I’m graduating tomorrow. The last day of high school ever.
I wanted to write about my experiences and hear what you think, and I also wanted to write about what struggles I face going forward.
When I started high-school, I was in a dark space. I had been harming myself and I had a girlfriend who did the same. Sometime into the end of the year, I started missing school because of my depression. I felt so pressured by my friend group I was in because I felt the need to be popular, and I felt so guilty for it.
Fast forward to sophomore year. I began missing a lot of school. I went to court for truancy. I was severely depressed. I would lay in bed all day, not shower, and I would eat for comfort. I gained a lot of weight, and I still haven’t found a way to break the habit. Now I’ve developed a disorder where I don’t know when I’m hungry or when I’m not because I ate so much at that time. I’ve gone days without eating simply because I didn’t feel a “need” to eat (“need” being sitting down somewhere, bored. If I’m doing something and constantly busy I don’t feel hungry.) I’m still fat because I eat too much and I don’t know when to stop. It’s comforting but the weight and my look depresses me the most out of anything in my life currently.
It was decided that I should get a psychological evaluation. I went in and got diagnosed with anxiety disorder, depression (no surprises there), adhd, add, and autism. That autism diagnoses rocked my world. Now, I’m high functioning, but that diagnosis really made the world crumble down on me. I felt like I was a lesser person. I felt like I was not worth anyone’s time. It made me think I was worthless. I still struggle with this thought today. Luckily that diagnosis helped answer questions that my parents and the school had been asking for years. I was always called lazy by teachers, and I was always told to toughen up. Low and behold the reason I was struggling so much was because my brain simply couldn’t understand the material at the pace and way it was being taught. My old school did little to nothing to accommodate for me.
Anyways, a week before covid I broke up with my girlfriend. Not going to explain why, but I was lucky because then I didn’t have to see her again and face the emptiness I would feel months later. We spent the next months online and I LOVED IT. I excelled in all my classes online, and I was in the best mood I had been in a long time. I still miss lock down days, I was super happy then.
Junior year, I swapped schools. My life changed DRAMATICALLY. Every teacher at the new school was so supportive, they helped give me the accommodations I needed to succeed, and I was online for the first half of the year. I thrived big time. I met my art teacher who, after we were allowed to be in person, showed me the way into his classroom and gave me a safe space to work on what is now my passion of making halloween masks and horror monsters. I never felt comfortable asking the teacher at my old school to allow me to do that. I was one of the only students who had their cameras on the whole time during class, and the teachers would not get upset at me if I played games after I was done with an assignment because they knew I had it done and I wasn’t just screwing off. It was awesome.
Finally, senior year. Covid had started to drift and now we were coming back to school. For two weeks I tried to attend in person classrooms. My anxiety skyrocketed and I wasn’t getting work done. So, I was offered to do an entirley online program. Granted we were two weeks in so I was already behind. I didn’t do work for a month, I had a meeting with school board people and they helped me out. I kicked my ass into high gear and worked hard. I continued to do this throughout the year, and improved my artwork.
Here I stand, today I graduate. Two years ago between my parents and I, we never thought I would graduate. It’s happening, and it feels surreal. I don’t feel happy and I don’t feel nervous, but I feel relieved. Is that a bad thing?
My teachers and parents say I worked my ass off to get here, yet I feel like I’ve accomplished nothing and rather that it was a version of me that did it and not actually me (I’m not sure how else to describe it). My parents and teachers are proud and I am not. Why is that?
I’m just relieved to be done. High school was hell and it hosted some of the worst times of my life.