My name is Lizzie, I’m seventeen years old and have been clinically depressed for almost five years now. My depression became full-fledged after I was raped the week of my thirteenth birthday. I kept my emotions, fears, thoughts, and the real me locked away tight after that, and soon started shutting out everything and everyone I loved. I lost all of my friends, I stopped talking to my parents and sister, and by the time I turned fourteen I was an experienced cutter. Though I didn’t see so at the time, I had turned to stone. Emotion was no longer a part of my vocabulary unless it had to do with anger and sadness. My fury with the world spread through my veins and festered itself into every cell of my body. I kept that night a secret from everyone, and though my family knew something was wrong, they had no idea what. People who used to by my friend gave up on me easily, which furthered the resentment at my life. School was affected too: I used to be a seminar student, top of my class and a grade ahead in most subjects. That, along with my motivation, began to slip little by little, but by the time anyone noticed the drastic change in my academics it was too late. I was done caring. My mind seemed to not function properly anymore, my thoughts were constantly jumbled beyond any hope of untangling them, and the world started passing me by. I felt as if I was watching the world through someone else’s eyes, but I was never really able to observe what was going on. On the outside, I was normal. I went to school, went to dance classes, went to church on Sundays with my family. On the inside, I was a mess. The shield I had put up to keep everything out was now secluding me from myself, and I was completely lost in finding a way to the surface. All I could think about was how I wanted to die, when I wanted to go, which way would be the fastest and guarantee death. I went from cutting to pills, trying to hang myself, jumping in front of cars, putting myself in dangerous situations just waiting for someone to do the deed for me. My lack of life started flying by, leaving me in the shadows along the dirty streets, but I was doing nothing to stop it. A boy i danced with, Tucker, was sweet and kind and though we weren’t always the best of friends, he could tell I was in a dark spot. He reached out to me just by being the nice guy he was, making me laugh at dance and see the a different side of things. Eventually, I couldn’t stop thinking about him. Today, we’re in a committed and loving relationship, with our main characteristics being honesty and the willingness to improve. He showed me that there was a chance to succeed, that this rut wasn’t the end. I’m now in therapy, on anti-depressants to help control any remaining sadness, and loving life. I’ve gotten a fresh start, a new chance to be the person I’m really meant to be. So thank you, thank you to everyone who helped, who had any inkling of a part in saving my life. I owe it all to you, so thank you.