Ever since I was a kid I was told I would travel the world and I wouldn’t be tied down to the restraints of my hometown. Ever since I could walk, I would escape the house and try to run to somewhere else. Home is just a place I never wanted to be. I would sit on my roof and stare at the airplanes in the sky, I wanted to be where they were. I was so full of wonder and I wanted to escape and learn about the world from my own experiences. When I began middle school I developed generalized anxiety disorder and depression; causing me to feel like life was useless. This stemmed from years of being bullied, tormented, and rejected by my peers. The next two years would be an uphill battle between doctors, medications, counselors, therapists, and self-harm. The world felt like it was always collapsing inside of my head and I couldn’t escape. It figuratively felt like 100 bombs going off in your head all at once. By 8th grade I decided I had to get up and change my life because no one was going to change it for me. That’s the same year I had learned that I got accepted to the Natural Helpers Club. In this club I would learn about bullying, suicide prevention, and how the legislative system works from a first person point of view. It was a simple club, we would meet every week during lunch. We made one movie on YouTube® that I am only partially proud of. It seemed small, like something you do to make your parents proud of you. Yet, in this club I learned the skills and the connections that would begin to pave the path that would be my next four years.
-Kateri Daw (Navajo), age 18, is from Albuquerque, NM and is passionate about Suicide Prevention.