Thursday, November 26, 2009

"Help me, Mommy."

Donna, age 49. Connecticut.

My first born child, high school junior,
Handsome, hockey captain
Popular, well-liked
Calls me from the bathroom of his high school,
"Mom, something's wrong...I can't go into class..."

He sits there for hours then escapes to the outdoor bleachers,
Security finds him and escorts him back to his nightmare
"Something is wrong...I can't be here anymore...I need to go home..."
"I need to get out"

Chest pain, sweating, suffocation, heart racing, losing control in front of everyone"

"I can't risk it"
"I feel it in every classroom"
"I can't risk it"
"Help me, Mommy"

My first born child, high school junior,
Handsome, hockey captain
Suffering, in pain,
What do I do?
Forget about scholarships, even college
Just get him to graduate, will he graduate?
Does anybody remember him anymore?

Prozac, clonopin, xanax
Hospital admissions and hospital schools
The "short bus" in our driveway
Beeping so our neighbors could witness the humiliation and
The tears, fighting, expectations denied.

Am I to blame?
What have I done? To my first born son
Who had so much potential
High school senior, now special ed
Lucky if he graduates with a high school degree.
Still handsome, was a hockey captain
Not as popular but well-liked by the few he sees...

I write the college essays...
anything to get him in...
To lead a normal life...
What did I do???
I thought I put the right amount of pressure on him...
but, maybe, it was too much?

I blame myself....for the
Demise of my first born child...
We attended high school graduation but
were outsiders...didn't belong; haven't been there in a while.
Still handsome, disappointing hockey season,
Not popular anymore, few friends,
Prisoner of anxiety.
I love you, Matt.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"I will lose my grip."

AnneMarie R., age 16. New Jersey.

On Call Nights
Make me lose my mind.
Sleep deprived,
And vomit timed.
Martyr mornings,
For patient primes.
Raw empty stomach,
Churns alcohol grinds.
Nauseous headaches,
Pulse reality’s burn,
As paranoia looms,
Exploiting nervous words.
I will lose my grip,
I have made myself sick.
And as the clinical light sings;
I die.

But hey, at least I went down with you.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

"Crying every night isn't working for me anymore."

Angela F, age 17. Wichita, KS.

"Title: October 28, 2008


Distance; just another word to explain all the reasons I can't do this anymore. Another way to name our ever so recent diverse time is him. Not a name, just him. It's not going to change nor will it get better.

It's time for me.
I can't.
Just me; I am who I want to be.
...I think.
But I know I can't be who you want me to be. I won't complain.
And I don't expect you to either.
Explaining this wont be easy. But if I don't do it now, no one else can or will.
Don't make me choose. Because I can't tell you. Nor can I tell him.
I won't make this anymore complicated than it already is because this crying every night isn't working for me anymore.
My eyes have gone dry. And my emotions can't be what they used to.
I did this to myself.
I have only one:
Not finding this out sooner."

This and more of my writing is on my webpage:

"In my mind life is an unlivable loudness."

Katy, age 19. Jacksonville, FL.

"There is no cure. That’s the truth; no doctor or family member will pronounce. When we admit there is no light at the end of the tunnel, we have given ourselves no closure. What’s living if were not hoping? Come on really, what’s the use of this fucking terrible life, if we can’t dream of living a fucking wonderful life? Why? God damn’t why, must we even breathe?

Ok, when this ultimate high breaks, we let our brains settle. We go by, living a day by day basis, always breathing. But, were dead, barely baring the placid sky. And, we settle down in our sheets, still there is no cure. Valium, prozac, xanax, nothing removes what the doctor recommends. Why do these feelings surround us? When having everything seems like nothing. When death feels so close we just may burst. It’s sensual, we feel a temptation and we feel special. But, yet we always, always want it out.

What is it that we want out?
And more importantly, why do we seek such vengeance against what
defines us?

“In my mind life is an unlivable loudness. People saunter with their heads up high; no one bothers to look into my troubled soul. Echoes, murmurs, rumors, sounds shake, leading my heart to break. I wear an invisible soul that people walk right over. And yet, I sometimes wonder why I am so helpless. Everyone has insecurities, but it is only mine, which draw all over. They leave me with a bottle of pills, in which I have no desire to swallow, due to my lack of triumph. It is not that I want to be non-existent; I am not yet hopeless. Although absolutely numb, I still feel and just because my bones break doesn’t mean I won’t heal. Dealing is a way of life, feeling is only negative in mine.”

That was just one of the myriad pre-suicidal poems written in my journal full of melancholy, flustered thoughts and poetry. I was seventeen with a life full of the unexpected. Every expectation, every proposal for the perfect future had collapsed. Seventeen years of uttered rebellion and reiterated suicidal thoughts can compels one’s brain to pivot. Not even all the drugs, therapy or shrinks could fulfill the emptiness of my enter-being. I needed people to understand that I did not have answers, only pain that would not elapse. They needed to recognize what I was going thru without thinking I was some deranged freak. Truthfully, I needed to want to get better. I had to want to see the sunrise before my eyes, a fresh patch of yellow roses and the ocean sway. I needed to enjoy everyday because life is not everlasting. I needed to stop sorrowing over every sullen, isolated thought. Most significantly, I needed not to need, but to want to live."

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

"Never have I been so scared of myself."

Ashley L., age 16. Chicago.

"Everything seemed normal in my life up to now. I'm passed the issue of having ADD and the depression doesn't bother me that much anymore. Little did I know that things were gonna turn and change in a way I never expected...

On Halloween night, something weird started to happen. My heart started to race, I started breathing harder. The next thing I knew I snapped off at my family and then went to my room. I was going crazy. I broke and rocked myself back and forth. It was the most extreme anxiety attack I've ever had. It didn't even feel like me, it felt as if somebody was taking over me.

Two hours later, my body was still shaking but I was calm. As I lay there on my bed, caressing my head, my best friend to call and check up on me. Never had she been so worried about me and risked getting fired. I was fine for the rest of the night. It happened at church the next day. Never have I been so scared of myself."

"Sometimes it feels like there are two people inside of me."

Melissa W, age 16. Oregon.

"My story begins like anyone else's. I was born one evening in early March, a healthy baby girl. Our stories become a little different when I say that I was the first child in my family of four. Our lives become even more unique when I tell you that I have ADHD and an anxiety disorder.
Did I also mention that sometimes it feels like there are two people inside of me?
Meet Mel. She is the me without my ADHD medication.
Then, meet Melissa. She's me on my ADHD medication.
Sometimes, it frightens me that 50 MG of Vyvanse determines if I'll be Mel or Melissa for the day.

Ever since I can remember, I've been in a constant war with my ADHD medication. There was the one that made me 20-30 pounds underweight. There was the one that created suicide thoughts like demons, constantly tugging me towards on-coming traffic or to a razor blade. I haven't found one that's perfect, and I doubt that there's one out there that is. Even now, lack of appetite and a twinge of depression probe me with each pill.

For my whole life I've always known that I'm not a 'normal' person. And for my whole life I've tried to deny that. I spent my middle school years rejecting the entire idea of ADHD, all the while my fear of asking for help growing. My rejection continued into 9th grade, and my fear became a paranoia when I entered Algebra 1. When my boyfriend of three years broke up with me, I found myself alone and confused in a new school, all the while my fear of asking for help preventing me from moving forward. I managed to graduate 9th grade without asking for help directly, but I knew that I couldn't pull this off as a Sophomore. It was my first day of Geometry that following September that I had my first panic attack.

I can't breathe, I can't breathe!
I'm shaking, why am I shaking?!
This classroom is so loud, yet why is it so quiet?!
I feel like I'm going to throw up...
I'm so scared, I'm so scared...
Can't anyone else see this?! Can't anyone else see what's happening?! They have too!!
Am I having a mental breakdown?
What's going on with me?!
At 1:00 I was staring blankly at a Geometry work sheet. By 1:05, I had locked myself in a bathroom stall, teaching myself how to breathe, all the while sobbing. I remember I blamed my ex-boyfriend for this, I thought that if he was still with me, I wouldn't have fallen apart like that. It was all his fault, not mine.

After that, my attacks stayed more of when I needed to talk to the teacher alone. It got to the point where I needed 20 minutes prep time before I could even walk up to the classroom, let alone speak to the teacher. Even if I was successful in speaking, something inside of me felt that trying was futile. Thus, I failed to progress.

In the end, my math teacher began to break down my wall I built around myself. She let me cry in the empty classrooms, all the while sitting next to me. We would carefully go through my work, and I soon began to understand the language being spoken.

Today, it only takes me 10 minutes to pace outside the classroom. By then, I'll be able to talk to my teacher.
The attacks are still there. Sitting in my room at night, I'll stare at my math homework.
The pressure builds.
But I've experienced enough to learn to not let them consume me.
The ADHD continues, and it always will. I've accepted that I can do nothing to make that disappear from my life. It will always be apart of me, but I know now that it doesn't
define me.

I've learned to accept it. Mel and Melissa; I've learned to balance them out into me. ADHD isn't as bad as some other things. But, at the same time, people who don't have to live with it's effects don't take it seriously enough.
When I'm compared to another 'normal' person, you won't see much of a difference. But, that is where our similarities end."