Recovery: On graduating DBT

Today was my very last session with my individual therapist and my last skills group for DBT. It took me 2 years to agree do do this program and now it’s almost been a year that I’ve been in it. DBT is honestly a life changing program and so many people can benefit from it (not only those who struggle with tough emotions and impulsivity). I am really happy that dbt will eventually be in schools for young people! I wouldn’t of been able to do it without my amazing therapist and friends I’ve made in the hospital. I’m so grateful for everyone who has helped me along the way. It’s hard to believe how much I’ve overcome and everything that I’ve been faced with.

Before DBT I was being hospitalized for suicide attempts and self harm medical problems. I was struggling so much that I was completely hopeless. I started self harming at school and was being punished for acting out that way. My anxiety got so bad that I had to drop a lot of courses and had to get an EA to help me out. I was constantly triggered by my family members and my by environment.

I can’t say that now i don’t struggle, because I do. The difference is that I’m able to cope better with difficult situations thanks to some amazing people at HSC and on the DBT team there. I feel a sense of freedom in being done but also sadness and fear as to what is next for me. I will take with me my most treasured experiences and the knowledge that I have gained from this last year of pushing through everything!


How social anxiety affects its victim

The inner dialogue

I heard my name. Or was it my name? They looked over at me… that must mean they are talking about me. They looked over at me and then laughed. They hate me, they must hate me. Oh god, what have I done wrong this time? Why is everyone staring at me… I probably look really gross today. Sit in the very back of the classroom. Hide behind the tall kid so that the teacher doesn’t notice you sitting at the very back. Don’t call on me. Don’t call on me. Don’t call on me. Oh god please don’t call on me. Phew, she didn’t. Can I stop shaking now please? Nope. Okay, what was the teachers name again? Alright, just slowly practice saying her name in your head so that it doesn’t sound weird coming out of your mouth. I hope my voice doesn’t crack. Please don’t ask me a question. Please don’t ask me a question. This class has too many people in it. Too many loud talking, gossip sharing, rumour spreading people. Is my face red? I can feel the heat of fire on my cheeks. They are starring. Why is everyone starring. The bell rings for class change. Another classroom, enter another doorway. I can’t do this. I can’t do this. Not another class presentation. I can’t get up there. Their eyes are glued to mine. I can feel the vomit making its way up to my mouth. Tears of panic. Tears of fear. Tears of everything streaming down my face.

a letter to myself, whoever that is.

dear me,

where ever you

are where ever you

end up its okay

to be angry scream

yell until your vocal

cords begin to burst

from the pressure when

you are curled up into a ball

of blankets allow yourself

to cry to let sadness

melt down your cold


dear me,


let go

forget their wishes

their desires

for what

who they want

you to be.

write until your fingers

cramp up and

write more. hold onto

what drives you

to the place you’d never

though you would go.

dear me


walk away

from the hurt that you’ve

been walking beside

for years.


smile for the

years that your lips were

nothing but i straight uneasy

line on your face.

dear me, live.

there is more to life than just

existing in your skin.


don’t forget to


Starting the conversation

Mental illness has been talked about in my school but for the most part only in almost non-existent whispers. I believe that starting the conversation needs to be done and which is what I hope to continue to do within the community. For some reason being honest about what we are dealing with is frowned upon when really there is something extremely powerful about sharing our personal stories.

One in five people will experience a mental illness over the course of their lifetime. And of those who do say that they feel ashamed and avoid seeking treatment because of the stigma. Families, too are embarrassed and blamed. Friends don’t always understand or have the right words to say. How can you comfort your friend is in emotional turmoil that you’ve never experienced, so you just watch them suffer and pull away from the person you used to know.

In the obituary’s, we always see the courageous fighters of those who lost their battle with breast cancer or other rare diseases, too. We almost never see the picture of a girl who was going through so much pain, there is no picture of a brave, intelligent, young woman who couldn’t see any more hope to keep pushing through the dark pit of depression. When there is a segment about teen suicide on the news, there is sadness and sorrow in the atmosphere. Until something like this breaks the news, we do not like talking about it. Plain and simple. But it still remains the most common subjects that most of us avoid speaking openly about.

It is crucial to have champions who talk about mental health and mental illness. Personally, I find that there also is power in recovery stories. Stories have to capacity to change both the storyteller and the listener. People who tell their personal story of mental illness are modeling recovery. These people are standing in blunt contrast to the negative public images of mental illness and of the mentally ill, too.

Letter to the teachers who wont remember me

its not that I don’t
want to speak
its that I want to so badly
to raise my right hand
to say the right thing
without traveling
at too fast of a speed.
only that my lips are
super glued together.
I know the answer
I have it stored it in a
safe below my tongue
and I’ve forgotten
the combination
but it’ll never come out
as smoothly as I plan it to.
I am here
in the very back afraid
of being called on.
Did I mention
I never got to finish the assigned
textbook work
pages 256-260 have not
been read even though I got no
sleep the night before
I was too busy counting
how many pills
it would take to
not wake up
how many times I’ve
let my skin become
a canvas of red lines.
Did I mention
I missed what you
said about
what we’re working
on because im still
trying to figure out
how to teach my lungs how
to work normally in a
body of fire.
Im still learning how to

This time last year

Mornings did
not look the same
they were spent
trapped in a
Sinking bed,
with incapable limbs
frozen and thawing.
The sky was always
lacking its correct
to add colour to
my pale cheeks.
Looking out,
the world was moving
faster than i ever could.
mornings didn’t
feel the same
with the hurricane
grasp being stitched
into skin.
the daily
accomplishment of
leaving a room.
of finding a smile
to try on for a little while.
of forced laugh
and conversation.
this time last year,
my skin
was a canvas
coloured with
sharp objects
and mutilation.
No one else saw
the beauty in red
as much as i did
on the nights of
fighting myself.
Photographs of the moments
that wont leave my head.
linger through whispers
than stagger. this time last year
i was bones and skin
and sadness and bulimia and
depression and self harm and i still
This time last year
i was walking down streets at night,
i was swallowing bottles of pills
to only find myself unsure
of what had happened
the night before.
i still am a disappearing act
i still am brown hair dyed black
brown eyes and quiet smile. I still am
bowling on Saturday’s
at 9:30 in the morning.
I still am give spare change
into donation boxes at the corner store.
i still am more than my
diagnoses, more than my illnesses.
more than my demons
could ever compel me to be.