you and me

The Day I Tried to Kill Myself.

 

Mental illness is one of the hardest challenges I ever faced while growing up.

I haven’t thought about it much in the past few years, but there are emotional triggers everywhere. As a young girl, I had quite a diverse personality. I’d wake up one day feeling like I had the entire world ahead of me, while on others, I’d wake up feeling like the world was against me.

On April 12th, 2012, I wore my favorite pink and grey dress that had six buttons down the chest and a black waist belt that tied the outfit together. I loved wearing fun outfits to school because it drew positive attention, and the compliments that I received made me believe I was noticed and important. Dressing up made me feel confident and empowered, and that morning, I woke up feeling exactly that.

I tried to kill myself later that day. When I came home from school, I told my mother that I was going to take a bath so she didn’t find it suspicious when I locked myself in the bathroom for too long. I opened the vanity and reached under the sink where I kept an old Altoids tin taped to the bottom with a lighter, safety pins, and bandages inside.

I was afraid to cut because I thought the scars would be too noticeable at school, so I branded myself instead.

So, just as I said I would, I ran a hot bath. I finally let out the tears that I’d been holding back all day and hoped that the sound of running water would muffle my cries. I rolled up the sleeves of my pretty pink dress, leaned against the tub, and took a deep breath. This was it.

With the lighter in my right hand and the safety pin in my left, I heated the metal until I saw the orange glow that temporarily released me from my thoughts, even for a few seconds. I placed the pin against my skin, high enough for my sleeves to cover, and clenched my fists for tolerance. I repeated the process at least 10 to 12 times before moving to the next target of mutilation.

I thought that if I scarred the parts of me that I didn’t like, then maybe I’d understand why the kids at school didn’t like them either.

Starting with my arms, then my hips, and next, my thighs, I created raspberry pink lines that wrinkled like raisins, and stepped into the bath. The water burnt my freshly battered wounds, but I didn’t mind because at least my thoughts would be taken away from the constant sound of kids taunting me.

It only took a few moments to decide that I wanted it to end. So, I filled my lungs as much as I could and ducked under the water. I held my breath until I started kicking to hold myself under. That’s when my mom came in.

About a week later, I went back to school and saw my friends waiting at their lockers. I knew I’d have to explain my absence, but I needed more time to figure out how to tell them, so I said I was just sick. When everyone left, I pulled my best friend aside. I rolled up my sleeve and mumbled, “I hurt myself.”

I could see the shock on her face as she asked me how I did it, so I told her. The next day, she came to school with similar scars. I never would’ve told her if I knew she was going to do it too. We were both broken, hopelessly searching for a release, jealous of each other for what we didn’t have, and somehow found our way back from the bottom.

Six years later, I’m reminded of the past while I stare at the faded scars and wish I could take them back. I see people around me enveloped in a world of self-harm because they believe there’s no other choice. But there is, you just have to be willing to put the blades and pins down long enough to find even a hint of happiness in something that brings positivity and hope into your life.

Mental illness is a silent killer that lurks just around the corner waiting for a moment of weakness to drown you in, sometimes literally.

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Kassidy King is a Canadian English/Education student who writes to connect with her readers through a “me too” effect. She wishes to travel after graduation and continue writing personal entries. Kassidy’s shy, introverted personality has allowed her to observe the challenges of the world and attempt to put them into words.

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