It Gets Better

I had a tough time in high school, and I still struggle with the ups and downs of everyday life. I think a lot of people have had similar experiences to mine, where they were lost and couldn't find themselves until a real turning point crashed into their lives.

My story begins in the middle of Grade 11, at age 16, when I always had an uneasiness in the pit of my stomach. My life was just going okay at the time, I wasn’t really active, I was constantly getting into fights with my few close friends and family, and I felt sick all the time. But, I also was in the musical that year, my grades weren’t actually that bad, and for the most part I was getting through a really confusing time of my life.

That’s where it all turned. In March 2014 I found out I had leukemia, a type of blood cancer. When I found out, I was crying and confused; I couldn’t understand what was happening to me.

I lived like this for the next few months. I was still in a state of shock and constantly denied to myself that I had cancer. I didn’t go to school, I didn’t see my friends, I slept all day, then eventually I had to face the biggest challenge of my life: severe depression while going through intensive chemotherapy.

Not only was I starting to feel a real divide with the life I left behind, but every single time I looked in the mirror I didn’t feel feminine because I had no hair at all. People would stare at me when I went out and I could feel the pity within their eyes.I hated it.

I stopped even wanting to be happy. I told myself if I was going to go through this, then I might as well just let it overtake me. I began to fall into this hole and I was not able to climb back up. Days upon days I would lay in my bed, hoping it would all get better by itself. I would cry hopelessly because I was too weak to even move from the amount of chemotherapy in my veins.

But, then one day I woke up. I realized it was okay to ask for help among the people around me. I told my mom, my doctors, and my friends, that I was really having a hard time. They said they would help me, and they did. I began talking to someone about feeling this divide from my past life, and losing a lot of control over my body, emotionally and physically.

As time moved slowly through my treatments, I was able to just be. I came to grasp what I was facing and although it didn’t come without some complications, I was able to get through it with my support system.

Eventually, my treatment did end. I never returned to high school because I was home-schooled for the time I was sick and was fine with it. I took a year off and then jumped straight into university, where I was able to really find myself.

I can say I’ve found who I really want to be, and I have the greatest people around me to support me. It’s okay to have a life curve like mine. Whether it be big or small, it’s important. If I hadn’t gotten the help I needed at the time, I don’t know the person I would be today.