This article contains graphic descriptions and topics that may be upsetting to some readers. If you are having active thoughts of suicide and/or self-injury, I urge you call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, click here to visit the official website, or dial 911. You are not alone; there is always help available.
To the many family and friends who are about to read this, it may come as a massive shock. I realize that this isn't going to be easy for any of us. However, I feel that it is now time for you to know who I really am. This is a part of my story.
I never expected to be in this position, nobody ever does. I never thought that on so many nights, I'd be lying on my back in a euphoric high, paralyzed and numb with tears streaming down my face, barely breathing and barely conscious, with blood slowly oozing out of the fresh cuts on my wrists or thighs. I never thought that on several occasions, I would find myself balled up in the darkness of my dorm room with a hand-full of pills, fighting with myself for hours, trying to either find the courage to swallow them or find the will to live through another day. I never thought that I would find myself unable to get out of bed, go to classes, eat, or even shower because I simply had no energy or motivation to do so.
This is the reality that I've been living for the last five years. Nearly every single day is war. I won't deny that some days are better than others, but even on those good days, there is always something like a dark fog clouding my existence. With that being said, I want to issue the following apologies:
To my former teachers and current professors, I'm sorry that I've been unable to be the perfect student you hoped for. Just please know that I really am trying to do my best through all this. To my closest friends who already know, I'm not sure how I'll ever be able to repay any of you for the indescribable kindness and support you've all given me.
I'm sorry for scaring you sometimes and putting you in situations that are hard to handle. Lastly, to my family, I'm sorry I wasn't able to come to you about any of this sooner. I wasn't ready or willing to admit how bad I've been feeling, but I am now and I hope that you will be willing to support me without judgment or resentment.
Last school year, a few days after getting obscenely drunk and vomiting all night, the group of guys I had been with sat me down and did something I will never forget. They told me that I had showed them my cuts and made several suicidal threats that night. They told me that they were very concerned, and wanted me to see a counselor. At first, I was furious and defensive and I refused to even consider it. But, they continued to press me and even said they'd be willing to go with me for support if I wanted it.
After a few weeks and a few more reminders from the guys, I finally was able to summon the courage to call the University Health and Counseling Center and make an appointment. Going into that first meeting, I can't even begin to describe just how scared and anxious I was; I wanted to run away and hide. I was sweating and my hand was shaking as i tried to fill out the paperwork. However, by the time the meeting ended, I almost didn't want to leave. I felt as if a massive weight had started to lift off my shoulders, as if I could breathe easier and walk a little taller. I knew right then and there that I was doing the right thing.
I want to now fast-forward to the present day. As of right now, I go to counseling every week and I've been working with a University doctor and psychiatrist to find the right medications to help me. I refuse to be ashamed that I need that extra support to live my life in a healthy manner. I will admit that I am not in the best place right now, I'm still struggling nearly every day. But, at least now I am hopeful that one day I will be able to mange this on my own.
Now, I'm sure some readers are wondering why I would be putting myself out here like this, and wondering why my story should matter to them, so I'll explain. I'm choosing to tell a part of my story because I know that I am not the only person who deals with these thoughts and emotions. There are countless others just like me who need a little nudge in the right direction. There is no shame in admitting that you need help.
I know how hard it is and how scary it can be, but if you're living your life in constant pain, then you can't be the amazing person you're destined to be. I'm not doing this to seek attention, in fact I didn't even want to write this initially. But then I thought about others in similar situations as myself, and I knew that if I could help just one of them, then I could justify telling this story.
It's not always easy to see, but your life is worth living. I know I have a long way to go, but taking it one step at a time and giving each day your best shot is all anyone can ask of us. To the millions of people who struggle with depression, anxiety, self-harm, suicidal ideation, and any other form of mental illness, you are not alone and you are not any less of a person. There is always hope, even in the darkest of times.