I never thought I’d end up there, being detained in a hospital wing with nurses peering at me round the clock. But there I was, age 19, standing in the smoker’s area of a hospital, in sponge slippers and the lace dress I had worn the night before. I’d been on and off medication and in out of therapists’ offices since I was 10 years old. I’d spent the previous year indulging in many of my most self-destructive habits: drinking excessively, falling for guys who treated me like dirt and smoking more than a factory chimney.
It’s crazy to think that it was just last year that I was there. It’s been an incredibly difficult process of recovery. The most difficult part was learning to forgive myself for all those years of self-harming and self-hatred. Of course there are still days when I dip, and in many ways I’m still recovering. But talking about my depression and anxiety helps. I’ve met and helped other people who’ve been through similar experiences, and I’ve grown so much closer to my family after years of pushing them away and learned to accept the help that I need. Oh, and I’ve finally quit smoking for good.