They say you’ll never know unless you try, so I tried. Number nine, the number that reflected how many times I had tried and failed. Each time had brought me so close to success yet never close enough. Something always stopped me, placing a barrier between me and it. Last time it was my mother. I remember so vividly how the room had shook as she slammed open our bathroom door. How she had grabbed my near lifeless body with such desperation, the way in which she’d held me like a mother would an infant. She didn’t let me go until the ambulance arrived. Sirens were normally a relief, meant a life could be saved. I didn’t want saving. Blood spilled from the hand drawn lines on my arms and my hair sent cold droplets of bath water down my neck. She looked at me as I lay in the ambulance, my body limp against the bed. The fear buried within her eyes had been enough to make me want to stay just for a moment. But that moment didn’t last.
I don’t know exactly how long ago I’d last tried. Days all seemed to merge into one, a blur of numbers on clocks and days on calendars. I no longer woke up in the morning and barely even slept in the evening. I wasn’t really living, just letting my body going through the motions of being alive, my mind constantly trying to catch up. Routines never stuck. I’d given up on school a long time ago, had been failing at that too. These days I just stayed at home. Would let myself rot in the weird comfort of my depression, or low mood as any professional I spoke to would call it. It’s odd. No matter how much I thought I wanted to get better, I didn’t. I pushed away help, feared letting anyone in. It’s almost as if I didn’t really want to get better, just wished I’d never ended up like this. Getting better meant truly admitting the problem, it meant finding the motivation to want to live. How do you make yourself want to live?
After a while people had stopped checking in, had finally began to see me as the burden I knew I was. The first time I’d tried I had been flooded with messages, people wanted to see me, to know I was okay. But now? Now no one called me or invited me out. They knew all they’d hear is the chance to leave a voicemail or an empty offer of “maybe next time”. I liked it like this though. It meant I didn’t weigh down those who I cared about much more than I ever did for myself. The weight only broke my back, I didn’t allow it to disable everyone I let near. I could feel alone and be alone.
I despised everything about myself. Looking in mirrors was awfully uncomfortable, I’d just stare, stare and let myself wallow in the hatred for what looked back at me. Would disassociate until I felt sick, reality contorted into the experience of life through a third person perspective. Nothing felt real, I didn’t feel real. I was a simple figure of a human, my complexities embedded where they couldn’t be seen. My mind had left many a mark on my body. Silver scars sat with such shame on my thighs and my arms. A reminder that I was so weak I couldn’t even win a battle with myself. Guilt would punch my gut every time I gave into the urges. My parents had hidden everything they thought I could use as a weapon against myself but I would always find a way; blades, glass, needles. Anything that would offer me that temporary release of my mental pain translating into physical pain.
There’s no getting better, no treatment or cure. Medication meant I felt nothing but without it I felt everything. I’d tried deep breaths, wouldn’t embrace every inhale and exhale but would resent them, would wish they’d just stop. Grounding techniques kept me above ground but there’s only so many times one could count what they see. I often found myself wishing I was physically ill, that my pain would paint itself on the surface of my structure not sit deep within it. Being physically ill meant it was real, mentally ill didn’t. Even I let myself believe I was faking it sometimes, that it was all in my head and I’d deluded myself into the belief I was struggling. How do you even begin to explain how your mind isn’t right when you have no comparison.
They like to tell people that suicide isn’t selfish, that people need to ‘understand’. But it is selfish, so incredibly selfish. It means someone loses their son or daughter, their mother or father. It means that the end of your pain ignites the start of someone else’s. But when you’re so far into the desire to die, you eventually stop caring even about the people you should love the most. It’s not that you don’t love them, you do. It’s just that your disregard for yourself has caused you to experience disregard for others. It’s when their pleas for you to stay, to listen when they say “it will get better” fall numb. That’s when you know you’re not going back, that no matter how many failures you go through, you will one day get your success.
She put down the diary, her hand shaking as she placed it exactly where it came from. Just like the rest of the belongings in empty room she stood within it had been untouched for a week now. She didn’t want to taint the final image of her daughter. She wished that deep down she had thought she’d fail, that it wasn’t to be the end of her voice but the start of it being heard. She hoped it was an attempt at another cry for help not just an attempt. The first stage of grief is denial. She was most definitely in denial. Sometimes she thought she could hear her daughters voice calling down the stairs, would hear her laugh in her own but would feel guilty the second she did so. She shouldn’t be laughing, or smiling or moving on. How does one move on when they have lost half of their heart?