I’m Fine

The story of depression seen thought a teen girl’s eyes

Anna McNish, Staff Writer

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     She loses people. She pushes people away, people whom she could have loved deeply if she wasn’t too scared to have any feelings. Feelings for her are a mix of sadness, self-hate and humiliation, like being trapped in a small glass box everyone can see into. All that you can do is slowly breathe as all of the thoughts set in and burn into your mind like a growing forest fire.

     You can only think of the worst.

     But what is more painful? When she doesn’t have anything that can distract so she stands there and she has to “take it like a man,” but she can’t. She is just a scared 16-year-old girl who smiles through the pain. When asked if she is okay she answers, “I’m fine,” while tears form in her eyes. Every day, thoughts race through her mind. But, when asked, the answer is always the same, “I’m fine.”

     As midnight rolls around, the only two things awake are her mind and the moon. She lies silent, deaf to the sound of her own breathless cries for help. 

     “I’m fine,” she repeats as if trying to convince herself to believe something that isn’t true.

     She writes to her very own mother who sleeps just a bedroom away. 

     “Dear mama, your baby girl is tired.” Tears drop from the face of a once cheerful little girl onto the dry lifeless paper. As a rush of guilt washes over her, she sobs, not caring who will hear. School is where the mask goes on and sleeves get pulled down to hide her physical pain. School is where the emotional trauma gets buried and replaced with a fake smile. 

 

     A week later, that same girl cries in her room. Once again, she is alone. 

 

     The very next day, she has had enough and decides to check herself into the hospital. She is put on a suicide watch. She soon writes to her mother again, but this time it’s different, “Dear mama, thank you. I love you so much.”   

     Nobody knows what goes on in the minds of teens – the pain, the worry, the sleepless nights. Every 100 minutes, a teen takes his or her life. Like me, they answer “I’m fine,” if anyone asks, afraid to tell the truth and say “I need help.”

     Twenty percent of all high school students suffer from depression. At Northwest, that’s approximately 300 people. In your English class, that’s five to six people. Less than a third of them are getting the help they desperately need.