From my own personal experience,  I know how hard it can be being the subject of cruel remarks being said to you on a constant daily basis. It’s like you’re the centre of attention, but for the wrong reasons.
I rarely talk about high school, I had such bad experiences during those five years that I never like to think about it, to me that part of my life is over and I just want to forget about it.

It started when I was in Year 7, before the end of December 2004, I became very ill and Cystic Fibrosis was really taking over, I was losing weight for no apparent reason even though I was eating like there was no tomorrow. So in January 2005, I went into hospital for a batch of IV’s, during those three weeks, I got told I had ABPA, got a Portacath fitted and I got diagnosed with CFRD. It was such a life changing few weeks. It scared all of us in my family. So I got put on Lantus (Insulin) to start controlling my diabetes and I also started taking the white little banes of my life called steroids (Prednisolone).

So now that I had started these, the weight started to pile back on, which was absolutely amazing, I no longer looked frail and skeletal, I looked more healthy and felt more happy. But the steroids had a huge impact on my appearance, particularly my facial shape. I developed Chipmunk Cheek Syndrome as I call it!

I took 3 months off school to get over everything that had happened. Before I had this time off school, I looked pretty skinny and frail, so when I went back into school after so long away, I looked very different, more healthy and a bit more plump, which was great for me and I felt so much better, but people in school looked at me differently, like they couldn’t believe I was the same girl from 3 months ago, which was understandable in a way, I had changed quite dramatically.

But the looks turned into sniggers, then comments were being made, to the point that I could hear every word that was being said, whether they were meant to be heard or not.

I tried to ignore it, but it was hard not to when things were being said behind my back and that I could hear everything that was being said.

Over time, my self esteem level plummeted very quickly and my lack of confidence started showing, I was feeling so low that I didn’t want to go to school. The remarks were getting worse, from my looks, to what I wore, to what my hair looked like, it felt relentless, like it was never going to end. I didn’t tell anyone cause I didn’t want to cause a fuss. Plus I knew my school wouldn’t do anything to stop it. Back then, if you told your teachers anything about someone else, you would be called a grass. A reputation nobody would want hanging over their head.

With CF, you have to keep putting on the weight, you can’t put yourself on a diet, I was determined to keep my weight up, I didn’t want to be and feel that ill as I did before ever again. So I kept putting on the weight, the doctors were pleased so I was pleased, but it was sad to say that my weight gain came at a price.

Back in high school, the online messenger MSN was very popular, so I had an account like everyone else did, but even outside of school, the nasty remarks were being said to me through MSN, my nightmare was even with me at home, I couldn’t get away from it.

So it was 4-5 years of hell, when I left high school, I went to college to study Health and Social Care, then I went on to study Childcare. I was so nervous on my first day of college, I was praying the night before my first day that I wouldn’t have to put up with all the s**t high school threw at me.

But college was a completely different kettle of fish, everybody liked me for who I was, I was finally able to be myself, which you should try to be all the time anyway. College brought me out of my shell and I was more happy and content with who I was, my self esteem level went through the roof and my confidence grew so much.

One thing I learnt from high school, it made me stronger and because of those people, yes, they may have made me feel bad about myself, but they’re the ones who should feel bad about themselves, they should take a long hard look in the mirror and really think, are they that perfect that they felt the need to put me down? Of course they’re b****y not! They thought they were the bees knees, but let me tell you now, you’re not!

God I’ve been waiting to say that for years! It feels so good to get it off my chest!
One bit of advice I would give to anyone being bullied, tell someone, but make sure it’s somebody you feel comfortable enough to tell, whether it be your parents, family member, teacher or best friend, telling someone what is going on and saying how it’s making you feel will do you wonders, don’t feel like you have to go through it alone.

And remember, don’t ever change who you are, you’re amazing, never forget that!
This is quite a personal post for me, something I never thought I would talk about. But I want to show to people that even if you go through something as low as bullying, it can make you stronger.

Lucy xx