To the voices inside my head,
You made my life a living hell.
I have seen, felt, and heard so many things in my 18 years of living that no one should ever have to experience. When someone hears Kelly Clarkson’s song “Because of You,” they think of someone who broke their heart, but I think of you. The one line that goes “I’m forced to fake a smile, a laugh every day of my life” causes me to consider how many times I forgot what it’s like to genuinely be happy because of how much pain you brought me. You made living so hard and tiring, and, for lack of a better word, hopeless. I never knew what it was like to feel like a prisoner in my own body until you showed up. Because of you, I have a heart and body full of scars. And at this point, I have lost count of how many times I had to lie about the origin of those scars. I have lost, and hurt, so many friends in the past because I was too busy listening to you, rather than accepting help from my friends. And school? I didn’t do as well in school as I could have because you kept trying to bother me whenever you were bored, and because of that, I did not get accepted into any of the colleges I wanted to attend. Speaking of college, I couldn't even experience my first semester like everyone else because of you. While my friends were crying over the workload and gaining the inevitable freshman 15, I was stuck home with my old pal Zoloft and my new therapist trying to get you out of my head. Whenever I told someone I was taking a semester off, they would say I was “lucky” because of how stressful freshmen year is. If everyone was telling me "I'm lucky", why didn’t I feel lucky? I would say that I was alone since all of my friends were at school, but you were always there keeping me company during the darkest times to serve as a reminder as to why I was home in the first place. And believe me, you NEVER let me forget. Whenever I thought things were finally turning around, I guess you thought “LOL NOPE” and came running back to torture me. Did you have fun hurting me like this?
You made my life a living nightmare.
Four years ago, when you attacked me at my most vulnerable time, everything came crumbling down. Everyone kept telling me that I'll be happy again, that life would get better. But I was impatient, weak, and desperate. I wanted the pain to stop. You told me the only way to do that was to say goodbye to everything and everyone I love. You convinced me that I was alone and had no future. Admittedly, you were one hell of a persuader. I wanted the pain to stop, so you told me to take some painkillers to make the pain go away. I did. You told me I had every reason to swallow all those Advils, and if I didn't then I would regret not even trying. I guess you really convinced me into believing everything you were telling me because when I opened my eyes the next morning, I felt the need to do it again. And when I told a friend that I wanted to do it again, except with more, a few minutes later blue and red lights were flashing outside my window. You are the reason why I did not go to school for a month when I was a freshman. Instead of watching the 2013 Super Bowl like everyone else in America, I was escorted by police to the emergency room for swallowing more than the recommended amount of Advil. After spending a night full of IV fluids and tests to make sure I didn’t f*ck up anything internally, I was strapped down to a gurney, rolled into the back of an ambulance, and sent to a hospital somewhere in New York, made specifically for people like me. But that wasn’t the end of it. Surprisingly, they let me out after four days because they thought I was already better when in reality, I was scared to death. I needed to get out of there. And whenever my parents came to visit, seeing how heartbroken they were made me want to get out of there even more. After four days and three nights in that nightmare, I was sent to an outpatient hospital; a hospital that treats you during the day, and at night you are sent back to your own home to sleep in your own bed. I spent three and a half weeks at this hospital. I felt safer there, but for some reason, when they told me it was time to go back to school, I was happy. Foolish little 14 year old me thought that when I went back to school, everything would be fine; I would have my friends again, nothing would trigger me, I would catch up on all of my school work and bring up my grades. HA. Boy, I only fooled myself for underestimating you. You were a lot stronger than I was back then so when I went back to school, I felt worse than before I left.
You made my life a lot harder than I could handle.
Everyday tasks became a chore. Everyday objects became triggers. Living, itself, became arduous. I woke up every morning wishing I didn’t, and went to sleep every night hoping my eyes never have to open again. I couldn’t cross a street without hoping a car would hit me and end my misery. I couldn’t walk around in buildings with more than one floor without wanting to throw myself down the stairs. I couldn’t cut up wrapping paper with a pair of scissors without having the desire to cut myself as well. Every time I got out of bed, I always felt like I was going to fall apart at any given minute. I felt so weak and lifeless. Physically I was still on earth, but I was emotionally and mentally dead. I thought why not just get rid of the body now? I lived every day of my life wondering when my next mental breakdown was going to be. I live my life in fear because I never know when you’re going attack. This is what YOU have been done to me ever since you came into my life.
You made my life seem worthless.
You made me feel worthless. You’re like a boomerang; no matter how far I throw you, you always find a way back to me. And I guess that’s something I am going to have to live with for the rest of my life. As shitty and miserable as you have been making my life, I am never going to stop fighting you. You are the worst thing that has ever happened to me, but I would be lying if I said that all you have ever brought me was agony. In the midst of all this chaos, you’re the one who showed me who truly cares about me, and who isn’t worth my time. You are, undoubtedly, the reason why I am surrounded by the people I am loved by today. You completely changed me, and from what I’m told, it’s for the better. Ever since that February night 4 years ago, I tried my best to not let you take control of my mind like you did when I swallowed all those Advils. And look at where I am now; I’m physically and mentally stronger than ever before, and I am surrounded by the best support. If I did end my life like you told me to all these years, then my token white friend and I never would have made up. She’s one of the friends I lost because of you back when I was a freshman. I probably gave her the hardest time back then and I will always feel sorry about that. But just about a year later, we made up and now I can’t live without her (sorry not sorry to the tall Greek big butt cause she was mine first). If I did give up like I wanted to, I wouldn’t have had those lonely Day 4 lunches with the super hot, inspiring, beautiful, fashion blogger that actually made our friendship stronger back when we were sophomores. If I did take this life that God created me for granted, I wouldn’t know what it’s like to have “hot boys ruin my life” with the girls I met at a winter retreat a few years back. You made it hard for me to believe that God existed and was watching over me. You made me think If God truly is there, why is he letting this happen to me? But if you never came into my life, I probably wouldn’t be as close with fabfour as I am now, and my faith never would have been this strong if I never became close with them. If I did take the easy way out of this pain, I wouldn’t be as close to my family as I am now. There was a period of time when I hated my family because of you. I thought it was because of the people all this time, but now I realize that it was YOU who filled my mind with distaste against the people who have cared about me ever since the day I was born. If I did leave everyone and everything behind like I once thought I should, my cousin and I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to go to school together. I wouldn’t have been there for her to comfort her in her time of need, or to laugh about our lack of cute baby photos. If I did let you take control of my life like I used to let you a long time ago, I wouldn’t have fallen in love again. Because of you, my idea of love was ruined, and I never wanted to feel that kind of pain ever again. Then one day, this really weird, alfredo-obsessed, Shrek-loving, meme of a boy walks into my life and shows me how beautiful love really is. If I did say my final goodbyes when you told me to, I wouldn’t have been there to crawl into my best friend’s shitty twin xl bed in her dorm and hold her as she cried about her broken heart. Thanks to you, I became closer with my best friend (which neither of us thought was even possible for us to become any closer than we already were) and held each other’s hand all throughout pre-pubescent 8th grade and horrifying high school. If I wasn’t here, then who would be there to make sure she’s as happy as she deserves to be? Who would be there to hold her when she’s crying her hardest? Who would be there to bring her macarons after she had a fight with her mom and craved some? Who would’ve made her a scrapbook of our friendship for her 16th birthday present? Who would’ve drove over to her house an hour and a half before prom pictures to fix her hair? But more importantly, who would be there to cry over the increasing price of Kat Von D’s Tattoo Eyeliner with her???
You helped me find purpose in this life. You helped me realize why I went through everything I have gone through and why I am still here today. You're the reason why I love and care for my friends and family the way I do now. I don’t hate you for making my life so shitty, not even a little bit. The only thing I hate is the way I tried to fight you on my own for so long when this is a war that can only be won with friends and family by my side. So give me your worst, because now, knowing who’s going to be there to catch me when I fall, I can confidently say, “I will get through this.” I’m not the weak little girl you loved to torment all those years ago. I’m stronger than you could imagine thanks to those who love me. I won the battle this time around. So until next time, goodbye my old friend. I’ll be here waiting to fight you until the day I die.
The Girl Who Is Still Standing 6 Years Later