Editor’s Note: Trigger warning for self-harm and attempted suicide
I’m running but I’m nowhere near fast enough. I just can’t keep up. I’m stumbling. Oh god, I’m stumbling. I’m falling. I hit the ground in a ball of despair and anger. I’m helpless. I’m broken.
It’s a strike; six have fallen. So where am I to stand? There’s no room for me here, nowhere to go.
My head is a concoction of beautiful words that should help me through these losses. Yet they’re getting twisted and contorted into phrases of hopelessness, just telling me to give up, that there’s no use anymore; they’re all gone.
The fog in my mind eases for just a moment and I’m in my room. I’m at my desk, looking at my bedroom walls covered in everything that has ever inspired me. I’m opening my desk drawer where I’ve kept my knife for the past year while I’ve contemplated this. The light hits that blade just right. I see it sparkle and shine, like the north star doing its best to call me home; bring me to rest. How can I resist such a peaceful calling? There’s nothing here for me anymore. I’ve lost six of my closest friends over the course of a year, along with 3 relatives. I must be the bad luck charm causing all of this; I’d be doing nothing more than a favor. I’d be saving everyone else… Right?
I hold that knife in my hand and I look at it. I see the words “end it” engraved on the blade. Never has a message been so clear. I feel like I can breathe, for the first time in over a year, my chest is no longer compressed. I’m finally going to be at ease; I will no longer hurt. Thank god.
I didn’t bother to write a note, everyone would already know why I had done it; it would be no surprise. I had suffered from depression for years, even before I had a “reason.” This past year has sent me on a spiral though. I’ve finally realized that it’s me that’s been the broken one all along. It’s me who has caused my own misery, and I can’t fix a damn thing about it because I’m damaged goods. My brain isn’t wired right.
The fog is beginning to come back, my heart is starting to race again. I need to do it now.
I roll my sleeve up and look at my past scars and for some reason I feel happy, almost proud. I’m finally going to do it, no more kidding around. I’m feeling more relaxed every second at the thought of it.
I rest that blade on my wrist “end it” facing towards me so I can read it.
Just as I’m about to apply pressure and feel my life drip slowly down my arm, I hear the front door open. I hear my two nieces, aged 3 and 4, come barging in the door yelling for me. They are calling for me with such an innocence. Such joy. They love me. They look up to me. I look up at my bedroom wall and see the lyrics “Jesus Christ, I’m not scared to die, I’m a little bit scared of what comes after.” I look around my room, repeating those words in my head, because my god, they’re true, even though I never wanted to admit it. I see my dog laying on the bed asleep and so peaceful. My nieces are almost at my bedroom door by now; they’re so genuine, so pure.
I look at my arm and what I was about to do and begin to sob at the thought of leaving them to find me like that. To just leave them in general; I can’t. I put the knife in the very back of desk drawer and vowed to never consider it an option again.
I realized in those moments that there ARE things worth living for. And there always will be. Whether I can see them during the storm or not. The fog will clear, my mind will calm, and I will be surrounded by love.
I opened my bedroom door right as my nieces arrived at the end of the hallway. They both hugged me around the knees and started telling me how much they missed and loved me.
I looked at my bedroom wall and read a different quote this time; “our fingerprints never fade from the lives that we touch.”
Coping with mental illness is hard. Explaining it to people who can’t relate is even harder. Alavits is an aspiring creative just trying to maneuver daily life and maintain control over her own mind.