My Story: Understanding That Feeling Scared and Alone at Times Only Makes Me Human
By Saniya Ghanoui —
Hillary talks about the moment she decided to reach out for help for the sake of her mental health, and the impact of telling a counselor what she had been dealing with.
OBOS Today: Could you just shed some light on how you got to this point where you started to be able to care for yourself better than you were in the past?
Hillary: I think, like after my dad died, I didn’t really have time to grieve it was a very, it was very traumatic for me because I had no clue the day that he passed away that he was going to pass away you know. He was in the hospital, and he was he was suffering and like I had never felt so this dreary and like dark and after it happened, like days after, I just felt very like numb. Um, I didn’t really talk to anybody. I kinda shut myself out. I barely cried. I think I only cried that day and then I stopped crying for, for, for weeks until, um, I went to my school because I was having trouble in in a class because I wasn’t sleeping and wasn’t doing well. And um I talked to one of the deans and she was like, are you sure you’re okay? And I’m like, yeah, I’m okay cause I mean I said that my father passed away very nonchalantly, and she, she, looked at me, gave me a look, she was like no you’re not. So, she took me to our counseling health and wellness office, and I talked to one of the, um, the older counsellors, and as soon as I sat down, I started crying, like I think I cried for about an hour and I talked about how I feel traumatized, and I feel alone, and I feel scared, and I feel like life isn’t worth living anymore.
And you know I just felt so overwhelmed and I felt like I was I was putting too much pressure on myself to sort of just get over it because you know everyone’s like, oh you’re strong, you’ll get through it, um, you know I come from a very religious family who are like oh you just pray about it and it’s like that’s not helping me, you know. So, I think after that session I had with that counsellor I was like, I need to do this more. I need to you know talk to somebody more. And it felt great to just have someone sit down and listen to my problems and make me feel like my feelings were validated and I wasn’t crazy, or I wasn’t being too soft. And after that I, I used up all um free ten sessions that my school offered, and I went and talked to um this counsellor about my issues. I talked about, um, you know feeling inadequate, feeling not good enough, feeling not smart enough, not attractive enough. I talked about you know the issues that I was having in my romantic relationships and stuff, and it helps me so much because I felt like I wasn’t alone and I was able to release everything that I felt in me, you know to somebody else and have someone say okay I understand exactly how you feel and how you feel does not make you crazy. It makes you human.