I remember the days in secondary school where I felt like the entire world was against me. Anything that I did, I got judged for. I was put down to the point when I would have cared if I was hit by a bus. I felt like my life was a constant downhill spiral, I was so close to giving up on myself, physically, because mentally, I had already given up on life.
At eleven, I started secondary school, and I was already being bullied due to how I looked, the few friends I had in primary school left to have other, better friends. I didn’t get a friend until the end of year 7, but we had our moments, and when we did, it was big. We wouldn’t talk to each other for weeks, which was the worst thing. However, I managed to get through my first year at secondary school, wondering what the next four years were going to be like.
When I was twelve years old, I became obsessed with a boyband. And I mean obsessed, I had pretty much all of their merchandise. Because of this obsession, I met my best friend, we were kind of like two outcasts which sort of stuck together. I remember that every non-school uniform day, we both wore our hoodies of this boy band, I had a blue one, and she had a red one. They were both outrageously massive on us, we looked quite silly. We both got teased and bullied by the same people every day, but at that time, this boyband was what made us happy, and we couldn’t care less, however I was beginning to isolate myself from people and thinking bad things.
It wasn’t until year nine when the bullies were starting to have a negative impact on us, when I was thirteen years old. I remember one time I got put in the headlock, and chucked to the ground, as well as kicked a few times. All I did was get up and walk away, it was at that time when I even pushed my best and only friend away, something I still haven’t forgiven myself for to this day. There was also a time when these girls got really nasty because we used their space for a science experiment, they shoved us and our equipment in the sink. Luckily, the Bunsen burner wasn’t actually on! It wasn’t until the end of the year when things started getting bad for me. One night, I was doing my homework, and my mum asked me to shut the laptop down as she had to tell me something. She told me that my best friend was moving away. I remember being such a wreck, I shut myself in my bedroom for hours, and I really didn’t want to go to school the next day, I just wanted to fade out of existence.
Year 10, I was fourteen years old and beginning my GCSE’s. I felt so lost without my best friend, and that’s when my depression really hit me, I felt like I could get hit by a bus and no one would care. I was crying a lot more often and I was having thoughts of taking my own life. I was in a bad place, and I felt like there was no way out. Until a teacher recognised that I was acting different, and I was referred to someone in the school who helped me with all of the things that my head was putting me through.
I was finally in my last year, I was fifteen years old and I was so sick of being in school, however the bullying decreased dramatically, which was a good thing, but now I had to focus on my exams and applying for college. I got to the point where I just took my exams without much of a care. This year, I felt like I had more friends and I was starting to feel a little better in general.
When I was 16, I had left school with 6 GCSE’s, meaning that I could go onto my level 3 course at college, which I was over the moon about. The first year of college was a pretty decent year for me, even though I did have some low points, but that was okay because I had things to look forward to and things that made me happy.
Now, I am 17 years old I have used my past to support other people who may be going through the same thing. I am slowly becoming satisfied with my life and I am getting help for my depression and anxiety, which is a very slow progress as I do have times where I’d be happy to get hit by a bus, but I am hopeful for the future and what is coming up for me. I am now an ambassador for the NSPCC, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and I am soon to be on an interview panel for a Psychiatrist. I was recognised for my caring attitude at the Student Star Awards at college, although I didn’t win, it made me proud to be recognised for the work that I do to hopefully make things better for other young people who may be going through the same thing I do. I am turning my negative past into a positive future.
Nikita Bawden is 17 & from Devon, this month she launched her Fixers campaign to show young people experiencing mental health issues they’re not alone.
Nikita said, "I’ve experienced mental health issues in the past. I was bullied, both at school and online. At the time, I didn’t really talk to anyone, which I regret now. It was a horrible feeling. With Fixers, I’m working on a short film to encourage young people who are facing similar struggles to speak out.I hope to take it into schools, youth clubs and colleges to show others my age that they’re not alone.I want them to know that there is help available if they need it."
To watch Nikita's film click here
For more information on Fixers UK go to www.fixers.org.uk