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Yesterday was a good day – good enough that I decided to crack open my barely used journal and write about it. It’s funny because a week ago, I was experiencing the absolute worst day of my life. A bad day turned into a huge fight with my parents which led to another mental breakdown.

That day was absolute rock bottom. Being led out in broad daylight by police officers to an ambulance was humiliating. Waiting in a hospital room for six hours, repeating my story to strangers was frustrating. The worst part was waking up the next day and having the events crash into my brain, reminding me that my life was over.

For the next couple of days, I thought about running away. My mind was filled with plans to get money fast, to get a ticket out of here or to just get out of my life. I held the biggest grudge against my parents and vowed to cut them out of my life completely. I hated myself for holding on to hope for so long. I didn’t want to wait for it to get better, I didn’t even want to wait 48 hours. I didn’t see any way out of this nightmare.

Four days later, my mom accompanied me to an appointment with my psychiatrist. I was dreading it and the small spat I had with my mom on the bus didn’t help. Once I got there, I immediately started sobbing and trying to explain myself. In the end, my mom turned towards me and said, “I’m sorry.”

And just like that I felt so much better.

That day, I wanted to smile at the world. Yesterday, the nightmare fully ended when I finally patched things up with my dad. I went out for a run, feeling more alive than ever.

Lately, all I can think about was how differently last week could have gone. I could have run away or worse, hurt myself. Right now, I could be in a hospital, ruining every relationship I have or destroying any hope for a future where I feel better.

I was always the type of person who scoffed when people said, “It gets better.” No one can be certain that things will get better and, if they do, for how long it will last. However, I do believe every day is a gamble. You never know what lies ahead, you can only keep going and see for yourself. I used to stick by the rule of waiting 48 hours.  If you feel like hurting yourself, set a timer for 48 hours. When those two days pass, reassess how you’re feeling. Time doesn’t fix everything but it can help you clear your mind.

If you’re currently at your rock bottom, I can only offer you these tips:

  1. Don’t bottle it up; cry and shout. You’re allowed to feel the way you do.
  2. Try to find an alternative for self-destructive behaviors like self-harm, drinking or abusing substances. Even if it means spending the rest of the night watching Netflix, do it.
  3. It’s easy to believe that other people don’t want to deal with your problems, but reaching out can make things easier.
  4. Crisis centres are always available for you to call. Everyday, 24/7.

Lastly, while it feels like the general population have bigger problems to solve than mental breakdowns, police officers and emergency services are trained to deal with situation like ours. Calling 911 seems scary but if you truly believe you need help, it is comforting to have people looking out for you. Even if it means spending long hours in the hospital, maybe by the time you get out, you’ll feel just a little bit different.

About Fatou Balde

Fatou Balde is a floater in life, currently dipping her toes in communications and psychology to see what she might pursue as a career. She's been depressed since 12, and desperately trying to get better since 16.

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