I am lying on the bathroom floor. The tile is cool against my skin. I raise my arm and see a drop of red trickle down. I am not moved. I feel nothing. I vaguely remember scratching my skin until I started to bleed. I am anxious. I can’t breathe. I am shaking. My heart feels like it is about to burst from its cage and beat out of my flesh. My soul feels as if it has imploded. I had to take a benzodiazepine to calm down. I took one. Then another. And another, until I felt myself sink into a state of existing and not living. This; this was the night I heard those awful words that you and the others wanted me dead. That you no longer wanted to see me walk the streets of the boulevard or see me struggling at a table in the library. This was the night of my attempt to end it all.
I am staring at the ceiling. I don’t see anything. My body feels as if it is a dead weight, but my soul feels light as a feather. I feel as if I was leaving my body. I could slowly feel myself be lifted up away from my corpse. Then it began to play over again. That night, the night that you told me that you loved me. I watched as the memory unfolded before me.
We were sitting in your car. I remember staring out at the playground you parked at. We talked and you looked at me, a softness in your eyes. I said that I didn’t know if I could handle what I was going through. I told you that I wouldn’t be able to do it without your help. I told you that I needed you, because you made me feel safe and that you made me feel like I could conquer my depression. I hugged you and I cried. I bawled into your shoulder and you, you wrapped your arms around me and you tightened your grip. You whispered in my ear, “Shhh, I got you. It’s ok, I am here with you and I am not going to leave you.” In that moment I felt so safe, I felt like my past was being wiped clean. For the first time I felt loved. I told you that I loved you and that I would always love you. You kissed me on the cheek and said that you loved me too and that you would always be there for me.
If you loved me, why did you leave me? I was slammed back to reality and the pain I felt from reliving that memory was too much to bear. I finished the bottle of pills I had, along with a few others. I wanted to sleep. I wanted to fall into a blissful emptiness and stay there until everything was over. My last thought before the darkness washed over me was “I am leaving this world without saying goodbye. Plenty won’t understand but those who have been at this point will.” Someone had other plans for my life, because I didn’t die that night. My attempt had failed and I was still alive.
Here I am, mending those pieces back together still. I am not ashamed for still being broken. I am not ashamed for my honesty. I am not afraid to be brave and speak about my experience with depression and with this night. It is a part of what has made me the understanding and mature individual that I am today. I am not ashamed to say that I care until it hurts. I am not ashamed to pray for you.
I am proud. I am proud of myself for continuing to live here, even though seeing you breaks some of what I have healed. I am proud that I have remained strong. I am proud that I have forgiven you. I am proud that I took the necessary steps for a healthy life. I am proud of who I am. The only reminders I have of this night are thin red scars on my left arm. They serve as a reminder to me that I am strong enough to at least breathe and face you every day.
Sometimes we lose people we aren’t ready to lose. Sometimes life screws you over and you can turn it every way trying to find out why. Let yourself hurt, let yourself heal. It’s our condition. Evil cannot be justified. The only thing we can do with the things that have hurt us is learn, defeat bitterness, and become more beautiful.
To anyone who may be where I used to be, I hope you are inspired to get back up and keep walking. I promise you can make it out and since I have been where you are, I know what it is like to be hopeless. I know what it is like to see no other way out. I know how awfully painful each breath you take to just exist is. Be strong and don’t give up. There are people who will help you regardless of how broken or how hurt you are. And yes, others will leave you when you are at your most broken, but forgive them instantly and love them anyway. Just know that you are stronger than they are because you are actually dealing with something they will never understand. Stand tall and be brave to talk about it. There are people who fear this brave honesty and will try to stifle your cries and they will try to silence you. Talk anyway, they only fear it because they cannot understand it.