In 2017, Sharon Abraczinskas was a turning point. Her beautiful and vibrant daughter was hospitalized for depression after her university’s counseling center immediately refused her treatment. Her daughter had reached a tipping point, and the school, seeing her as a liability, forced her to leave campus. Admittedly, the center was not equipped to deal with her degree of mental illness.
This letter, a cathartic exercise for Sharon and a ray of hope and love for her daughter, was written during that time. The Quell Foundation is proud to share it with you now.
“Looking at you now, it’s hard to believe how fragile your spirit has become. How did this happen? Why can’t we help you? You were always the one whose star shined brighter than anyone else’s—the one who stood out in the crowd, who always wanted to BE someone.
Microscopic changes morphed your personality, but oh so delicately, that we barely saw it. Confidence that beamed from across a room began to dim as depression reared its’ ugly head. As high school went on, we saw an angry young woman across from the dinner table. Anxiety came for a visit and decided not to leave as well. They both fed off of you, and little by little, fought a battle that you tried so hard to win. You diligently went to your therapy appointments, took the prescribed medication, and went on with your life.
But the drugs took their toll as well: lethargy, weight gain, other unpleasant side effects no teenager wants or needs. You slept more than ever, lost interest in doing things with your friends. You struggled with seemingly mundane social activities that you enjoyed so much just a few months before. The worry on your face was evident to all of us. But we pushed you on, and you let us. Knowing someone has so much potential makes it all that much more challenging to see her sinking into a black hole, a hole that is so deep and full of darkness that it’s hard to find the way out.
This year was the worst. If only we all paid more attention to the signs you gave us. Signs that you needed a break, you needed more than you were getting from the doctor, the drugs, all of it. The happiness that eluded you made you reach for it even more. It got to the point where you couldn’t even smile. You knew how broken you felt inside, and you tried to keep going for us.
If only we all paid more attention to the signs you gave us. Signs that you needed a break, you needed more than you were getting from the doctor, the drugs, all of it.
I’m so sorry….I should have seen it before you said those words. Words no parent ever wants to hear…”What’s the point of going on? I don’t know if I want to live anymore.” So now, here we are. You’re home with us so you can be fixed, whatever that means.
Happiness: often overrated, never duplicated, and NOT what you see on social media. But I promise we will do whatever it takes to have your star shine again. You are a beautiful, brilliant young woman who deserves every opportunity life has in store for you. You will recover from this; the demons will not win. Know that you, my child, maybe broken today, but not forever.”