Accepting you for you, seems impossible in the eyes of a teenager right? Let me tell you my story of how I learnt to accept me for me!
In January 2015 I started high school, this was a very exciting and quite overwhelming time for me. I went to my first day of high school with the attitude “I must be in the popular group, I must have 1000 friends, I must cake on my makeup to be popular” this was one of the biggest mistakes I ever made in my life, after a while a popular group formed and I was involved in this group of girls there were around 20 of us in the group. Everyone knew us.. not in a good way, we had a horrible reputation. In year 7 we were all pretty innocent right… so there isn’t much to tell about year 7 but year 8 hit and that’s when things got hardcore.
January 2016, the start of year 8 one girl who was my best friend at the time started bringing her handbag so I decided I would bring a handbag too. After a while a few more people started bringing handbags and eventually it was compulsory to bring a handbag to school in that group or you would be kicked out. Things as simple as not wearing makeup, not having straightened hair, not bringing a handbag, not having the brand too faced makeup, not rolling your sport shorts up high etc. would get you kicked out of the popular group which felt like such a massive deal to me than.
April 2016, everything changed. My whole world completely flipped around and fell to pieces.
One of my friends took her life, this completely shattered me… I went to bed that night and woke up a completely different me. I became extremely miserable, I hated everything, I cried myself to sleep each night and over time became more unhappy. Around this time a lot of my friends and close friends started smoking marijuana and drinking a lot and I didn’t like that, I did it with them to fit in because the expectation was still there despite the tragic incident that had occurred in all of our lives.
I eventually went to see a psychologist and started trying to explore what was going on for me but I couldn’t seem to do it and I started to shut down more and more each day. After a while I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety and I started self harming because I felt as though I deserved it and it changed emotional pain to physical pain for me and I would have rather felt physical pain… shortly after that I became very suicidal and had plans to end my life. My dad and my step mum had found suicide letters addressed to people close to me and basically panicked as any parent probably would. They called our local hospital and explained what they found and asked for their advice and the hospital had said to bring me up to our local cymhs as soon as possible so dad confronted me on what he had found and he told me we had to go up to the hospital and I said ok and I was so anxious I could barely move, we got into the hospital and spoke to a counsellor person and I could not speak as I was feeling so anxious so they had assumed the worst and admitted me to the psychiatric emergency care centre I was there for about 6 days. This was the worst 6 days of my life.
After this I had decided I will not let anyone tell me how to live my life anymore, I was in so much pain that I decided I wanted to take control and I wanted things to change. I was neglected, teased/made fun of, laughed at, talked about everything you could possibly think of because I said no to smoking marijuana and taking a handbag to school and caking my makeup on and being mean to others. At the time that was horrible for me to go through I felt like I had now lost everything and hit rock bottom which I had. Every single friend of mine that I ever had pushed me away and neglected me because I didn’t want to be like them, it was absolutely word ending to me. But let me tell you… it was so worth it. I finally learnt to love me for me.
Leaving that negative friendship circle was the best thing I ever did in my life. I may have not had friends but I had my family by my side every step of the way and I am now in such a better place I’m currently attending T.A.F.E doing my cert II, my best friend is a hairdresser and we have girls nights and do our hair, makeup, nails everything!!! We chill in the park talking and laughing for hours and doing what every teenager should be doing. I am in a better place than ever now and yes it took hard work but it was so worth it. If there is one thing I will never regret in life it would have to be going my own way and learning how to love me for me not love me for how others want me to be.
The point I’m trying to make in this is to accept yourself for who you truly are, you don’t need to have $7000 worth of makeup to be loved or feel special, you don’t need to straighten your hair every morning to fit in and most importantly you don’t need 500 fake friends, 1 or 2 is okay and the best part is that usually the 1 or 2 friends that you keep are honest with you and believe in you and will support you through absolutely everything and I have learnt that through feeling like I lost everything when really I didn’t lose a thing I only gained a blessing and that was my one best friend who loves me for me and supports me through thick and thin.
If there is one piece of advice I can give you through everything I have learnt through my hardships is when you accept yourself you are freed from the burden of needing others to accept you. Don’t allow anyone or anything to control, limit, repress or discourage you from being your true self. Your self worth is not determined by others. You are beautiful in every single way shape and form don’t let anyone tell you different. You are just as worthy as anyone else in this world. Every person is unique and you were given this life because you were strong enough to live it so make the most of it.
Go chase your dreams!
Be Bold, Be Strong, Be Empowered!
If anyone feels anxious, sad or just needs to talk, you can always reach out to Lifeline, they are amazing! Call 13 11 14