People are like the Ocean Paige Ritchie

People are like the ocean. In some parts it’s shallow and in other parts it’s deep. In some parts in light and in other parts it’s dark. The red tides represent anger, and the breaking of a wave represents the moment when a person breaks down. The trenches represent how far we can fall, but when we hit the bottom we can only go farther up. The coral reef shows happiness and excitement. Just like the ocean, people are full of many different sides to them.

When you think of an attack what do you think of?

When I think of an attack I think of not being able to breathe, zoning out, trying to fix everything, being full of anger and rage out of nowhere for no reason, talking super fast, stuttering, or not even talking at all.

All of my life I’ve had anxiety and just in the past two years, depression. I’ve always been told not to tell anyone but my mom about it, I’ve always thought that it was a bad thing to talk about. When in reality it’s not and bad thing to talk about just taboo.

I looked up what anxiety was, how it affects your everyday life, how it affects your brain, but what I was baffled by was how many people have it. One in eight people will have an anxiety disorder in their lifetime, and women are twice as likely to have it. Twenty percent of teens in the United States are suffering from anxiety, and only some of them reach out for help from just their parents. Most parents will only think that it’s just hormonal because we are teenagers. Some and in fact most of it is, but it can grow and lead to other mental disorders. For me it did lead to one other disorder; depression. Anxiety and depression have a cycle when one gets worse the other one gets even worse.

One of the worst experiences my anxiety and depression has led me to issues with my step mother and my own father. It’s the first day of 2017, a New Year, a new start. I get a text from one of my friends Haley asking if I wanted to go to Polar Plunge with her. Of course, I type back, sure let me just ask my dad.

Just a moment later I asked my dad, “Hey dad can I go the beach with a friend?”

“Sure have fun”. Ten minutes later my mom picks me up so we can all go.

The beach was super crowded when we arrived, we had gotten the last good parking space. Haley and I are all bundled up, her in a hat and scarf, while I am in my favorite sweatpants and a warm sweatshirt. It was super windy and cold. I knew that I wasn't going to go in a bathing suit. I would rather keep my limbs than have them freeze off.

It was almost time to go into the water. I could feel all of the excitement and anticipation around me. The signal was sounded, and I felt a rush of adrenaline and sprinted into the water. I was trying to keep Haley’s younger sister Mya running, but I had failed and she fell to the ground. I was trying so hard to keep myself from laughing because it was funny to me. I managed to keep my laugh down because I would have felt embarrassed because there I was trying to help and six year old up from freezing water.

Haley and I return Mya to where her mom is and we are going back out to the water but my legs feel like ice and I run back to get a towel and warm up.

Six days later it was my birthday. My dad was picking me up early from school so I can spend some time with him on my birthday. As I get into the car I notice a recently common expression on my fathers face, sadness. I asked him, "What's wrong, what happened?"

"You betrayed both me and your stepmom Paige Jalyn Ritchie."

"Wait, what happened I don't see how I betrayed you."

"When you said that you were going to the beach we assumed that you were going with a friend from school, not Haley, you know how much your stepmom doesn't like Haley's mom."

I had no words for him, I wasn't going to say that I was sorry for doing something with a friend. There is nothing wrong with Haley or her family at all. Since I didn't know what to do I just kept quiet. He had also explained that he had my mom get off early from work so I could over there before Laurie my stepmom got there.

As four o'clock comes by my dad drops me off at my moms house. She wasn't home yet, and I had forgotten my key so I just stood outside by the front door. At the moment I felt as though the world had more control over what I say and do than I do myself. When my mom arrived I had asked, "Mom can we just go to the beach or something?"

"No you are crazy it's January Paige, but we can go order a cake for your get together on Sunday?"

It's finally Sunday and Morgan is the first one to arrive as expected since she only lives up the hill. Next to come is Marybeth, and then Jordan, and then Nick. As we are sitting down in the basement waiting for everyone else I hear my phone get a text from Matthew telling me that he was lost in the complex. No matter how many directions Morgan and I give him, he still gets lost one way or another. The only other thing we could do was go wait outside for him. Morgan and I were the only ones to go outside because everyone else thought that it was too cold.

With in the next fifteen minutes Faith, Tori, Haley, and AJ arrive. We all decide to play apples to apples and watch The Bee Movie. After about and hour we have pizza. Another hour passes by and we are about to play Truth or Dare but someone gets the idea to go sledding somewhere. We are walking to Haley's grandmothers house, and we all have the sleds and then everyone but Haley, Faith and I turn back to the house to get warm. The three of us left see this as an opportunity of us having the sleds to our selves. In a few minutes AJ returns and goes sledding with us. We sled for the rest of the day having barely any feeling in our legs because we were all wearing jeans.

We go back inside and get some warm clothes and go upstairs for some cake. They insisted on singing Happy Birthday, even though I hate the song, because there is always so much attention on yourself.

The rest of the day was great, we finally got to the game of Truth or Dare, and then just talked through helium. You as a reader might be wonder why I am telling you this part of the story. Well the answer is even though that day was amazing and fun I still had some anxiety attacks and felt depressed. Most people think that if you are depressed good things won't happen to that person and that is not true. Good things can still happen while you are depressed and anxious. The other part to this answer is I talked about this moment because it made me feel like good things could still happen.

The next weekend I had to go to my dads house. I had tried to start many conversations, but no one was talking to me. I felt that no one was talking to me that I should just go upstairs to my room which I did. Despite, its small size, ugly color, and lack of heat that room still felt like home. Now it was just a reminder of what I should have done.

When I finally got back to my moms house that weekend I felt like there was a weight added to my shoulders. The first night back at my moms house I had an attack, I was lying down in my bed and then suddenly I felt like everything both mentally and physically went numb. It felt like I wasn't there. I remember being really scared and sad.

In the next two weeks I was sent back to my dad's house for the weekend, I had walked to archery that morning and my dad had picked me up. I had tried to tell him that I had a lot of schoolwork and wanted to go back my mom's house, but he wouldn’t let me.

Four hours later I had gone for a walk to clear my head and called him and said “When I come home I am getting the stuff I need and going back to my mom's house if you don’t want to give me a ride I can just walk the three miles”. He gave me a ride, and I was on the verge of tears.

My own father stopped talking to me just because my stepmom wasn’t talking to me, and the only person who would stick up for me was my brother but he was always at work. I got to my mom's house and my friend Haley was there with my mom. All I wanted was a hug to think that it would make me feel better, but it didn’t. I went up to my room and had an attack; I was crying, not being able to breathe, and feeling like I was going to explode. I had three identical other attacks that same day.

Between that weekend and the next time I was going to go to my dads I had more than thirty attacks. The next time I was at my dads house had made me feel a little bit better, but I still stayed in my room in fear of being shunned. The worst part of that weekend was Sunday morning when my stepmom looked at me as though I wasn't human.

On Valentines day I had a vastly significant attack, I was full of rage and didn't know what to do but throw something across my room. After that I felt that I should be punished, but my mom had none so I felt I ad no other choice but self harm. I took the end of a charger and scraped against my leg for and hour. Three days later I told my mom it was a rug burn because I thought that it was infected because it was very red and tender.

After that day I felt numb to any kind of emotion, and didn't feel motivated to do anything. I felt like I was worthless, and had many thoughts about suicide. Everyday when I woke up I thought to myself, is this the day the day I choose to die. I thought about different ways it would be done, but mostly it was to just to jump off of the second floor balcony of my house. I didn't care how it would happen at the time, that it would just happen.

It was my dads year for the long weekend in February, but he never showed up. I thought that maybe he would have called and at least asked if it was his weekend, but he never did. Since that weekend was spent with my mom I asked is we could go bowling with some friends, and she agreed. The night I was just full of anger for no reason, and I had an anxiety attack. After my anxiety attack I sent to a group chat with some close friends saying that I was bad at being human and that I didn't deserve anything. About and hour later I went to go eat some dinner and told my mom that I thought there was something wrong with me mentally. I had also explained that the rug burn wasn't a rug burn, and that I was having suicidal thoughts. She had scheduled a emergency appointment with my anxiety and depression counselor Jessica and a doctors appointment.

The doctors appointment was on Thursday after school, I was so nervous. My hands became full of sweat and I felt like I was going to throw up. The doctor had asked me questions about my past mental health like when I had a period of OCD behavior, and my migraines. She had also given me a depression and anxiety screening. After the screening I clearly knew that I had depression and anxiety based off of my answers. I had also told the doctor about what was going on with my dad. She had said to me, "I personally think that you shouldn't be in an environment where you are being shunned for no reason." I had agreed with her and texted my dad that I would not being going to his house over the weekend. The doctor had given be a prescription for some medication.

When I had gotten in the car my dad had texted me and said that he got tickets for us to go to a charity event on Saturday and still wanted me to go. I told him that I would only go to the event and then straight back to my moms house.

At the event it was like there was a magic spell and they both were talking to me again.I thought that on the car ride home I would forgive them for what they did, but that wasn’t the case. When we were halfway home my dad asked me if I wanted to spend the night, I said no because I have to take my medication. He and my step mom asked me for what I just simply said anxiety, but under my breath I said and depression they didn’t hear me.Then my step mom asked what medication I was on, so I told her and she said that that was a hard core drug and my dad agreed. Then she said that that was for psychotic people. I didn’t know what to do but shut up. When I got home I had another attack, but this time it was worse I actually felt like I was broken.I had never thought that my own dad would make fun of me because I was taking care of my mental health.

It is hard to forgive someone so quick especially if what they did to you had a significant impact on your life. I still have to deal with my dad and stepmom insulting me for taking care of my mental health. They always wonder why I am to busy for talking to them it is because I was busy trying to breathe, trying to take bad thoughts out of my mind, and busy taking care of my mental well being. I will never be ashamed for taking care of myself. In the past two months I have, been the red tide of anger, the breaking of a wave, and hit the bottom of the trench. So yes people are like the ocean because there are deep dark secrets hidden inside all of us.

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.