Disability Stories: Setting Goals and Staying Honest

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My name is Kenny Diep and I am 27 years old.
Today I want to tell you about my story as a teenager and how I struggled with friends, bullying, and depression. These things affected my life and stopped me from setting goals and following my dreams. I don’t want the same thing to happen to other kids and I hope to inspire kids to stay honest and make the world a better place.


I have been volunteering at the YMCA for the last year. Today I want to tell you about my story as a teenager and how I struggled with friends, bullying, and depression. These things affected my life and stopped me from setting goals and following my dreams. I don’t want the same thing to happen to other kids and I hope to inspire kids to stay honest and make the world a better place.

I have a mental disability and it has always been hard to make friends. In junior high I went to special education classes and I got bullied because of my disabilities. The kids would force me to do things I didn’t like and would always make fun of me. I was scared to stand up for myself. They would always take advantage of me. They would always have bad things to say about me and I couldn’t speak up because of my disabilities and couldn’t make sense all the time. Junior high was tough for me and I remember wishing all my bullies were dead.

When I went into high school, I tried to fit in by making friends with the cool people. They all liked to drink, smoke, and party. A lot of my friends sold drugs to make money. I had a choice and I chose to hang out with the wrong group of friends because I wanted to fit in and prove that I was somebody. I didn’t get to focus on my goals to be a better person because I was always doing bad things.

Because of the bullying I got depressed. I suffered with depression for 7 years. This was a hard time in my life because I didn’t have any help. I didn’t do anything good with my life and I was sad for a very long time. The depression was eating me alive and I saw that it was hurting me and my family. I remember when I was 14 years and wanting to kill myself because I hated my life.

This was terrible because I was always feeling angry, sad, lost, unfocused, and unmotivated. I didn’t care about myself and didn’t care about other people. I woke up hating every day and thought about suicide a lot.

Sometimes I cannot control my anger. When I was younger, I would get very mad and throw objects and break a lot of stuff. I even punched the walls in my house and made big holes. I would always be in arguments with family and friends. I would always stay in my room and keep my door shut. I didn’t want to let anybody in my life. I felt like keeping everything to myself and staying quiet about it.

I didn’t care about school. I didn’t want to go to school anymore. I couldn’t talk to my family about my feelings. I always felt alone and I couldn’t talk to my friends because I was scared and nervous. I kept my emotions inside and it was very painful.

I realized that I was struggling in my life. I had kept all these bad emotions inside and it was destroying me. I was always scared and nervous to reach out to people. If I continued this path, I knew that it would not lead to a good life. I wanted to change myself. I wanted to be the best version of myself. I didn’t want to go back to the old me.

I knew that I wanted to do something with my life. That is why I decided to change my life. I started to reach out to my cousin and my brother. Some friends gave me good advice and I started to work out a lot at the YMCA. It felt good for my mental health. In 2017 I started to volunteer at the YMCA. This helped me keep busy and I made a lot of new friends at the gym. I found the right people in my life and I started to look forward to the future.

I started to feel happy, positive, motivated, and focused. I was able to start helping people around me with their problems and it made me feel very happy.

There are many things that I do now to improve my mental health. Going to the gym became very important to me. I enjoy reading books, interacting with friends and family, writing in a journal, going out for walks, listening to music, cooking, and enjoying nature. There are lots of things you can find to keep yourself happy.

I want you to know that you can follow your dreams and achieve your goals. I want to inspire more kids to be yourself and don’t let anybody put you down. Take it one step at a time and stay happy in life. My advice for people in trouble is to reach out to family, teachers, friends, and councilors. You will feel better about yourself if you get help. Don’t be afraid to reach out to others if they need help. Be open and talk about depression and suicide.

I have a mental disability and I know there are other people in the world just like me. I want to inspire them as well and let them know that anyone can do what they want in life. I want to represent all the people with mental disabilities and show everyone that we are humans just like everyone else. We all have feelings and we all just want to be happy.


Family smiling and posing together in front of a sign that says Banff

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