Years ago, I jokingly told my best friend, “I have so many secrets I don’t even know who I am.” At the time, I thought it was hilarious, charming even. I’d convinced myself that my ability to hide certain truths from people while seeming to have it all together was a testament to my strength and intelligence. There I was, a first-generation college student with good grades about to graduate from college. My parents were proud of me. My friends were impressed. My professors were talking about grad school.
But what they didn’t know was that I was hiding a big secret: I hated myself. Depression and anxiety were beating down on me, making every day a battle with my own mind and life a constant dance of maintaining the façade of happiness while harboring constant suicidal thoughts.
I was losing myself to myself, and I was too afraid to tell anyone the truth.