When you can't remember feeling happy
Theo shares his story of struggling with anxiety and self-harm, and what has got him through.
"When I was a younger, it felt really hard to make friends, and I always felt left out".
My name is Theo, and I'm 15 years old. It's hard for me to remember back to a time when I felt really happy and worry free, like genuinely.
When I was younger, it felt really hard to make friends and I always felt left out. Outside of family, it felt like no one liked or cared about me genuinely. School was really difficult and I was in trouble a lot of the time for not doing my work, which I was doing my best at, then I was diagnosed with dyspraxia when I was seven, but things just got worse as I got older.
Everything that people wanted me to do was just so difficult and I could never manage to do things the way teachers and other people wanted me to do it. I, like don't get me wrong, I don't think I'm stupid, like I could do lots of stuff, but, well, like I can do, I love reading and I'm really good on tech and computers and music, but it was not good enough or the right kind of thing and at the time I felt like I would never be good enough at anything.
By the time I was 10, I was so happy, so unhappy even, that I started to hurt myself. At first I just used to bang my head into walls, looking back on that I was stupid. I feel like I, I still feel like I wanna die at times because things still seem so difficult to achieve.
Now that I'm older and people keep asking my opinion on things or asking me to make choices, but I find it really hard because like, I'm scared I'll make the wrong decision. Right now, everyone keeps reminding me that exams are coming up and I need to figure out what I want to do next, like what I want to do for my future, but in my head, I am literally screaming out for help.
Things that have really helped me to be more positive, was changing to a school that specialized in supporting people like me, who learn in a different way. It's a really small school, so it has been easier to make friends with kids who have had similar troubles, I would say.
My family have been amazing at encouraging and supporting me since the beginning, and my church has been amazing at giving me opportunities to do things that I haven't been able to at all. I still worry a lot, but I'm quite optimistic for the future.