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Near the end of grade three, I got into a car accident. My brother was driving drunk from a party. I barely survived, but he was killed instantly. The car caught on fire. The only thing I remember doing is running as fast as I could, drowning in tears, and all I felt was pain. I ended up getting an ugly scar on my neck.


I started to distance myself from even my closest friends. They didn't like how I had changed, so they decided to not talk to me anymore. My parents would say, “Susie, you should start making some more friends.” The thing is, nobody wanted to talk to me anymore.


It was the first day of grade four when I got called “ugly”. I would smile and apologize, but it always felt like a sharpened knife piercing through my heart. The bullying continued for a while, until depression finally found me and locked me in its chains.


In grade five, depression pulled me into a void of never ending darkness. I would see light gleaming from a distance, but the light would grow dimmer and dimmer no matter how fast I ran. I would see less and less of it each day, until it disappeared completely.


I would try to find my way out, but the darkness would lead to more darkness. Not even my family could drag me out of the little world I had created for myself.


The bullying didn't get any better either. I couldn't even survive a day at school without someone shoving me and calling me names. Although I should've, I never told anyone the situation I was in, not even my parents.


I began to stay up late and often forgot to do homework. I started to eat less, growing skinnier and skinnier each day. I didn't shower for a week, and I felt horrible.


Middle school was starting soon and I didn't want anyone to see what a monster I had become. I wanted to start over, to live a new life, so I put on a mask. I pretended to be normal, even though I wasn't. I was trying so hard to be myself that I didn't even recognize that part of me anymore. I felt like I was looking in a mirror and what looked right back at me was a stranger.


Everyone was kind to me, but nobody wanted to be my friend. I was freaking out, thinking of possibilities of what I did wrong. It wasn't as bad as bullying, but I felt invisible. People would walk past me like I wasn't even there in the first place.


I didn't understand why I was like this. I felt like I was drowning in my own thoughts. Whenever I tried to come back up to breathe, another wave comes crashing down on me. The more I struggled, the heavier and tighter the chain wrapped around me became. My thoughts were like a tangled piece of yarn, and I didn't know how to untangle them. My head started to throb in pain from thinking too much, and all I wanted to do is curl up into a little ball and disappear.


It was in grade seven when I started to feel a little bit better. I felt like people actually acknowledged my existence, and some people even wanted to be friends with me. Depression disappeared little by little, until it was almost unnoticeable.


The years flew by, and high school came around the corner. I was a bit scared, but I was mostly excited. I thought I was going to be fine. But I was wrong.


The first day of grade nine, a bully from elementary school saw me. My heart sank so quickly, I thought that it wasn't even in my body anymore. On my way to class, I got bombarded by spitballs and laughter.


My friend asked what was going on. I lied, saying that it was a joke from elementary school.


Depression soon found me once again. It was like an old friend that I hated coming back to me. I felt like I was sinking slowly in my emotions like quicksand, and I didn't know what to do. Every insult, every name, turned into a chain, slowly adding on and growing heavier and heavier each second.


I blamed my brother for all this. If only he wasn't drunk that night, everything would've been normal. I also blamed myself for it, for letting my brother’s death affect me.


Everyday, I would hear depression speaking to me. “You're not good enough.” “You’ll never make it.” “You're a disgrace.” “They all hate you.” “Stop trying.” And I agreed. I was becoming more and more negative, I couldn't find the urge to do what I like to do. The voice kept on coming back, haunting me. “What's the use of going to school today?” “There's no point in doing this.” I was helpless. I hated how depression was changing me. I wasn't afraid of death anymore. I was afraid of living.


After grade ten ended, my parents finally decided to tell me something. That my brother and I were adopted. A rush of feelings went from my brain to my heart. I felt shocked. Part of me didn't want to believe it. The other part felt betrayed and mad. I locked myself in my room, and didn't come out for days.


I was at the lowest point in my entire life. I felt small, cold, and sad. I didn't text my friends at all, and they started to become worried about me. Insomnia swept me up in its arms, and I ate as little as possible. I became so skinny that my rib cage started to show.


Despite everything, I was still living. I didn’t know why I was.


I was in such a horrible state. I thought: This is wrong. I shouldn't do this to myself. This is not what I wanted at all.


My parents were horrified when they saw me come out of my room for what seemed like years. They cooked a meal for me, and after a week, I gained back some pounds and was looking much better.


Even though I felt better, I still thought that I wasn't good enough for this world. I didn’t feel like I had anything to live for anymore.


It was on a snowy day in my junior year when I snuck out of school with a noose and a suicide note in my backpack. I walked for three miles, and finally reached a forest. I went in. Wrapped the rope around a strong tree. Placed the note beside me. Prepared for the worst.


But something stopped me from continuing. Someone was running from a distance, shouting something, but I didn’t know what. They sounded desperate. Pleading.


It was Nick. My first friend who ditched me in third grade. I felt his warm body embrace me.


“Don’t go, Susie. I still love you.”


At that moment, there was a spark. Not much, but it was something.


Even though depression was stopping me from being happy, I still kept on going. Even though I got pushed and shoved everyday, I still kept on going. I didn't let anything stop me.


After all this time, I was just a caterpillar. Trapped in a reality only I could see and experience. I had finally learned how to pop that bubble around me and grow my wings.


I realized that I had so much more to live for than I thought I did. Maybe it was because of Nick. Maybe it was because of my friends. Maybe it was because of my parents that adopted me, or even my bullies from school.


No matter who it was, I knew I had someone to live for.

Something to live for.


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