TW: suicide, self-harm, eating disorder
“It’s going to be okay” she says holding me. She looks into my eyes, “It will get better”, but I struggle to look her in the eye. I can’t believe that. I close my eyes and all I can see is the red blood streaming from my arms earlier. I need to believe that, but I can’t. All I can remember is now. And now is painful. My happy childhood seems like a life belonging to a different person. I can’t remember the last meal I ate and kept down. I am too aware of my size, my need to be small. I want to disappear. To be invisible. But they can all see me and I feel their stares boring holes into my back.
“It’s fine, it doesn’t need to get better. I’m fine”, I avoid her concerned gaze. I hate myself for how I act around her and the others who know. I know it’s not fine. I know I’m a mess and they care, they worry. I hate myself for it, but I can’t deal with them caring. In my head, I do not deserve their concern. I hurry over to join the others, so that I don’t need to continue this conversation.
“I can’t do this,” I type, “I need this to end. I took some stuff, if I’m lucky I won’t wake up.” It’s 3am and I am so done with life. University wasn’t the dream everyone had told me to expect, it was more of a nightmare, and I needed to escape it. She had tried to stop me, to look after me. She is too good, too kind and I do not deserve her friendship. I am so sorry, I think as I drift asleep. I awake abruptly to knocking at my door. Shit, it didn’t work. I can’t do anything right I think to myself as I move to open the door. It was campus security, come to take me to A&E. Damn, why can’t people keep their mouths shut. I don’t want to go. I don’t really want to anything though, so I let them take me. My parents arrive in the A&E waiting room, concern and fear written all over their faces. They hug me and tell me they’re so glad I’m okay. I’m not.
I spend the summer hurting myself and just generally not looking after my body. I am smoking and drinking, getting day drunk several times a week. It’s not good and I know it’s stupid. She tells me the others are really worried, they may not know much, but they know something is wrong. That can’t be true, of course they’re not worried. They’re oblivious. Besides I’m fine, there isn’t anything to worry about, I brush off her comments.
The drinking continues into the start of term, with the first few weeks consisting of me getting day drunk often and being black-out drunk several times a week. It’s not good and I know it needs to stop, but I don’t see the point. Why should I bother? It’s not going to get any better anyway, I am going to die before my time, yet not soon enough. I can’t get better. I don’t even deserve to be happy.
That’s not true. Everyone deserves happiness. Everyone deserves to feel irreplaceable and beautiful. Last night I went out with a friend to have cocktails. I only had two. I am incredibly proud of myself and how far I’ve come.
It may be a bumpy ride, but I have kept moving forwards. I may have hurt myself the other day, but, you know, that was the first time in about 7 weeks, and the cuts weren’t so deep as they used to be. I can see my scars fading, and I’ve been thinking about the beautiful tattoos that I will get when I have the money. I also got rid of my blades that I used to use. I am okay.
I may not be 100% well, I will struggle with my mental health long term, but I now have healthy mechanisms to help me cope, I’ve got friends who I talk to about stuff, and I am happier now. Not all the time, but a lot more than I used to be. A lot more than I thought I ever would feel again.
So hang in there, you may be in a shit part of your life now, but please hold on and believe me that it will get better. It may take a while, but you can be happy and you deserve to be happy. I love you xoxox