Name: Gabi Alexander
From: overland park, Kansas
In my life, many students I’ve known have experienced bullying, and many also have mental health issues. My sister, Madi, deals with borderline personality disorder, PTSD, depression, and anxiety; through her sophomore to senior year she has gone through many stressful and traumatic situations. She went through an abusive relationship, bullying (since she was in middle school) and addiction. Losing the person that she knew herself as, was one of the most difficult events in her life, and many people have experienced the same situations as her. I myself deal with anxiety, depression, panic/anxiety attacks, PTSD and sleeping paralysis; I have also been bullied since 3rd grade and it still hasn’t stopped. In 8th-9th grade, my anxiety had gotten so bad with everything occurring with my sister, I would miss days at a time being sick; in 9th grade my sister had run away for the sixth time that year, but far the longest time it had ever been. A week later we found her and she was sent away to Chicago for 6 months. During that time I went through an abusive relationship and lost many important people in my life. During my sophomore year I had started isolating myself from those who cared about me. I began to lose many friends and fell into severe depression. By the time I had started looking for help I was so lost that it had felt like I had no one to go to, but one of my best friends who had never left my side wouldn’t let me fall down a dark path with no way out. He had helped me come forward to my parents with how I’ve been feeling and had made sure I would get the help I so desperately needed. Now this wasn’t the only life event that had caused me to go into a deep depression. I had tried coming out as bisexual in 9th grade, but my abusive ex had blackmailed me, and had outed me to many of my friends at the time. I disregarded that any of that had happened and still lied to myself until my junior year. Now I have never been happier, I have come out to close friends and family and I am getting the help I’ve needed for many years on end. I have been in therapy for four years getting the right help for me, and without the painful events I have gone through in the last four years, I would not be the person I’ve become today.