"Am I a bad person? Am I enough?". I felt like I did everything I could to please everyone
around me, but then the same thoughts of me being a bad person would return to the back of my
head. There were multiple days where I found myself angry at everyone and at myself, but at the
end of the day, I always kept a smile on my face to hide the hurt. Having my feelings kept inside
made me feel like I couldn't speak to anyone about my emotions, without feeling like I'm the
failure and I'm doing wrong.
During 11th grade, things started going horrible for me. My mom got sick, and she was
going through depression, and it was really hard for me to see her in that condition. Just in one
year, she was hospitalized more than 5 times. There became a point where I wasn't eating, and I
started feeling like there was no point in life. My mental health had declined and it was affecting
my daily life, my relationships, and school. I was losing weight, which was something that never
happened to me. I felt like I wasn't in the right state of mind. When my mother noticed these
changes, she wasn't happy with me and I didn't want her to think of me in a different way.
Mental health wasn't something that was often brought up in my house; the attitude my
family has was "it is what it is" and you roll with the punches. Growing up in an African
household as a young Black girl, school was a #1 priority-nothing else. Ever since I was young,
my family would always track my grades; I was only rewarded based on how my performance was
at school and that seemed to always be the main topic of conversation. Being set with these high
standards in addition to my depression affected my school, especially throughout my junior year.
When I tried to express myself to close ones, they never seemed to understand what was going on
with me. It was always me- I was the "problem". I was the one blamed for how I felt. It made me