I met Nic about a year ago while I was attending Utah State. I was instantly drawn to his personality and how outgoing he was. He has been a great friend, and I am so happy he shared this story with me. When we first met we were able to connect because we both had come home early from a mission, unless you have done it, nobody really understands some of the feelings you have had. Nic then told me his story, and my love for God grew. We all have real challenges like this, it’s not the challenges that define us, it is how we overcome them. Most challenges won’t be a one time thing, but will be continual. I am impressed with Nic and his willingness to turn his life around.
Nic’s Unknown Story:
My name is Nic, I am 21 years old and I am currently attending Utah State University, majoring in Psychology with the hope of one day becoming a clinical or counseling psychologist (i.e. Therapist). I love music, I love art, I love poetry, The Walking Dead, how a good fiction novel takes me to an unknown place, the way an old book smells, the crackling sound Edith Piaf songs make, and giving someone who isn’t having the best day a reason to smile. Now that I have gotten the run on sentence of an introduction out-of-the-way I guess I will share with you my story. From a very young age I struggled with self-esteem issues which may not seem very serious but when I say young age I mean, at the age of 7. I remember telling myself how ugly I was, how no one would really care if I didn’t exist. This of course being a complete lie but when you have depression there isn’t much you can do about it when it goes undiagnosed. There were many nights wondering “What is wrong with me?” “Why am I not like others?” “Why can’t I be happy?”
Rather than speaking up and talking to someone I, like many people in the world pretended that there was nothing wrong with me. I put on the façade that I never had any problems that no one could hurt me (one of the biggest lies I have ever told). My depression really started hitting me when I reached middle and high school. I was bullied for falling into stereotypes that weren’t even true about me, sorry that I am a loud Italian who is theatrical and a bit off their rocker. This all fed into my already weak self-concept and image. I was consistently changing who I was based on who I was with just so I could feel like someone cared about me. My junior year of high school I did something almost unheard of, I did something different, I chose to run cross-country for my high school. Through determination and constant motivation from my peers and family I began to start loving life. I graduated high school with not having a clue as to what I wanted to do with my life. This confusion coupled with the fact that I had just had a falling out with one of my best friends and supports, my depression began to take hold again. I started college not caring about my grades or anything really I was basically a zombie day in and day out turning on my light whenever someone began to question me.
One day my running coach came to me and said have you thought about serving a LDS mission. (Yes I am LDS) This idea scared me but after prayer and an anxiety attack the idea began. Here was someone I looked up too so much so how could I just pass up an opportunity to be like him. So I turned in my papers and I was called to the Mexico City South mission. At first I was not excited in the slightest but I came around. Little did I know that this experience was going to rock me to my core and change my life forever. I left in October 2011 I arrived at the Missionary Training Center pumped to get started on my transformation. I had wonderful teachers with whom I am still very close and talk too often. I began feeling once again the pain the chronic sadness and I couldn’t figure out why. That is when that idea of cutting myself first came up and seemed logical, because I needed to feel something other than this darkness that was surrounding me.
I left the MTC with hopes that Mexico would be different that I would be able to focus on others and not my pity party that was going on in my head 24/7. Boy was I wrong, within a week I spiraled out of control I began cutting in the shower and hiding the damage underneath my watch (As if that would stop anyone from noticing that there was something wrong.) I sunk deeper and deeper, hating myself, my life, where I was, my coach, my family, and God. I morphed into a creature of hate, despair, and darkness. I just wanted it to all end, so that I could be free from the pain, exhaustion, and hate. I was sent to a psychologist who said that I showed symptoms of depression but that I was most likely homesick and just needed to buck up.
I remember the morning I decided to end it all. Not one of my fondest memories that I have obtained. I woke up earlier than usual while my companion was still asleep, I snuck into the bathroom to find something to aid me in my escape from this life. I found some fabric and tied it around my arm, this was going to be it. Thankfully my companion awoke right before I could try anything, I was sent home the very next day. As soon as I got into my mom’s car I put the walls and the façade back up and pretended I was fine (another lie). I was put on medication and was put into therapy within a few weeks of being home. For the first month or so I didn’t even try in therapy I just complained about how hard my life was, how much I hated the church, and how much I hated myself. Finally I had an epiphany I have a chance to start over and be reborn to who it is that I am and who I want to be. I worked my butt off working on my issues, and using music as an added form of treatment. Transforming myself into a phoenix.
It now has been over two years since I came home, I am happier than I have ever been. I love life! I am so grateful that God decided to spare me from what I thought was my fate and allowing me to let all the darkness and be reborn into the person I am today, I thank him every day for the life I have and had (because without it I wouldn’t be the man I am today), the opportunity I have had to learn and grow, for all the people in my life that exchange their light with mine. Yes, I have my bad days but I know that they will end and light will fill my life again. So I want you to know that you are in no way shape or form alone. That you may have something wrong with you, and you know what who cares?! You will be so much stronger by getting the help you need than just enduring it by yourself. Take it from someone who was there and came out of that pit. It gets so much better, you CAN do it!! You can be happy and not care what others think! You just have to make the commitment to yourself that you want to change and that it is time to live a happier life!! I may not know who you are but I love you, I pray for you, and I hope that you can find the light in life that will make it worth living. You have something to give to the world and it has something to give to you so open up yourself and share!
Thank you for sharing Nic! If you have an unknown story you would like me to share and link to your blog, please contact me on my homepage.