Tina – A Student’s Story

I never saw myself as flawed. I never saw myself to be like the “other teenagers” that hit rock bottom. I saw myself as perfect. But, I also found myself suffocating through the life I led. I had extremely unattainable expectations set for myself and an even lower sense of self. I was engulfed by a constant state of anxiety and loomed over by the crippling effects of depression. Like those “other teenagers” I compared myself to, I was lost. I was completely and utterly lost from myself.

I started at Spring Ridge Academy the fall of my sophomore year of high school. At that point I still felt like I didn’t need help, I didn’t need to leave home to grow. I didn’t act out like the others, I didn’t do drugs, I didn’t drink. I was fine. Fine. I’m fine. I’m fine. “Fine” pre SRA became my absolute favorite word. The word I gritted through my teeth as I felt the world topple and crumble below me.

To say SRA changed my life is a severe understatement. Spring Ridge Academy helped give me the extreme push towards becoming my authentic self again. To get my liveliness and my spark back. Spring Ridge helped me realize that making mistakes and feeling pain as a human being is inevitable. And once I hunkered down and accepted that fact, I flourished. I interacted and benefitted from so many relationships the campus had in store, and to this day, I still do. I formed relationships at Spring Ridge that would last a lifetime. I wasn’t “fine” anymore…after Spring Ridge I was alive. I was completely and wholly alive. And the most important relationship I formed? It was the relationship with myself. Now I can look in the mirror and see beauty, see worthiness, and continue to believe in myself.

There was a point in my life that I and everyone else around me thought I wouldn’t be alive for another week, let alone make it to college. But now? Now I stand tall at a University I love, and can say with utmost confidence that I, I am a beautiful and worthy young woman who believes in herself.