RETRACED is a story-telling art project where anonymous individuals submit a true story of overcoming to be illustrated and shared. Original art pieces are given to the author for free, and prints are sold to pay the difference. Each of the prints on this page were inspired by a true story from an anonymous author. This is the story behind this picture:
“Depression & anxiety. . .started once I hit middle school. I had always been a super happy kid [&] I got bullied a lot in grade school but never let that stop me. . .However, I didn’t bounce back from the bullying [in middle school]. I wouldn’t go to school because of it [even though] I had always loved school. . .My family & I chalked it up to me becoming a woman. . .My sophomore year of high school. . .I stopped loving everything. All I would do was come home & sleep. I [hoped] I would go to sleep & just not wake up. I came close [to attempting suicide] a couple of times. I used to stand on sidewalks & battle with myself on whether I should step in front of the cars. Finally, my mom & I decided. . .this was far beyond normal “teen behavior.” Luckily, I got put on medicine, but. . .it doesn’t start working right away. When I first started my meds, there was one night [I was] ready to end it all. By some miracle [I decided] to keep fighting. Eventually everything got better but I refused to tell anyone about my “illness”. . .The first people I told outside of my family were my best friends [who] didn’t treat me any differently. [I then] decided to be open. . .because I hate the stigma around mental health. I started doubting that when I came to medical school. I worried they wouldn’t give me a license because I still need to be on Prozac. . .Luckily that view has changed & I am still very open. . .I think if the world was a little kinder, there wouldn’t be as much stigma. The coolest part about the whole experience is that my parents dedicated the song Blackbird by the Beatles to me. . .I have taken my broken wings and learned to fly; & every day is still not a walk in the park, but I’m willing to fight & keep living because I want to make a difference in this world.”
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