And Yet, I’m Here

I almost killed myself five years ago. I used to know the date- I don’t anymore. It was early December, and I was seventeen. My entire life was a struggle to cope with an autoimmune condition that had more questions than answers, which did nothing to help my mental health. At fourteen I was admitted into my first treatment program for anorexia. Fast forward to age seventeen I had been through therapy for depression, anxiety, bulimia, binge-eating, and cutting.

And yet, I’m here.

I was a senior in high school. Everyone I knew was looking forward to graduation. There were hopes, dreams, and plans being discussed and it was an exciting time. I remember I could come up with what I wanted to do in a vague sense. I had some ideas. However, when I really thought about where I was headed in life all I could wonder was if I was actually going anywhere? If not my mental state, surely my physical health would hinder me. It developed to the point where I couldn’t see a future for myself. That day in December I counted out a lot of pills. I used to know the number- I don’t anymore. It was in the 70s and I swallowed them all and laid down to wait.

And yet, I’m here.

I was expecting to feel relief, or freedom even. Except I had never hated myself as much as I did in that moment. That terrorized me, and something flipped inside me long enough to call an ambulance on myself. I spent months questioning this move- should I even be trying to live? I began whatever round of therapy that one was doubting everything about my existence.

And yet, I’m here.

That time was different. I truly had never been so disgusted or ashamed of myself as I was after I took all those pills. I think reflecting on that pushed me to find alternatives. I committed to living a life. And while these past five years have by no means been a bed of roses, I am here. And I have not been suicidal since.

I struggle more than I like to admit- mostly because I just want to focus on what’s good. But talking about hardship doesn’t mean denying what’s been going well. I’ve been going through a lot of major life changes (an apartment, a new job, moving forward in school). While these are all wonderful, exciting, and even needed changes it’s been a daunting experience. I feel inadequate to be taking all this on and I seriously doubt myself at least once a day. I’m miserable at making sure I eat when I’m stressed. I’ve cried myself to sleep because my anxiety is so intense. And while I’ll question if I’m able to do all that I’m doing- my actions speak louder than my thoughts. I’m here.

October has Mental Illness Awareness Week, which is when this post was inspired. Mental illnesses are serious and debilitating. With proper treatment and help, they are able to be overcome. I like to think of myself as an example of that. If you ever feel like you need help, find it- it is so, so worth it. In five years you’re really going to like to be able to say you’re here.

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