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When I was depressed, I felt alone. I want to share my story, so others won't feel the same

Dustin Dwyer

[Note: Brianna Darin is a high school student in Kelloggsville Schools. We met her in a poetry class run by The Diatribe, a poetry group we profiled last year. We asked Brianna to share her story with us. Dustin Dwyer recorded and produced the piece. A transcript is below.]

Growing up, if you see me walking on the streets, you’d think, ‘Oh, she comes from a caring and loving family.’ Which is true. We were always protected.

But then you’d start to wonder, ‘Oh, where’s her dad? Maybe he just left and that’s it.’ But no, my dad would pop in and out of my life, and that, honestly, caused the beginning of my depression.

I got diagnosed with depression in sixth grade. I was 10.

I didn’t know it was depression. I knew that I felt there was a piece missing. The way I felt was, my dad doesn’t even want me, so I don’t really care.

He’d hurt me in such ways that words really can’t explain. But my poetry helps a lot with trying to explain that, and my depression and anxiety.

One of the big subjects for me is talking about my dad in poetry. And it’s helped, words can’t even explain how much it’s helped me.

Hear Brianna Darin's poem, "Letter to Dad."

Credit Brianna Darin

I went through some stuff where I tried to overdose, and I went to a mental institution and stayed there for about two weeks. I got out, and you would have never thought, but I was worse than going in. It took about five months for me to just click. It’s like finishing a puzzle, putting all the pieces together. It just clicks and you realize you’re done.

So I did all the steps: getting a counselor, I’m on medication, and I surround myself with people, because that’s one of the best things you can do.

And one day, I literally woke up and I was happy for no reason. And I wanted to stay like that.

My mental illness is such a big part of my life because I have conquered it. And, I mean, yes, I still have days. But it’s nothing like it used to be.

And instead of leaving it behind, I wanted to make a stand. And I don’t want anyone to feel like there’s nobody, because that’s exactly how I felt. And it’s not okay to feel like that.

Hear Brianna Darin's poem, "Unknown"

You have to say it to yourself before anybody else can say it to you and you believe it. But once you realize that there’s worth, and people care, and you have people there for you, you just smile.

Two years ago, I would never thought I could smile for no reason. But some days, I just wake up and I’m just like, Okay, I’m happy today.

And it’s amazing.

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