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From the time I was in elementary school, I always felt like something was off. I had this voice in my head that constantly put me down. It told me I wasn’t good enough, that I wasn’t as pretty as the other girls. I was bullied in school, which reinforced these beliefs. When I was growing up, no one ever talked about “mental health.” Things got worse as I got older. When I was around 12 or 13, I started cutting my arms, and that continued on and off into my late 20s. I had learned to internalize how I was feeling and self-harm became my only outlet. I began experiencing suicidal thoughts.

In 2017, I attempted suicide, taking a combination of pills that we had in the house. I wrote a note to my parents that said, “I’m sorry, mom and dad. I love you.” When I was about to swallow the pills, my dog, Loki, wouldn’t leave my side and didn’t stop looking at me. It was like he was staring into my soul. I ended up spitting out all the pills.

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