April 18, 2016

Rylee Nordell

I moved to Arizona when I was 17 years old. Never been there before, never been on my own before. I graduated early and got out of Utah because that's what they do in the movies and I had fantasized about my life becoming this amazing story to tell about how I left my hometown and never looked back. Anyway, immediately I was lonely. 

I've always been a social butterfly but suddenly I was in a brand new place with brand new people and I felt so out of my comfort zone and so scared and so uncomfortable. Nothing could have prepared me for that shock. Instead of diving in and grabbing life by the hand, which I thought I would do, I somehow slipped into a shell of nervousness and uncertainty. I'd go to school, babysit my cousins for a few hours a day, and sleep. Suddenly I realized I was sleeping every chance I got and I was always tired. Around this time, my relationship with my mom was rocky because I was 17 and ornery and our communication style was very poor. (Thankfully we've worked through that and are on the same page now.) So, alongside being tired, my body started to hurt. My arms and legs and back ached like I had the flu. Then I realized that I was crying multiple times a day for absolutely no particular reason at all. I'd wake up and cry because I woke up. I'd shower and sit there on the shower floor and bawl because my legs hurt. I'd drive to school and cry because it was chilly outside and the cold breeze was hurting my skin. School was painful because I felt like I couldn't amount to anything. My brain was exhausted and the pressure to keep up my grades seemed too great. By this time, I realized that out of nowhere depression was staring at me straight in the face. I just didn't know what to do about it. 

I realized I needed help when one day I was playing a game I had started to play a lot. It was called, "If I Were To Kill Myself Right Now, Where And How Would I Do It?" For example, I went on a walk with my family one day and saw a tree with a branch that stuck out horizontally and I thought to myself that that would be a perfect place to hang myself. Anyway, so I was playing my new favorite game and something inside me shook me and I realized exactly what it was that I was doing. I was finding places to kill myself. What got me to this place? How did it come so out of the blue? What do I do now? How do I get rid of it?

I finally told my mom that I was sad and would like some help. So, on Spring Break I went home and had a doctor's appointment. I remember the doctor asking me if I exercised because that may help. Obviously, this woman had never dealt with depression because if she had she would know that exercising when your entire body and mind hurts just isn't an option. The pills worked but they gave me insomnia and I wouldn't sleep for days at a time, so I quit taking them. I finally decided to just do what I wanted to do in the first place and move back home and I instantly felt better. A lot of people were commenting on my weight loss and I finally looked myself in the mirror and realized I had lost about 10 pounds because of my loss of appetite. I was about 90 pounds when I moved back to Utah, but after a couple weeks of being home I gained my weight back and then some. My sadness had finally gone away and I was healthy and happy again in no time. All I had to do was listen to myself and what I truly needed.

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