Everyone says Valentine's Day is the day where you show your significant other, family, and friends how much you love them. What about yourself though?
Loving yourself is one of the most important things someone can do for themselves. I'm not saying to not celebrate with your loved ones, but do something nice for yourself as well.
I'll be the first to admit, loving myself has never been easy for me. I suffer from anxiety and depression, which makes it even harder on top of everything my body has been through. The past 365 days have been the hardest for me, mentally and physically. In the past year, my body and my mind have been through Hell and back... a few times. I want to open up about my experiences from just the past 365 days.
Last Valentine's day, I was dating someone completely different, I was in a completely different state of mind, and I was a totally different person. To start off, my ex-boyfriend who I was on and off with for 3 years, began to hit me when we got into fights. He called them "playful hits" or "playful slaps on the face" and always said how it didn't hurt when he did it to me...even though he didn't feel my pain. Fast forward to March, I had my first surgery getting my tonsils out, and had my first allergic reaction to the pain medication I was given. The day after those two happened, my ex-boyfriend broke up with me. Now in April, my best friend and I started dating before I realized I wasn't ready yet, school was stressful, and I was going out a lot. I stopped taking my antidepressants because I couldn't drink while I was on them, and I thought I was fine and didn't need them... I was wrong. My depression pretty much went into a downward spiral where I started self-harming again and constantly had suicidal thoughts.
Now in June, my boyfriend and I decided to take a break so I could work on my mental health, but he was still always there for me. I met up with an old friend from elementary school, which was exciting... until he sexually assaulted me in my own house. He left bruises on my legs and hips, he was so aggressive I was bleeding for the rest of the night. Physically and mentally that was one of the hardest things I had to deal with. My best friend came down from upstate the weekend after, just so I wouldn't be alone. July and most of August felt more like a blur, switching therapists, changing meds that didn't work. My best friend and I got back together after our break that August and he is still my best friend.
Starting my junior year of college was exciting and nerve-racking all at the same time. After 2 days of classes, it hit me. I had the most massive panic attack that I have ever experienced, everything I had been holding in came out like a hurricane and there was no stopping it. 2 hours in I called my mom, which helped, but not for long. 3 hours into the panic attack I had a suicide plan, 4 hours into the panic attack my boyfriend drove me around to try to calm me, 5 hours into the attack we went to the emergency room at 1 am. At 5 am they admitted me to the psychiatric emergency room, where my boyfriend had to leave me, I got put in a gown, socks, and they took everything from me and locked it up. I got put into a "room" with a bed nailed to the floor, the walls were soft and so was the door. 18 hours after being in the ER, I was let out. Why did it take 18 hours? Well, psychiatrists need to evaluate patients before they leave, the first one on shift saw 2 people then decided he did not want to see any more patients at around 11 am. The next doctor did not come in until 4 pm. I didn't see him until 5 pm, I was let out at 6 pm. I took my fall semester off to work on my mental health and get better.
I started seeing my psychiatrist and my psychologist that I see now. We kept increasing the dosage, but nothing was working. Early November I cut myself in a suicide attempt, my boyfriend made me call my mom and she rushed home to my side. Fast forward to my 20th birthday, the same day as my friend's birthday. He would've been 21, but he died tragically in an accident when he was 19. My psychologist and I worked on me accepting that situation and trying to figure out why it was taking such a toll on me and my emotions... it's cause I love him, I loved him when he was alive, but I never knew it and now I could never tell him. Somehow, figuring that out gave me a lot of closure regarding him and why I constantly missed him so much. I went to his grave for the first time since his funeral with my mom, we both cried and told him we miss him and we love him forever.
December comes around, I had some things on my mind still. My medications still were not working, which was making me extremely frustrated. I was anxious about talking to one of my family members about not wanting to go on vacation with them, and I was already frustrated and upset. I talked to them and the night didn't end well. I went home and was having lots of suicidal thoughts and was feeling extremely depressed. I came up with a plan and executed it. I attempted to overdose on a medication I was prescribed. Immediately after, my boyfriend said that if I don't go get my mother and tell her, he would (which was a good thing that he made me do that). I got my mom up, my stepdad called his friend who is a doctor. They said they think I'll be okay and that it wouldn't be fatal. My mother and I slept in our guest bedroom that night so she could stay near me. The next morning I heard my mother and my stepdad getting up for work, I tried to open my eyes... but everything was dark. I tried talking, but my mouth didn't move and no sound came out. I immediately thought, "I actually killed myself... it actually worked... fuck... I didn't mean to do this. Get up... Niky wake up!!! get yourself up!!" I knew my body wasn't moving though. My mom ended up shaking me to wake me up and my eyes opened but my brain was barely working correctly. Since that day I have never been more thankful that I didn't succeed. I am so happy I got my genome tested, got the right medications, and the right dosage.
That night I was hoping I wouldn't make it to see 2019, now I couldn't be happier that I am here. Happy Valentine's Day to myself, my body and mind have been through so much in the past year alone. My body and my mind as strong as hell and no one can tell me otherwise. I took this valentines day, to appreciate my body and my mind and show myself the love I deserve to give myself. Self-love is hard, but dedicating this Valentine's Day to myself was one of the best things I could've done for myself. Show everyone you love them, especially yourself. Sometimes we need a reminder to show ourselves some love.