I was born in Colombia and moved to the United States when I was 6 years old. Ever since I can remember I know I’ve wanted to help others. Back then and all the way through high school I said I was going to do this by becoming a doctor (pediatric surgeon to be exact because to me children are the most beautiful of beings this world has to offer, and being able to cure/help them isn’t a job but a blessing). Anyway, I digress, things changed when I started college. I am now a junior in college studying psychology on the Pre-Physician Assistant track. I still want to go into the medical field and help children (and adults alike) that way, but the hurdles life has thrown at me taught me that medicine isn’t the only way you can help someone.

When I was in 5th grade I started getting bullied by my group of “friends”. From getting nasty text messages every day for 3 years, to being excluded from any social event, to even having food thrown at me, it’s safe to say middle school wasn’t a fun time for me. That is when the self-deprecating thoughts started to occur. I was diagnosed with clinical depression when I was 16, and this diagnosis came with a lot of baggage. There were things in my past that I had buried so deep in my subconscious that when they resurfaced all hell broke loss. On top of the stress and just plain out sadness I was facing from the bullying, I was dealing with the aftermath of being “abandoned” by my biological father, and the trauma of being sexually abused at the ages of 3 and 6.

Having all of this happen to me at such a young age made me see life a little differently. I never understood why those people in school did those things to me. At the time I thought there was something wrong with me. When you tell someone that they are “ugly” “fat” “unlovable” for 3 years, they start believing it. And that is exactly what I did. I believed it. I hit rock bottom (or at least what I thought was rock bottom) in 11th grade. I was in a toxic relationship, I had no friends, my family was a shit show, I felt completely and utterly worthless and alone. So those self-deprecating thoughts turned into thoughts of suicide. Thoughts of this world would being a better place without me in it, because well… when you’re in such a dark place that’s what you think unfortunately. I felt like the people around me would be better off without me, so one night, when I couldn’t take the pain anymore, I told myself I was going to slam my car into a tree. I didn’t do it. I thought of my mom. She was the only person in this world I knew I had by my side, and I couldn’t hurt her like that.

A year later I was diagnosed with an eating disorder, and the toxic relationship I mentioned before was at its worst. All I wanted was to be loved, to be accepted, and to be a part of something. But how could I be loved or accepted by others if I didn’t love or accept myself. I was so tired of feeling lonely, alone, unwanted, and unloved. But you know what? Above all I was tired of being so damn sad all the time! Of feeling like I had to put on a mask every day for the people around me so nobody would know how utterly depressed I was inside. That’s when I learned the most important lesson I’ve ever learned. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING in life is a decision. You and only you have the power to decide how you’re going to live your life, and I was done living my life in sadness. I decided I wasn’t going to let myself continue to live like an injured puppy licking her own wounds. I didn’t want to be sad anymore so I decided to feel happiness. How? By realizing that yeah I had shitty things happen to me but who hasn’t?? I am thankful for the experienced I’ve had because they shaped me into the person I am today. Someone who wants to change the world not by doing miraculous things to millions of people, but by spreading as much love and kindness as I possibly can so that I can.

I still have my not so good days, and my eating disorder is currently my biggest obstacle. But it is something I’m working on day by day.
If you’ve read all of this bless your soul! I didn’t realize I’d be writing a freaking novel (sorry about that lol) I’d actually like to share something with you if you don’t mind reading just a little more. I love writing songs and poetry and this is something I wrote my freshman year of college when I was feeling so alone:

“I crave those connections with people who love harder, care deeper, and live stronger everyday. Those who will not only help me grow into an even better version of myself but will also keep me humbled by their ability to love and appreciate the beauty in friendships and relationships. I don’t want to talk about the weather, or the latest thing on TV. Tell me about your deepest dear and your greatest desires. I want to get to know the heart and soul, not the façade you put on for others. No more superficial nonsense. True beauty is within what’s deep in our hears. Those are the things I want to get to know.”

I hope to one day get to meet the both of you! You don’t know how much I love everything you guys do and stand for!
Thanks for taking the time to get to read this 🙂

Story submitted by Valentina

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