My Personal Experience

I was 9 years old when my self esteem started to deteriorate. Even just writing that is upsetting, I was so young yet I was struggling already. The reasoning being that I was diagnosed with scoliosis at this age. If you don't know what scoliosis is, it is a medical condition in which causes a curvature to the spine. At the beginning it was 20 degrees, I didn't suffer with much pain but my paranoia over whether it was visible to others increased along with the percentage of my spine. Back brace for 4 years and yet my spine refused to slow down. Every checkup resulted in a drastic change in the curve and it was beginning to interfere with my breathing. By the time it was 85 degrees, I was 12 and the surgery was pushed forward because it was affecting my heart. 13 years old and I was preparing for a ten hour spine surgery. Could you even imagine the fear I was having? The thoughts such as what if I am paralysed after this? What if it isn't successful? Will I have to quit dance, something I done for years and loved. The answer to those were no I wasn't paralysed, it was very successful and yes I did quit dance. Hard decision but it was for my benefit. I was in recovery for what seemed like a lifetime and I thought it was going to get better. Little did I know I was about to face one of the toughest battles ever.

I returned to school and everything went downhill. The loneliness began, the feeling of unworthiness, not belonging and feeling left out, on daily basis. But I don't even think people realised. It was hard, I didn't feel like I could talk to anyone and I was confused on why I was having these type of feelings. At the end of the day, I was a child and I was having negative thoughts of not wanting to be around anymore. Why did I deserve this? Did I do something wrong? Where did I go wrong for this to happen? Haven't I already suffered enough with scoliosis and my spine surgery? Questions that left me with no answers. The dark cloud formed over me and it's tormented my every movement for the past 3 years. I was throwing up on school mornings and having panic attacks the minute I woke up. I didn't know how to cope with it all, my mind was in overload with different thoughts and conclusions. I was on a long self-destructing path and my only way of feeling some sense was turning to self harm. I felt shame, guilt, anger, sadness, pain and so I withdrew myself from my family and went into shut down mode. I didn't want to talk, it was unbearable to even get out of bed and face another day, I sat in my room and I slowly stopped going to school because when I was all I felt was loneliness, I felt like such an outsider to everyone and they didn't care for me. So I blamed myself, maybe I should have changed so they liked me more? But that wasn't realistic. I still struggle with self harm to this day, 3 long years later and that's the only unhealthy coping method that I've ever known. I'm writing this with tears in my eyes as I didn't ever imagine the day I would be speaking about it, I kept that part hidden in a box for so long but I have finally found the key and I've unlocked that secretive closure. The words that will always stick in my head which was said by my counsellor is "you are not a bad person for self harming" and it gave me some realisation because I hated myself so very much for doing this to myself. But I shouldn't feel guilty, I shouldn't feel ashamed because it wasn't my fault what happened.

The scary thing is that I was on the verge of a breakdown and if I continued to go to school I would not be sat here writing this. Because it was my fear that I had to go to five times a week for 6 hours and I was struggling more than I could ever explain. The best decision that my parents made was taking my out of school and turning to home education. But of course everything comes with a negative thing and this was the lack of socialisation over 2 years. I became too scared to leave the house in case I seen anyone who I knew and I avoided certain times, specifically after school hours. I started to only go out very early morning and anything past 12 in the afternoon triggered the fear. I would have a panic attack every time I seen someone from school and I avoided places where I knew they would be. And that's when the anxiety got worse. I was having panic attacks almost everyday and the thoughts increased. This was a whole different type of loneliness and I was following a destructive path of depression. I would stay up all night, had no energy to eat, lost interest in everything, lost all hope and concern about things, I didn't even feel anything anymore and I became numb from the pain I had endured since a young age and I had to acknowledge it before it was too late, instead of ignoring it and acting fine like I was normalising. 

I picked up the little bit of strength that I had and I was referred to CAMHS, with the best counsellors I could ever ask for. Including my family, they have believed in me every step of the way and have acknowledged my achievements. 3 years later and I don't feel fear when I leave my house, I go to those places that I avoided for so long and I don't feel scared at those scheduled times I labelled as anxiety inducing. I have found more coping ways for my panic attacks and I can handle it so much better than I did at the start. I am on the right path but there are still bumps in the road that I need to work on, one being on the criticism on myself. I became so obsessed about how other people thought about me that I couldn't even look in the mirror and appreciate myself. I don't remember the last time I was positive to myself, I've always been critical of my looks and I compare myself to other people I see. It's becoming easier but I still don't like what I see in the mirror and my insecurities are still stronger than me, but not forever. Because I will work on it but this must need longer time. I will go at my own pace and I will fight everyday until I start to feel like I can bear each day and I don't feel so scared. It won't be easy but I will do it no matter how long or what it takes. And so should YOU. Everyone reading this has a purpose in this world and for so long I believed that I didn't belong on this earth. I still have negative and suicidal thoughts and there have been difficult times which I still don't feel comfortable enough saying, but maybe in the near future I may share. If there is something that I want you to take from this post its this, I want to tell you that no matter what is going on in your life, you have the strength to do it and even if it's just a little bit like mine you can pick yourself up and you WILL. You have more strength than you will ever realise and you are beautiful. 
Step by step, day by day as Whitney would say and she is more than right. Go at your pace and you will reach the finishing line and you will be proud of your accomplishments. Don't let anyone doubt you for a second because you were born into this world and you have a reason for living. There are so many people who love you and care for you. Take care of yourself and your mentality, and remember my dm's are always open.

- Aimee 

Instagram @_aimeedarling_
Twitter @aimeedarlingx


  1. You are the bravest person we ever know. Truly.

  2. I do agree with what you said not to let anyone doubt ourself. Let's just live life to be happy and care back those who cares us and ignore those negative people sorrounds us

  3. Life is too short to keep people in our lives who aren't giving us anything in return! Good on you - thank you for sharing your story with us ❤️

    - Sugi Says |

  4. Thank you for opening up and sharing your inner thoughts. Having the hope and faith that we are indeed here for a purpose can be difficult. Each one of us brings a unique piece of the puzzle. We all deserve to be encouraged.

  5. You’re so brave, not just for this post but all that bought you to this moment. Thank you so much for sharing so honestly with us.

    Sending love x


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