The bullying started in middle school and never let up. Kids would push or trip me as I walked into the classroom, throw things at me while I was at my locker, post nasty things about me on the internet, make rude comments as I walked by, leave me mean voicemail messages, prank call my house, ring and run my house, etc. I went from being happy and outgoing to depressed and withdrawn. I began cutting and taking prescription pain killers just to make it through the day. As high school went on, it only got worse. I started to hate myself and constantly think it was my fault, that there was something wrong with me. I contemplated suicide daily. Instead of working hard and getting good grades, I skipped school, got high, or mouthed off to my teachers. I hated school, I hated my life, and I hated myself. I remember driving to school in the morning thinking, "If I just drive my car into that pole this would all be over." My senior year I finally broke down to a friend who urged me to talk to the school crisis intervention counselor. I was not very excited to do it, but I was sick of the pain from over 8 years of bullying. With the help of the counselor I was able to talk to my parents and get help. Although I felt a lot of bullying into my college years, I was given the tools to cope with it through therapy and ultimately, depression medication. I am now almost 24 years old and sadly I can say the bullying doesn't always stop. But what I am happy I can say is, I have learned that it isn't me. Bullies need to hurt you to make themselves feel better because they are not happy with who they are. You will always encounter bullies, but its all about how you handle it. Don't let them convince you that YOU are the problem. The best way to stand up to a bully is show them that they can't hurt you.I am so happy that I got help, I just wish it were sooner. I wish I would have told my parents or a teacher about the bullying when I was young. I do have a life long battle with depression because of what I went through as a child and teenager, but it has made me a better person. I am now a teacher and have a zero tolerance policy for bullying in my classroom. To anyone out there thinking, "It will never get better" or contemplating suicide, I can tell you that it does get easier and leaving this world will not change anything. Seeking help was the best thing that ever happened to me and I hope you have the courage to do it too. Don't let someone else hurt you for life...or worse, don't let someone else make you end your life. Be strong, I know you are.
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