It’s very rare that I write about something like this, but now that we’re just a day away from the year mark, I figure there’s no way to talk about the year without addressing this major part of it. I don’t mean this to be triggering. If it triggers you, I encourage you to stop, however the purpose of me writing this is to say there I was, but here I am. It’s important that you know that I’m happy now, even when I thought I’d never be again. I found things to live for again. But here’s my story of what I’ve dealt with all my life, but primarily what I’ve dealt with this year.
I’m not going to go into specifics about all my experiences that triggered my depression, cause I’d rather focus on what it felt like to be depressed. Just know that I battled an eating disorder at 11, and I’ve been bounced between therapists and different antidepressants since. I’ve recently been diagnose with BPD.
Depression starts off slowly. One day it’s just a fleeting thought of I wish my life was this way, or I wish this was different. But eventually the thoughts keep coming, until it consumes your mind, until one day you lose the strength to do basic things, like getting out of bed or eating. Every time you think that it couldn’t possibly get worse, it does. I will never forget the moment right before I stole those pills from my grandma, the first time I planned to commit suicide. Before that, I always thought that the most painful thing in the world was to lose someone you love. But standing there in my grandma’s bathroom, looking into my dead eyes in the mirror, I realized that the most painful thing in the world is the moment that you lose yourself. In that moment, I thought that my soul died. That I was a walking corpse, and committing suicide was just getting rid of the corpse. It was a christmas party that night, a few days before christmas. I felt like the world was saying bye to me. There was a new family member dressing up as santa for all the screaming little kids that I used to be. The family no longer paid attention to me, with all the kids all around. Everything just seemed so perfect when I watched on the side line. I felt like a ghost, watching a perfect little family on christmas. And how can you fit into a perfect family when you’re not perfect? I came home that night and desperately cut my arms and my legs, praying for something to show me that I was still alive. But it just wasn’t enough anymore. I planned to go through with my plan after christmas, so I wouldn’t ruin the holiday for everyone for the rest of their lives.
The next day, someone uncovered my plan, and I was hospitalized in a mental hospital for the first time. I came out and went to a partial hospitalization program until the end of january.
I don’t know if anyone reading this has ever experienced negative side effects from their psych meds, but it makes everything 10x worse. The medicine was called geodon, and it increased my anxiety to the point where I was having regular panic attacks. It made it seem like nothing was real, and death was always on my mind. I couldn’t think about anything else. I would just look at everything and figure out a way that I could kill myself in any given situation. I was so obsessed that I lost weight for a while. Anyone who’s had an ED knows how addicting losing weight is, and I was thrown into yet another eating disorder.
The cutting got worse in february. My arms were raw almost up to my shoulder. My thighs were cut up so bad I had to hide a limp when I walked. I gave myself horrible burns with my straightener all down my arms, that the only thing I could stand to wear were baggy long sleeve shirts. I held my breath until I passed out, cause my screaming lungs made me feel like I was dying. I started self medicating with alcohol and weed in february, which went on until april, where my mom found weed in my room. It started a big fight, and just the thought of having to deal with my problems without any self medication was just too much for me to bare. The feeling was a different kind of intense than it was in december. I was just pacing in my room, just feeling so empty. Crying to the point where you grab onto anything and hug it, just trying to keep all the pieces together inside. But there’s that gaping hole that just doesn’t go away, and all the thoughts in my head were taunting me, telling me that it could all be easier 6 feet under. Thinking of death was the only thing that made me feel peaceful. That made the hole a little less gaping. The thoughts were horrible. I just remember lying on the floor curled up in a ball, and it felt like something was kicking me in the stomach over and over again until I couldn’t move. But then the pills were in my hand, and everything just got quiet. They felt so good there. It felt like freedom.
I had a seizure and was taken to the hospital for about four days, before I was transferred to the mental hospital again. After a week there I came back, but little changed. My parents came home to find my arms covered in blood and I was back in the hospital not even 4 days later.
The hospital is not a bad place. They don’t lock you in a room like a prisoner. You interact with other kids that have been through the same things you’re going through, and I’ve met some of the coolest people ever there. I’ve had some pretty awesome room mates, actually. If you need help, GO THERE. It will help you, you just have to be brave enough to give it a shot.
I know I’ve mentioned this in previous posts, but I feel like its important here, because the purpose of this post is not to make you feel like suicide is the best option, or anything along those lines. I’m am writing this to be living, breathing proof that it does get better.
I was put on homebound for the rest of the year After being home for a while, in may, I started running again, my mom put me on a cleansing diet, and I started to feel like I had purpose again. I got back into the things I had no energy to do before, like reading. Reading and running filled the gap, and silenced the thoughts.
You have to understand that nobody’s gonna save you. You can’t sit there waiting for someone to come, because it’s never gonna happen. I saved myself. I dug deep and found the strength I needed to move forward. Understand that I am no extra-ordinary girl. I am 16, barely 5’1, clumsy, and extremely socially awkward. I will never cure cancer or win the nobel prize. But I beat depression. I resurrected myself when I thought that I’d never be truly alive again. If I can do it, so can you.
Nothing can truly amount to the pride I feel going out in public and showing my cut free arms and legs. I have scars, yes, but they will fade in time, like all do. I look in the mirror now, and remember looking at that dead girl’s eyes in december, and feel like I’m looking at a stranger. Now I have a smile that lights up my whole face again. My eyes are bright, and much to my parents’ dismay, yes, I am singing in the shower again.
I have been weak. I have struggled. I have fallen more times than most.
But I’m strong now. I’m braver than I’ve ever been.
I am alive.