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Mental Health

Celebrating Two Years of Recovery

Trigger warning: This article mentions mental health illnesses, including depression, anxiety and suicide ideation. Please take breaks from reading as needed and regulate your health. The intent of this article is to share a vulnerable story and show that recovery is possible. By being transparent about my journey, I hope to show others that they are not alone. 

Suicide hotline: 800-273-8255

As of October 2021, I am proud and joyful to share that I am two years clean of self-harm. My life has significantly improved because of this and below I want to share my journey of recovery to encourage everyone out there to give themselves a chance. You deserve to be happy.

I was about 14 years old when I first thought about suicide. It was very passive, a fleeting thought of, If I just died, all of my problems would be solved. This is a very common thought people have in times of stress or sadness. However, regular suicide ideation can become very dangerous very quickly. 

I remained passively suicidal all throughout high school. This state of living was honestly horrible. Someone that is passively suicidal does not plan on taking their own life, but they simply would not mind if something terrible happened and caused their death. So basically, I started each day with the thought of, Ugh, I’m mad I woke up today.

Now if you’ve ever heard of a “positive mind, positive life,” then you’d know that this is no way to start your day. I was trapped in a vicious cycle of negative thoughts. I didn’t know what to do or how to break free. 

Therapy is good. Therapy is normal. Therapy is needed. 

A huge factor in my journey was that I did not realize I needed professional help. It is not normal to live each day in such misery, and I deserved a chance at a happier life. Once I realized that suicide ideation is not a normal or healthy lifestyle, I started to wonder what it would be like to actually enjoy being alive. 

Through a lot of therapy and even a hospitalization to a mental facility, I was able to receive the necessary help. It was not an overnight change, but the slow process of recovering was worth the work and wait. 

I will never forget the first time I felt truly happy to be alive. It was by no means really special. I was simply in my room, playing with my cat and listening to some music. I looked around and realized how much I would’ve missed if I chose to give up. 

On October 5th, 2021, I sat in my bed and stared at my phone, watching the minutes tick on the “I Am Sober” app. I watched the seconds go 56..57..58..59. And then, it turned. Tears flooded my face as I saw the “2 years” on my phone screen. 

I can’t help but feel a plethora of emotions when I think of how far I’ve come. I am so grateful to be out of such a dark place. I had no idea life could feel so good. 

So to anyone out there feeling hurt, sad, or alone, it’s cliche, but it’s true: it gets better. 

It gets so much better, and you deserve a chance to experience that. Do it for yourself so that in the future, you can have the same excitement about living life as I do right now. 

Now, I want to be honest with you all. I struggle a lot still. I have bad days, but I now know that is normal. I continue to take medication for depression as well as attend therapy. Recovery is not linear, but it is beautiful and personal. 

Today I am celebrating myself, and I celebrate you all being here and reading my article. Whatever it is you have overcome or are currently working through, I am proud of you. I am rooting for you. I am happy you are here.

Hala Abdelrazek

Illinois State '24

Hello everyone! I am a current freshman at ISU. Things I enjoy would include: baking, reading,crafting, and watching tiktoks. I am a serious chicken nuggets and Harry Potter addict; hello to my fellow Ravenclaws! I hope to graduate and work in the child psychology field since mental health issues matter a lot to me and I hope to help others who struggle with mental disorders like myself.  After two years of writing for my HS journalism class, I am eager to write for HerCampus and be part of this community:) 
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