators are not exempt from it. No one is. But talking about it is the first step. The more we talk about mental health as a whole, the more honest we can be. These candid conversations could mean more than we even know. I share my story among other educators that want to openly discuss mental health issues and support Project Semicolon through #semicolonEDU
My story isn’t over.
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