My name is Adelaide Searles. I am a Senior at Gilbert high school and a part of Moving
Forward. More than that, I have struggled with suicidal ideations, along with other challenges.
While Moving Forward is a big part of my life and my heart, I am going to focus on my own
history with mental health with the hope that this reaches someone who needs it.
I personally dealt with suicidal thoughts along with anxiety and depression. For years these
rattled my mind and weighed me down. During the difficult times, I realized I was lacking
something: support. I had lacked the thing I needed the most throughout my various friend
groups and grades. My middle school friends did nothing to improve my mental health. They
only fueled my negative thoughts and mindset. Though I loved them and still do, a break from
them was exactly what I needed. My personal growth occurred when I had time alone to mature
and work through my thoughts. Writing my thoughts down and organizing them on a page has
helped me sort through my emotions. It also made me feel heard; as if me being able to better
understand my thoughts meant that someone else could as well. Journaling and studying my
feelings helped me understand them along with understanding what I needed. Through my
journey of growing by myself and finding my place in my high school, my freshman through
junior year were pretty solitary. Of course I had people I talked to and school friends, but
personally I hadn't found my people, so I was alone.
I hadn’t been friends with any of them before, but after our friends suicide, they came together
and they invited me with. I was more than happy to go along. I knew I loved helping people, I
always had compassion for others. I was just too shy and introverted to reach out and do it. I
realized that before I could help others, I needed to help myself. After I started rebuilding my
mindset and my self image, I became able to help others. I was so much happier, but no one
could fix my problems but me. I needed to put in the effort to change. Because I thought so little
of myself for years, changing that was the hardest part, but it's what I needed to start with. Daily
affirmations, no matter how stupid or silly they seem, really work. My whole motto was ‘fake it
till you make it’. Honestly it worked. I told myself positive things (I didn't believe myself) until
they became my truth. I am enough. I was put on this earth for a reason. I am better than I
believe. Every time I felt sad or down on myself I said these things to myself.
The group of friends I now have are the biggest blessing I have ever received. I am thankful for
them every day. They encouraged me to talk to people, they helped me focus on moving past and
getting over my issues. I had never thought or wanted to help my self harming and manic
tendencies, but they encouraged me to. Whether the little voice in your head tells you that you
are weak, you aren't good enough, or you aren't strong it isn't true. The strongest thing I have
ever done is ignore those thoughts and avoid harming myself. I did that through the help of my
friends keeping me accountable, but I also tell them every time I relapse. I know they won't be
happy about it, but when I tell them they reassure me. Everything will be ok. You will get past
this. This is just a little bump in the road, but you'll move past it. They keep me accountable, and
my longest streak was because of their encouragement and me knowing I couldn't let them down.
I still haven’t gotten past those urges or my relapses, but with the help of my family and friends I
know one day I will be able to ignore the urges. I am also researching self harm and addiction;
how to help myself in the now and in the future. This way I can better understand my triggers,
urges, and how I react to certain situations.
The biggest thing I had to force myself to do was to trust. Trust God, trust His process, trust what
my friends were saying in getting me to seek help. I forced myself to open up and trust, and even
though it was hard it was the best thing I have ever done. My advice to those going through
tough times or dark places: there is no bigger support than those who tell you to grow. Those
who call you out when you're wrong or lost in your ways, they help guide you. The people that
truly care want you to get better and be the best version of yourself. Opening up to the right
people can only lead to good things. All I can do now is hope my story inspires and helps others.
I do my best to make sure every kid feels heard; I know it sucks to feel misunderstood and alone.
None of us are alone, we are going through it together. Even if it's hard, that doesn't mean it's
bad. Moving Forward is always positive growth. It doesn't matter if you run a marathon; one step
forward is still one step.
Please reach out if you have any questions on my story, Moving Forward, or any personal issues
you may be dealing with:
Personal Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Moving Forward Email - email@example.com
Facebook - Moving Forward
Instagram - @movingforward50014