a matter of staying
I didn’t want to be there. I truly didn’t. But I knew I had to be.
On July 26th, 2016 I tried to commit suicide. I had always dealt with the issues and setbacks of having a mental illness all throughout my adolescent years, but they extremely increased as I got older. I tried to ignore my demons, as if they were just a mere part of my imagination. Really, I had a good father, a nice home, clothes on my back, food on the table, what more could I possibly ask for? I suppose it just wasn’t enough. I had a longing for compassion and to be full. Full of happiness, love, support, intelligence, and just pure bliss. I longed for it so badly. It became an obsession. Therefore, I would try to make others seem as if i were the happiest, most supportive person anyone could encounter. I felt as though, if i portrayed that I was a sane, happy teenager, my mind would believe I truly was one.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. It had only made things much more difficult. I lost interest in many of the things I once loved to do. I had trouble with sleeping patterns, I would either sleep all day, or not at all. I could barely eat, and when I did, my body just rejected it. I truly believed in my mind that I had no will to live, and my body began to listen and agree.
I didn’t notice it was a problem until around the spring of 2016. As the spring approached, I realized I was constantly having to make new friends because I would push my old ones away. Little did I know, I had been doing it all my life. I was becoming more and more irritable, manic, and restless, this is when it truly became bad.
Prior to this time, it would just come in waves. I would be extremely depressed, but I would find something to occupy myself with, and I would slowly forget why I was depressed. This worked until I came to the harsh realization that nothing lasts forever.
By this point, it was far too late. I had pushed everyone I loved away, and treated them with such cruelty and disrespect. I was alone. I truly hated myself, and that just made me truly convinced I had no will to live, whatsoever. I remember the entire week so vividly. All weekend I was working, and I would get so anxious I would have to excuse myself to use the restroom almost every twenty minutes just to get through the night. At this point, I was seeing a therapist, and she explained that I was passively suicidal. That I would love to die, but wouldn’t put the act of suicide into action. It was like this until I was in the bathroom at work, splashing my face with cold water to ease my mind, and to convince myself I could work like a normal teenager without mental breakdowns. I looked at myself in the mirror, with bloodshot eyes, dark circles under my eyes, hollow cheeks, almost sick-looking pale skin. The darkness inside of me, was showing on the outside and I didn’t notice until this point. Or at least I didn’t choose to notice until then. And when I did, I wanted to truly end it all. I was so scared of myself because I knew I’d do it. I was always afraid of going to hell for committing suicide, which was the reason that held me back for so long.
But, I was no longer scared of going to hell. Life on Earth was my hell. I just couldn’t fight anymore. At the end of the night, I went home, showered, and went to bed. I ignored what I thought about that night and days passed. I laid around, just waiting for time to pass. I didn’t want to be here.
It was a Tuesday, I had a hard time getting out of bed that morning, much harder than usual. My friend was over too, and she had been texting my dad because they were extremely concerned with what my behavior entailed. Around 10 AM, i went into my bathroom and just laid on the ground, in complete distress. I laid, and cried. I had the same song on my phone repeating, along with the negative thoughts in my head that repeated with it. A constant circle of negativity. My friend had eventually found me, picked me up and gave me some water. My dad came home from work, and just hugged me and told me everything was going to be okay. I didn’t say much. Just nodded my head, and went back inside. Julia tried to get me outside that day, so I went with her to the Allentown Park. I was truly miserable and regretted even agreeing to coming along. She brought me home around 4:30, and my dad gets off work at 5. I was alone for thirty minutes. I thought I would be fine. I was so wrong. So wrong. And that was enough time to trigger everything I had held inside. I was going to do it. I was crying and I went downstairs, grabbed scissors and sliced my entire right forearm open. The sensation felt so good, to let out all aggression as I was crying. I then moved to my left thigh, and cut it all open as well. I was lying on the ground, watching my blood fall. I felt numb, so incredibly numb. I stood up and grabbed my pills and had a handful. I laid back down and as soon as I was about to take them, my father had walked in, with tears in his eyes, and picked me up from the ground. All he could say is, “We’re going to be okay baby, okay? Listen to me, it’s going to be alright. You’re going to be fine, you’re so strong.” He would just smile and say these things while holding me while he was losing it inside. He held me, and he told me we needed to go. And I knew exactly what he meant.
The day previous, I was at a therapy session with my dad. We had discussed my program treatments because I was not doing well, and my medication seemed to only make my conditions worse. My therapist had suggested an in-patient program due to the severity of my obsession with wanting to die. I said it could wait until I got back from the beach in a few days, and I would agree to go before school started. That was the plan.
As most know, plans don’t work out exactly as planned. I thought I would be able to manage, and hold myself together. I felt like a glass bottle, containing flames. And, I bursted. Completely, and entirely. I let myself go. I wanted to go. I wanted to leave my body in the miserable place I thought Earth was once to be. But as I said, plans just don’t work out how you intend them to.
It was hell. Agonizing hell. I was a mess and as I had been broken prior, just held up with thin shitty pieces of tape that barely helped me get by. But they finally gave out, and my pieces fell and completely shattered. I was already dead. There was no will to live. I was bawling from this pain in my chest of such restlessness on the way to the hospital. It was never ending.
It was 10 hours. 10 hours that I was in a 5-sided room with puke yellow walls. There was just a lonely, cold, stiff hospital bed. It didn’t seem to bother me that much considering my emotions/ feelings were in complete correspondence with the room. Cold, lonely, and stiff.
I was admitted into the adolescent unit for 7 days this time. The first four days weren’t comfortable. It was all order and routine, and I knew it wasn’t helping me. I knew my sadness wouldn’t go away, and my will to live would suddenly come back.
During these four days, I devoured books. Devoured. That’s all I did in my free time. I wasn’t there to socialize, I didn’t want to be there in the first place. I read books about my illnesses, memoirs, love stories, and science fiction. It would allow me to get out of my head for a little and focus on one thing, and nothing else mattered. I would sound all noise out and just absorb the pages one by one. I would wake up, shower, eat, read, pretend to truly participate in group, lunch, hate group, have supper, visiting hours, and then bed. That was my life for the first four days.
It was a Saturday, and most of us crazy kids would be ecstatic to hear a new kid was being admitted. I however, was not one of the happy kids. I thought it was a shitty place to be and nobody should have to be away from home for so long and pretend to get better.
It was a boy that was admitted. Some girls even had the audacity to say he was “cute”. It was so screwy. He was here to get better, not have girls following him around, throwing themselves at the kid. But then I understood.
I first saw him at supper Saturday night. He had these beautiful blue eyes, that had so much sadness within them. He didn’t smile, which was understandable. We kept making eye contact, and I began to feel insecure so I looked away and finished my meal. I was completely intrigued by this boy. I wanted to know him in the worst way. His past, his secrets, his passions, his hobbies, his favorite food, if he loves sunsets, if he ever looks at the stars at night in amazement, if he ever took a deep breath of warm summer night air and felt appreciative, if he believed in God, if he appreciated literature, what his music tastes were, and even to the reason that landed him in this God awful place.
Later that night we talked a little and he seemed so sweet, but so damaged and my heart just broke. I could tell from the moment I talked to him, that he had so much to offer the world and my heart just ached for his sadness. I wanted to be in his life to help him. I just didn’t know how I would contact him out of the hospital, after I left.
We talked a lot throughout my last days in the hospital, I gave him books, and one of my favorite sweatshirts and flannels. I allowed him to borrow my favorite book at the time, the Four Agreements. When he returned it, he wrote his number on the inside of the cover. I just beamed. Truly glowed with happiness at this point, I realized I liked this boy. It hurt me to leave him there alone. We helped each other.
Tuesday came along and I left. He said we would hang out after he got out and I wished I could’ve hugged him, or just touched him. That’s the thing that really got to me, while admitted as a patient, you cannot touch others. I longed to just hold his hand, or trace the outline of his forearm gently with my index finger, or just hug him. But I couldn’t. So a simple goodbye was said.
As soon as I got home I knew something wasn’t right. I didn’t feel right, and there was a circle in my chest that was continuously being filled with restlessness and anxiety. Within 72 hours I landed myself back in the hospital. After the whole 10 hour admission process, I was back on the unit. As I was taken room to room for examinations, I looked for Phoenix’s name on his room. It was erased. My heart shattered. He left. I felt even worse.
As I was walking down the corridor to my seat to wait, I see someone walking towards me, and it was him. I beamed on the inside. He said to me, “Why the hell are you back in here?” as I proceeded to him it was a long story. I was so relieved he was still there. As I was in there for another four days, we got extremely close. I knew I wanted to be more than friends with him. The day before he left he got his stitches out of his cuts on his wrists. Afterwards he showed me at the nurses station, and I just stared in such sadness. I had cuts all up my forearm, but they didn’t compared to the huge gash he had put in his own skin. I slowly ran my pinky finger over the scabs. I looked at him and I apologized. I understood his pain.
The next day at four o’clock he left and it was the saddest thing I dealt with in awhile. I saw them erase his name from his door, and take his sheets off his bed. He was gone. And i cried that night for quite some time until I passed out from exhaustion.
The following day, I finally was released.
Months and months had passed without relief and I had many close attempts and high-strung tendencies and thoughts to act upon, although I didn’t and I wasn’t sure why. There was a feeling that maybe I would miss out on something spectacular. So i chose to just “survive” and wait.
I have found the velvet sun. The light shines a little brighter, and the days get better. It is a struggle, indeed. I have found the small yet beautiful ray of hope in this. I will live. I will graduate. I will go to college and major in psychology, and help adolescents get through their hardships as my counselors have helped me get by. Everyone deserves that person, and I one day, will be someone’s ray of light.
I’m Olivia, I express myself best throughout writing. I recently found this out after I had my first true hit to rock bottom. I am forever thankful for the art of literature.