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May 2015
Once upon a time there lived a little girl. This little girl was no different to anybody else. She liked to play with her friends, she listened to her teachers and everyday she’d go home to watch TV and play with her two brothers and her little sister. This little girl’s life continued to flow smoothly, she went to school, got good grades, started high school, made new friends, and everyday she’d go home to find her mum making dinner and she’d watch her dad come home after a long days’ work.

The little girl had a good life.

Until one August morning when the little girl awoke only to find that she’d never hear her mother’s voice again.

That little girl’s mother died that day and that little girl suddenly wasn’t just a little girl anymore. The little girl was devastated by her loss but she tried her best not to show it. The little girl put on a mask, one that hid all of her pain and suffering from those around her. No matter how much the little girl hurt, no one could ever see it. What the little girl didn’t know was that the longer she wore this mask, the harder it would be to take off. So the mask stayed on, forever hiding all that she felt from the world. This mask took all of the little girl’s emotions away, both good and bad, it made her completely numb.

So the little girl learnt how to pretend.

She pretended that she was fine. She pretended to be happy when something good happened and pretended to be sad when something bad happened. The little girl was able to pretend for four years before the cracks started to appear in her mask. You see after four years of pretending that everything was fine pressure started to build under the mask. Every fake smile, every fake laugh….. Every fake tear, it all built the pressure up under that mask. Until one day the cracks in the little girl’s mask got so big that the mask shattered into thousands of tiny pieces that could never be put back together again, and all of the emotions, the fake smiles, laughs and fake tears; everything under that mask came out all at once.
Suddenly the little girl couldn’t pretend anymore. Everyone had seen the mask break; they had all seen what was hiding beneath it. So the little girl stopped pretending, but after so long without real emotions she realised that she didn’t know how to be happy, sad, angry, anxious…….. She didn’t know how to feel anything.
The little girl that had once hidden from her emotions, her pain, the world and even herself was forced to face it all at once.

The little girl couldn’t handle it.

The little girl went to the doctors and asked them to fix her. They told her that she was depressed. They gave her some pills and told her that they would make the pain go away. And they did, for a little while at least, but then new problems emerged. Sure the pills took away the pain, but now it was almost like there was too much happiness. The little girl saw the world in Technicolor vision; her thoughts raced and flew faster than anything known to mankind. She had compulsions to clean and to create, to socialise and love. She wanted to yell her happiness from well above the tree tops. Nothing could stop her. She felt immortal. Death was but a tiny distant memory to her.

This feeling never lasted long.

Before long the depression would come back, she found herself with a blade in her hand and tears streaming down her face many times. Too many times she found herself asking what the point in living was. All she wanted to do was die. She experimented with different kinds of overdoses, she got sick and most importantly she stopped caring. She didn’t care about anyone else, she didn’t care about herself. All she wanted was for the world to just stop spinning. The depression took over, until suddenly the world would change and colour would come back. That’s when the compulsions would come back, the racing thoughts, and the happiness. All of it would come rushing back. But just as quickly as it came; it went. This cycle continued for a long time until, during a moment of depression, she got a little too close to death and found herself in a psychiatric hospital.

All of the doctors and nurses agreed that there was more than just depression plaguing the little girl. They threw around words like bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder and cyclothymia. They gave the little girl new pills. This time they were supposed to stop her from going high, and also low. They were supposed to keep her stable. And then, they sent her home. They messed with her medication a lot, trying to find the right ones. They started her on one hell of a rollercoaster ride; and on that rollercoaster ride, is where you can find that little girl today.
Rhiannon Grace
Written by
Rhiannon Grace  New Zealand
(New Zealand)   
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