During my freshman year in high school, the pressure to excel in academics and athletics was evident. I had run myself dry. Soon, I felt isolated and depressed, and eventually suicidal. No matter how many extra hours I spent studying, or the extra time I spent swimming, neither my grades nor my times were improving.
I had thought of the pros and cons, written letters, and fantasized about how others would react when they found out that I was gone. These thoughts weren’t healthy and I knew that I had to be proactive and search for help.
I had heard of a place I could call where teens talk to teens about problems, so I called Teen Lifeline. Talking to someone my age about my crisis was the most helpful coping skill I had ever discovered. The girl I talked to did not judge me or tell me I was crazy or say that everything was going to be okay. She listened and cared about my well-being. She allowed me to vent, to cry and to find reasons to live.
I realized after my call that I had to turn my life around. I had to be in control of the life that I wanted to live, whether my family, friends or peers approved.
Since then, I have started volunteering at Teen Lifeline. I still apply myself at school, but I chose to stop swimming, which seemed to be the change I needed. I have increased communication between me and my peers, which has lead me to live a happier and healthier life.