Zoe – age 15, UK
I feel like new years are there to make resolutions and to say ‘New year, New me’, and by the end of January all of your new year resolutions are broken (like eating healthy, because no one really does that). So, this year instead of making a ‘resolution’, I’ve decided to make more of a promise. A promise to myself, that I will make 2019 my year.
I want to make 2019 my year, because for the past couple of years, I’ve struggled with mental health issues. For the past 2 years, I have felt a pit in my stomach before leaving the house to go to public school. This was a very strange experience for me, as I had always loved school, I was basically friends with everyone in my year, I was in all the top classes and enjoyed sports. So, when I started year 9, and 20 minutes before going to school, I would start crying hysterically and refuse to leave my house, we knew something was definitely up. Half way through year 9, I was ‘diagnosed’ with anxiety.
Some months were easier than others, I could go a whole term with no problems, or I could be off days on end. I felt all motivation to do anything disappear. I stopped doing the things I loved, like sports, and began to make my friendship circle smaller. Only a few of my friends truly knew what was wrong, most people just thought I was going through a rebellious phase and just didn’t want to go to school. After almost 2 years of a lingering sadness, my parents decided to pull me out of school.
Now, obviously I haven’t gone into full detail of everything that has happened in the past two years, because I could probably write a book on it. Instead I wanted to share what 2019 means to me, because if there are others out there who were/are in the same boat as me, anxiety and depression, or any mental health issue isn’t something to be ashamed of. Even though in the past decade, help towards mental health has gotten so much better, sometimes it can still feel a bit taboo. It shouldn’t.
I will make 2019 my year, because I don’t want to feel the sadness that I previously have anymore, I want to become the person I want to be. I don’t want to feel judgement from others or myself. I certainly don’t want others to stop me from pursuing my happiness and from being myself. I want to tell my anxiety and depression no. I want to stop letting my mental health control me. Even though it is a slightly cringey quote it still means something, ‘you should be yourself, because everyone else is taken’.
So, that’s what 2019 means to me, a year for actual change, and a year for, well, me.