Review: Maxime

"In a way to lighten up my emotions I started self-harming and then I started to feel a little bit better."

My name is Maxime. Because I want to help other young people, I choose to share my life story, review and experiences in the clinic.

Before going to Yes We Can Youth Clinics, I felt worthless. Like I had no reason to live. I fell into a depression from a young age after having been neglected and bullied about my weight. That made me really insecure about my looks and personality. My anxiety and depression started taking over my life at the age of eight, as did my obsession over my weight.

I started feeling completely worthless and found no point in living. I started self-harming as an emotional outlet for my pain. I wanted to hurt myself because I believed that I deserved pain. I hated myself. I became even more depressed when my father passed away when I was 10. I hadn’t been able to accept his death until I came to clinic. It was because I couldn’t accept the fact that I hadn’t been able to say sorry to him for being, as I felt, a horrible daughter to him.

After many years of struggling with my weight and food issues, I started drinking. Alcohol made me feel more confident and more fun to be around. It made me feel as if people liked me more. It also helped me feel better about myself. I started smoking weed at 16. It felt like the only way to get rid of my anxiety and depression because the anti-depressants that I had been on for three years had no effect on me.

My smoking habit escalated very quickly: it went from smoking once a week to smoking every day, and I became addicted without even realising it! I started getting panic attacks every day at school, which made me smoke even more. I stopped feeling the positive effects that I had felt when I first started smoking. I felt that it wasn’t giving me the kick that it had done at first and so I started smoking more and more.

I felt horrible and I just couldn’t handle life anymore. I felt like my depression wasn’t going away and I went into complete suicidal mode and my self-harming got worse. Every thought I had was focused on how to end my life!

I started at Yes We Can Youth Clinics feeling like a complete victim who hated herself and trusted nobody. I learnt that I had lost myself completely and that I was my own worst enemy. I learnt that not only was I addicted to cannabis, I was also addicted to my depression and anxiety. In a weird way, my depression and anxiety were in my comfort zone.

I learned that my life wasn’t as bad as I had thought it was. I had just been blocking out all the positive things because I was convinced that I didn’t deserve anything good. I came out of the clinic, a completely changed person. I no longer was the totally insecure girl who felt like she didn’t deserve to achieve anything good. At the clinic, I was confronted with my own behaviour on many occasions, and I was forced to let go completely and open up and become someone who knows she has a future and a voice that matters.

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