Attention: Possible trigger!
With the recent publicized suicides – and those that go silently: I have decided that hiding behind my dark curtain is not helping anyone – least of all me. I was taught to keep my mental illness a secret. That everyone “is not your friend” and “some will use this against you” I was even told this at work. My mental health is a part of me. I have spent years struggling, so for you to tell me people will make fun of me, or claim that I’m “high” because they know I take prescribed medications to help me function – is bullshit. I open up to anyone I think I can help and if someone wants to be vindictive about it. That’s their problem and furthermore they should grow the fuck up.
I began self-harming at 10. I was born with a hole in my heart; at 5 I had open heart surgery to fix said problem so I have been fighting to live, my entire life. As with most children, home was nowhere near perfect. I’ll spare details because there are plenty who know my parents as “good people” and I don’t want that to change. However, by age 10 I had begun self-harm. I would take a sewing needle and carve band names into my knees. When I was caught by my mother, I lied saying a friend at school did it.
By 15 I attempted suicide – fortunately for me, I couldn’t keep the bottle of Tylenol PM down – so I went back to cutting, to at least dull the uncontrollable pain inside. I was reckless. Those who know me from high school can validate; I didn’t care if I lived from one minute to the next. Poetry and photography were my only outlet, and all my poems were sick, sad descriptions of my world. I broke down at 17 and found a doctor on my own where I was diagnosed with depression. Medication helped, for several years, relapsing a few times a year to cutting and feeling guilty each time.
I married my high school sweetheart at 20, I felt as though he was the only person in the world that understood me. I never thanked him properly for helping me through 20 + years of bullshit. Time took its toll on us both, and at 28 we divorced. The darkness, the pain and the recklessness crept back in. All with the realization that the one thing that made sense to me in this world, didn’t want to be with me anymore. I went back to self-harm, binge drinking, and God knows what else. I was sleep walking, having night terrors and had my second unsuccessful suicide attempt.
At 30, I was hospitalized. Oh no! Another mental illness stigma! Who will use this information against me? I can honestly say it was the best solution for me at the time. I needed help…professional help, not just chemical anti-depressants. After my 52 hours were up, I was clinically diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. I had a new hope…a therapist and a different route of medication.
I have come a long way from being the introverted, moody, anorexic sad girl – and I’m thankful I lived through the journey. I share my story with you in the face of personal persecution by family and co-workers; because I want you to know you are not alone. There is always help. If you can’t bring yourself to speak to someone over the phone, you can text for help.
You are not alone, darling. I am with you and I love you.
Remember, this is your story; so far.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-8255
Emergency: Dial 911