I’m not going to say I’m sorry you are feeling this way. Because I understand this is the last thing you want to hear right now. You do not want pity or to be some poster child for tragedy. You see the words “cry for help” floating in and out of newspaper headlines. We didn’t see the warning signs.
Perhaps you envision your funeral, a morbid habit you’ve adopted lately. The room is heavy with ache, this cloud of blackness hangs above the heads of everyone you love. The speeches. The outpouring of love, confusion, anger — it all liquifies, dripping throughout the procession. You almost wish you could watch it. See what they would say about you. This is not a thought you say out loud.
There’s a lot you don’t say out loud. Suicide isn’t a thought we often verbalize. It stays tucked away in closets. It’s under tongues and we wait until others are sleeping before letting it creep out.
There are moments when we all have wondered. In the depths of despair, in canyons of incredible pain, when losses stack up and the idea pops in. A lightbulb blanketed by a sheet of grey and permanence. We wonder: what if I just can’t?
What if this is too much? What if life is not something I am meant to endure? What if I have done all I can?
Look at me, or hey, my words on your computer screen. Listen to me. I don’t know you. Probably. I might know some of you. You might know me. Maybe you’ve read about my failed relationships, poems about a boy who never even loved me, watching my father turn skeletal when I was a teenager, that I’m obsessed with sharks. Maybe you know that this year I was finally given a proper diagnosis, Bipolar II Disorder. Maybe you know that I have also contemplated suicide.
In August, I was the lowest I’ve ever been. Darker than when my entire world crashed down and my father died. More lost than any teenage heartbreak. Self-love was thrown out the window and I began to hate my reflection. And not for physical reason, but because I didn’t like my soul. I didn’t feel like a worthy human being. I had spent the past year lying my ass off about everything. I lied to my family about jobs and internships. I lied to my friends about where I was going. I lied to professors to mask my depression. I lied to boyfriends because I couldn’t fathom anyone loving the real me. I lied to myself when I was convinced I was happy and thriving. I was in a heightened state of manic, fueled by projects I wouldn’t finish. I thought I would be a rapper (I’m not kidding, I did make a music video that is coming out in a few weeks – LOLZ). I channeled all my energy into ANYTHING that avoided reality. I was sick. I went off Zoloft, one of the only constants in my life that had grounded me.
But the thing about being so high up? You will crash. And that’s what I did in August. During my manic phase, I spent most of my money. I spent it on trivial things, like gifts for the boy who never loved me. Do you want to feel better about stupid things you’ve done?
How’s this: I had $100 in my bank account. I spent $70 on an Ebay auction to get a T-shirt for the guy who was “just a friend” (a friend I was massively in love with and made the mistake of continuing to sleep with) because he had been searching for it for years. I then made up some bullshit excuse as to how I got it so he didn’t think getting it was a big deal. But it was and I skipped a lot of meals that week as a result. That’s what a manic episode looks like – completely irrational decisions because, in that moment, it makes sense and you feel like you HAVE to do it.
But when I crashed, my face collided so hard with the concrete, between mouthfuls of blood I decided it was too much. I took my car and drove to the edge of a hillside. And had my mother not called me, I’m not sure what I would have done. But she did. And I answered and realized what I would be doing. My mother lost her husband, father, and doing this would have been unforgivable to her. My mother was my angel. In more ways than one.
I asked for help. That’s what you need to do. I understand it is scary and not everyone comes from a place where it’s an easy thing to do. Not all communities are understanding and that’s bullshit and I hate it. I hate that anyone might make you feel inferior or weak for this very real thing you are battling. But I need you to ask for help. I need you to do it.
I would not have had the chance to work as a writer. I wouldn’t have met cute boys with glasses. I wouldn’t have met so many incredible people and formed the unbreakable bonds I have recently. I wouldn’t have heard from you, others in pain trying to navigate a way through it. I didn’t drive off that cliff and I need you do to the same.
I need you to come back home, even if that home is the inner-well of strength inside you have forgotten about. Turn around. Come back. Because if there’s one thing I have learned about the human experience is that it’s not too late. Things evolve and change, and if you’ve missed one opportunity, a different lane will open.
You are valuable. You are needed. You are not a lost cause or a disaster that can’t be saved. You cannot leave us when the world still has so much to learn from you.