I turned to substances to self-medicate
Mental illness among youth is often undiagnosed and untreated, leading youth to self-medicate with substances.
I felt like I had finally found the thing that was going to fix me. My low self-esteem seemed to disappear when I was high, and the feelings of emptiness were temporarily gone. But after a while of numbing myself, no amount of drugs or alcohol could take away the emotional pain and insecurities I felt inside. Getting high only gave me artificial confidence. When it wore off, I felt an overwhelming sense of loneliness and fear of not knowing how to stop using drugs and alcohol, and not knowing who I could trust or turn to for help. What at first seemed like a way to have fun and fit in started to feel like riding in a car without any brakes. I didn’t know how to stop it.