Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign 2020 – Brokenness

Name: Lesly Orellana


Lesly Orellana

As a parent,
sibling, and person most like to think they would notice if someone
they love is broken on the inside. The reality is that brokenness can
be misconstrued as a simple attitude problem. Especially for
teenagers today.

Growing in in a
Hispanic household I always felt that there was a stigma around
mental health issues. I thought my family simply did not acknowledge
depression and anxiety as illnesses. As I entered l high school, I
quickly realized the anger and sadness I felt were not normal, but I
was afraid to ask my parents for help. To ask anyone.

My depression
felt like a lonely, dark, and cold hole. I felt it getting deeper,
and deeper when my own family did not realize I was broken. My
parents thought I was just changing for the worst, that I just was
not hanging out with the right people. They never thought to simply
ask; Are you okay? What is going on? How are you feeling? Being
asked just once the right question would have meant the world to me
when I was in my darkest time. Yet, I only got yelled at for having
an attitude and not wanting to socialize. To my parents I was fine,
I was taking AP classes maintaining, a 3.6 GPA, participating in
school sports and clubs. It made it easier for them to believe I was
fine when I was not.

Trying to glue
my brokenness together while still trying to deny what I already knew
lead to an array of decisions that could only hurt me. I knew nothing
could ever stay hidden so when my parents found out the actions, I
had been taking they could not help but be mad and disappointed. This
led to a difficult conversation.

Just before my
parent’s enlightenment I had decided and created a plan for my
suicide. I finally had that tough conversation and admitted that I
was not okay. Instead of being embarrassed or not listening to me my
family prayed with me and supported me. They got me the help I needed
and still need.

Living with
depression and anxiety is a mountain I will have to climb daily, but
I now have the support I need to do that. Now as I strive to get my
college degree and become a doctor, I know I am ready to notice the
brokenness that sometimes others do not see. I never want another
child to have to go through life feeling alone because the people
they love did not have the education necessary to know to ask the
right questions. I will notice the brokenness because I was at that
point, I recognize it.