How do we become who we are? Nature? Nurture? A combination of both? Is it our experiences that mold us? I find myself often thinking about the experiences that made me who I am, and I let me tell you, I NEVER thought I would share them with the world.

“How can you be so depressed, you’re so young?” “You haven’t lived, you have no reason to be so sad.” These are real words from real people, that I heard when I would open up about my struggles, so I hid them away. But the older I get, the more I realize that I can help someone by speaking my truth. You are never too young to have feelings.

When I was in 3rd grade my mom’s best friend, pretty much my second mom, committed suicide. When I was in 4th grade my sister almost lost her battle with cancer. When I was 10, my mom packed our bags and moved her, my sister, and me, across the U.S. and left my dad, my best friend, behind. That’s a lot of trauma for a kid to go through. I didn’t realize the effect this had on me until went to therapy at the age of 21.

I was so against therapy my whole life. I saw it as a copout, the easy road. I didn’t want to be seen as weak, so I took all my pain and hid it from myself until one day I broke. I was never suicidal, I couldn’t fathom doing that, but I did think about death a lot. “What if I just don’t wear my seatbelt, then it will seem like an accident.” Those little thoughts lived in my brain and haunted me. One day I looked at my dad and I told him I was done, I couldn’t keep pretending to be okay, I was sick of playing the happy girl when inside I hadn’t felt anything but hopelessness for years. That’s when I went to therapy and my life started to seem worth living.

I am now 24 and a work in progress, and that’s okay. No one is happy all the time, and we are always evolving into the next version of ourselves. I’ll leave this with a quote that I found that first day of therapy that I think about everyday..

“We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are.”

Love always,

Carmen Lanay.

Carmen Lanay
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