Battles With Myself


By Rickey Paredes, Staff Writer

Mental health is something people should take very seriously. I had and still have struggles with my state of mind, but I am overcoming it, and I feel like it won’t affect me as much. Going back to around two years ago, my best friend/girlfriend committed suicide one night. That day I was with her the entire day, but I couldn’t see past what she was covering up.

Being with her since 3rd grade, she was also my best friend. We knew how to make each other smile and laugh. The best memory I have with her was in 7th grade where we met up after school and we walked to McDonalds, and we had such a great time we couldn’t stop smiling.

Her name was Crystal, and she really helped me through a lot. That 7th grade year we started dating, my dad and stepmom split up, and it was tough on me because I missed my stepbrothers who I would hang out with a lot. I personally never felt so connected to someone, someone who really inspired me to be better for her.

I was really shaken up by her death, but mostly because she called me before she did it, and she was crying and said that she loved me and that she was sorry. My first instinct was to go over to see what was wrong and hopefully comfort her, but I was an hour away.

Nevertheless, I did turn back to go check on her. Once I arrived, it was already too late. Her parents were in the house, but didn’t know until I told them. So, we checked in her room, but she wasn’t there. Then we looked in the bathroom, and we saw her with her wrist slit.

For months and months, I replayed that image in my head, but I never expressed how I felt to people about it because I felt alone at the time. It was so bad I started harming myself and kept everything to myself, and I would have breakdowns in class occasionally, because I wouldn’t be able to keep it in anymore.

It took me a year to start taking steps to move on. I started writing down my emotions, and it helped me. I started writing poems and songs and started expressing how I felt. This lifted a lot of the guilt I felt for her death. I started making more time for myself.

I told my dad about it, and he told me to start meditating to help clear my mind if I ever started getting overwhelmed. He was right: it did really help me keep a straight mind for the rest of the day and before I would sleep.

My state of mind now has improved so much in the past two years. I still struggle sometimes about it, but I help myself get back up if I start seeing that image in my head again. One important thing that    really helped me get over most of it would have to be my current closest friend. She always checks up on me to see if I’m OK, and I don’t really have anyone besides her that I feel comfortable talking about this with.

If you are struggling with mental health, open up to someone about it. According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness, you must accept what has happened to you. That’s the first step into starting to improve your mental state. The second step is to have emotional awareness, to accept your emotions instead of shutting them out like I tried to do. Nowadays, when I feel overwhelmed, I take a couple of minutes to myself and start reassuring myself that it’ll be okay in the end, instead of breaking out crying like I used to do.


Advice on how to deal with mental health

  • Value Yourself: Treat yourself with kindness and respect and avoid self-criticism.


  • Take care of your body: Taking care of yourself physically is important.


  • Quiet your mind: Try meditating, mindfulness,and/or prayer.


  • Get help: If you see yourself worsening rather than getting better, see a professional to help you.


Source: University Health Science University of Michigan