For a very long time now, I’ve been scared and tired. I put on this facade of being sarcastic and bad ass, when in reality I’ve been dying for years. It started when my grandfather died of thyroid cancer. My innocence died that day too, and I began to see humanity for what it was: cruel and stupid. Grandpa was the only father figure I ever had, until my stepdad came into the picture when I was fifteen. Losing someone so important…it shattered me and my whole perception of the world.
In sixth grade, something happened to me which still haunts me to this day. My mother suffers from a lot of medical issues, you see, and between her and Grandpa, I’ve been going to hospitals all my life. She had gone though another surgery, and when I asked her what was for dinner, she said to make myself a frozen meal. It may seem like a small thing, but the message my mother sent me (unknowingly and unintentionally, I’m sure) was that she didn’t want to take the time to nourish me. I don’t know, she may have been suffering from the same depression I am now or she may have still felt sick. But for an eleven year old, it’s so much more than a meal. It was a chance to bond with Mom.
Flash forward to May 2016. I was nineteen and loving my job at Home Depot. I don’t have a car so I’d take the bus to work. They kept scheduling me for shifts starting at six and seven AM. This resulted in my chronic lateness. I tried so hard to get them to stop scheduling me for early shifts but they didn’t listen and fired me for the lateness they had a role in.
My confidence shattered then. I felt like a moocher. I couldn’t pay rent. I couldn’t pay for dates. I couldn’t even risk library fines. I was two hundred dollars in overdraft debt to my previous bank at the time. It wasn’t a huge amount compared to what some folks owe, but it was enough to cause me to lay awake most nights thinking about it.
September 2016. Luca, our dog, had just died and quite frankly I wanted to join her. I mistakenly thought that the mass/blockage/whatever that killed her was caused by her eating a plastic bag that I left lying around. I took her death so hard because she was never just a dog to me. She was the only friend I had at the time.
Despite the support system I had, I was still hurting. One day, the depression and guilt got so bad that I started thinking seriously about suicide. I got as far as writing a note, which I still have. I was so ashamed that I had reached such a low point in my life. I felt guilty over what had happened to Lu. I hated myself for how I treated my grandmother. I felt undeserving of the gift of life. What still frightens me to this day is that I actually had the means to do it. I’d gone off my sleeping pills but I hadn’t thrown them out. At the time, it seemed like a quick and painless way to go. G-d knows I’m too chickenshit and too broke to buy a gun.
I don’t know why I feel all this sadness. After all, I have a great support system and access to meds, amazing parents, friends, and I’m doing well in school. I thought misery was a luxury only the rich could afford. I didn’t seek help because I was so scared that if I did, I’d be judged unfavorably. Go ahead, call me vain, but it’s true. I thought I’d be chucked in the madhouse. I knew I had a support system. I knew that. But my subconscious didn’t seem to. It was almost as though my subconscious and my awareness were at constant war with one another. They’re both part of me. How do I choose? How do I find the balance?
Once a few weeks ago I forgot to go to work and I thought for sure I’d be fired again. So I went to the counseling center on campus and my pain just let loose and overtook me. I’ve made a resolution to flush my sleeping pills and see a counselor once a week, or at least every other week.
I’ve spent so many years looking after the people I love that I was afraid to let them take care of me. I felt as though G-d had abandoned me. Why else would He make me afraid of my own mind? Depression is like a thousand knives stabbing you all over your body. You can’t move or even breathe. It’s like getting the Dementor’s Kiss. It fucking sucks donkey assballs.
The monsters in my head won’t go away. They never go away. I don’t know what to do or how to deal with how I’m feeling. This is getting ridiculous. It’s starting to take over my life. I can’t live like this anymore. I used to self harm too. I was so desperate to lose weight in high school that I skipped lunch my entire freshman year. The guy I was dating at the time shared every other lunch shift with me so I spent those days with him. I said I wasn’t hungry but I was. The other days I spent in the school library. God must hate me to plague me with these issues. Have I done something, said something to piss Him off? The worst kind of pain is the kind you feel you have no right to because things could be worse. I have friends, I’m doing okay in school, I’m working a job I love and I have more books than I could read in a lifetime. And yet my mind is a black hole filled with abandonment issues, anxiety, screaming pain and loneliness. Sometimes it’s so bad that I can’t move or even breathe. I am living in my own hell.
The anxiety is the worst. It isn’t just worry. Anxiety is the reason why I’m so shy. I will proofread every single text I send because I worry if there’s even one mistake I will be thought to be uneducated. I can’t look anyone in the eyes for more than a few seconds.
Last night I had a panic attack over something stupid. Apparently the whole building could hear me singing along to my headphone music. I inadvertently revealed one of the most private and secret parts of myself to I don’t even know how many people at eleven at night. I felt naked. I don’t know how many of you watch Game of Thrones, but last night I felt as naked and vulnerable as Cersei Lannister must have during her walk of shame through the streets of King’s Landing. I had the worst panic attack of my life. My heart was pounding, I was in tears, my breathing was rapid and rattly, and my hands were shaking. Texting my friend was the only thing that got me through the whole ordeal.
But I’m going to live. I’m going to get my degree and have sex and do all the things my shitty mental health prevented me from doing before. I’ve made up my mind.
I am unstoppable.