Mia's Story

Have you ever cried so hard you could hardly breathe? So hard that you started shaking. So hard that you became desperate to make it stop, even if it meant hurting yourself? Hurting yourself because the pain and sadness is too much, and you want to make it stop? If you have, then you’re not alone. And neither was I; but I didn’t know it at the time. My name is Mia and this is my story.

With the alarm clock grasped firmly in my hand, I struck it against the side of my head. The pain was sharp and strong. But it was a brief distraction. A distraction from the heartache and pain that I had been living with for the past few years. The heartache of feeling worthless. My dad burst into the room, hearing my cries from the hallway. He saw the damage of what I had just done. I saw the fear and sadness in his face. It was at this moment I knew that something had to change.

The thoughts and feelings started in high school. It got really bad at the end of twelfth grade. I was feeling very lonely and there was mounting pressure with university approaching fast. I met with a guidance counsellor a few times but nothing seemed to change. The thoughts continued to weigh me down.

No one wants me. Nobody cares about me. There’s no point to being here. These were the thoughts that constantly ran through my head. The thoughts that kept me in bed with no motivation. I felt exhausted and hopeless.

Looking back, I am very grateful that I didn’t let those thoughts defeat me. I trudged on even though it was hard, and I made an attempt to overcome the negative thoughts.

I started university and the thoughts and feelings came along with me. After a few sessions with a counsellor at the university, she recommended I check out Calgary Counselling Centre. I met with quite a few counsellors – with most of them, I felt like I wasn’t able to make the connection that I needed. But I did meet with one woman that was a great fit. I finally felt a positive connection with her and she thought I would benefit from a group counselling so she put me in one of their group counselling where I finally felt like I found the help that I really needed.

The others in that group helped me realize that I’m not alone, and that my feelings are valid I felt like I was being heard. It was so refreshing to be with a group of people who had thought and felt the same things that I had. Working with the group facilitators gave me many tools to help with self-defeating thoughts. I still struggle with them sometimes, but now I’m able to deal with them a bit more comfortably. That group was incredibly important in my life.

The thoughts may never fully go away. I might always have a little self-doubt. But I have hope. I know that I’m worth the effort. I know that I’m not alone.

Katherine Hurtig