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hailey's story

"seventh grade was when my anxiety made its debut, manifesting as stomachaches that occasionally prevented me from going to school. when covid hit, began to feel different. i didn't care about things, i never left my bed, i felt like i didn't have a future. my friends didn't understand, so i pushed them away. after a hard year of not understanding my lack of energy and motivation, i started therapy. starting therapy was the best decision i could've made. i remember the day i got diagnosed. it was one of the best days of my life. putting a label on everything i had gone through not only provided me with a path to get better, but it validated me. everything i had gone through, every thought, everyday i struggled to get through, it wasn't because of me. it was depression. i felt so relieved to label it. i also got to validate my younger self and how different i felt with my diagnosis of ocd. soon after i was diagnosed, i went on medication. i immediately began feeling better, and now i am depression-free, have mild anxiety (that i was able to handle and control), and have been able to rid the majority of my obsessions and compulsions. the summer of freshman year, i had a boyfriend who liked me a lot more than i liked him. after awhile, i told him i was getting uncomfortable and didn't want to be intimate anymore. one day we were watching a movie, and he tried to get his hand up my shorts. that night i promised myself i would break up with him. but before i was able too, he repeatedly moved his hand up my shorts. it happened so slow. and so fast. it was the most frozen i've ever felt. i left after i had to push him off me. i'm past it now, but i still struggle with not being able to label what happened to me. i've been told that it's not sexual assault, and i don't think it was, but harassment doesn't feel right. the part that still hurts me is that it was so so wrong, but not wrong enough that it deserves a label. overall, my mental health journey has been hard, but i'm so grateful for everything that i've gone through because it's made me strong, and led me to who i am.”


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