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I started to get depressed when I was nine years old. I remember crying, screaming, and telling my mom that I wanted to kill myself. Although I wasn't serious about doing it at that age, I was serious about wanting to. I started thinking about how I might manage it, but I wasn't ready to attempt it then.

As I got older, I became more depressed, angry and isolated—and I began to feel even more hopeless. I started self-harming in many ways, many times a day. I ended up very physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually sick. I did eventually attempt suicide. I spent my twelfth and thirteenth birthdays in psychiatric hospitals.

At the time when I was feeling even lower than I'd ever felt, one of my best friends successfully killed herself. It was life-shattering for me. I experienced intense guilt, anguish, grief, rage, terror, panic attacks and hallucinations at an intensity I'd never felt before. I dropped out of school and almost killed myself. People around me didn't believe that I was going to make it or that I could ever recover. I was encouraged to go to a treatment centre, to be hospitalized, to go to therapy, to take medication . . . I even had crisis counselors called on me. All the therapy, hospitalizations and medications that I tried over the period of six years didn't work for me