You are afraid. You are always afraid. You are afraid of the thoughts that wander into your mind slowly and subtly (you barely notice them) before they grip every part of you and take over as they send chills throughout every organ and limb. You are afraid of the fact that these thoughts can control you and change you. You are afraid of what these thoughts are. You are afraid of what these thoughts compel you to do. You are afraid that these thoughts exist at all.
You are confused. You don’t know how to handle these thoughts, how to react when they come, how to make them go away. You don’t know what you’re supposed to do and when. You don’t know whether you should ignore these thoughts as much as you can and reach out for help or accept them and embrace them and do unto yourself what they will. You never know what to do, and you fall into a swirl, a cycle, of confusion and the sense of always feeling lost.
You are hopeless. You’re afraid and confused and just lost. You don’t know where to go from here. You can only see yourself in this dark cavern in your mind, a cavern with no entrances or exits or even the slightest glimpse of light. You don’t know how to get out, and you don’t know if you even want to. You think that it’s not that bad in this cavern. You’re still surviving, and even if you get to the point at which you’re not surviving, you have another option. You can just end it all. But they all say that’s not an option. So what options do you have? None.
You are hopeless and worthless and not worth caring about or loving or saving. You feel this at countless moments throughout the day, and these feelings bring you down to lower and lower points each time. They pull you away from your friends and family, and they keep you locked away in darkness. They make you wonder whether or not there actually is a light at the end of all this darkness.
You find it hard to think there is. You can only focus on sharp points tracing patterns on your skin. You can only focus on the possibility of taking all those pills at once and never waking up again. You can only focus on pain and hurt and brokenness because you think that’s all you are.
You are a flower stepped on, crushed and smeared into the ground, beyond any healing. You are a vase (a cheap one, worthless and replaceable) fallen from the shelf, lying on the groud in a million pieces, beyond any repair. You are fragile beyond belief. You are vulnerable beyond comparison. Your body may still be intact, but you think it won’t be that way for long. Your mind and heart are holding themselves together with only the thinnest of the threads. You don’t know when (seconds, minutes, days), but you feel that you will soon be nothing more than shattered pieces of a whole (if you were ever whole in the first place).
This is what you feel when you lie awake at night, your hands tucked close to your chest in an attempt to find some warmth from somewhere, anywhere. This is what you feel even when surrounded by friends who care about you (at least, that’s what they say every time you seek reassurance because you’re so weak). This is what you feel when you don’t know how to reach the next day, when you struggle to realize that there is a tomorrow.
You feel that the next second might be too much, that it might be your last. You didn’t know you could ever be this close to breaking, but you are. And you don’t know how to handle that.
You are a ball of fear and confusion and hopelessness, and you don’t know what would happen if you were to be unraveled. So you remain as you are, tightly woven and close to snapping.
You like to believe them sometimes. You like to believe your friends when they say that you’ll be okay, that you’ll get past this and feel better again. But it’s hard to believe them. You don’t know where they find that conviction. You don’t know how they can believe in you so much when you can’t believe in yourself. You don’t know where they see strength and bravery in you. You don’t see any of it. You’re weak and pathetic, and all you can do is cry and try and cry some more.
It’s such an accomplishment for you (and your friends) when you can make it a few days without hurting yourself. They are so proud of you every time you tell them you made it another day. They are disappointed (but only slight) yet hopeful (very much so, even though you don’t know how) every time you do hurt yourself because they believe that since you made it so long this time, you can make it even longer next time. But it’s so hard. You think about it all the time. You can’t see any other coping method (sure, there’s reading and writing and dancing and another dozen things you could possibly do, but they’re just not enough). You can’t find a method that can do everything that hurting yourself can.
Those other methods won’t hurt you, and that’s the point of hurting yourself, isn’t it? To hurt yourself. To feel pain. To know that you caused that pain. To feel something physical, to put everything you’re feeling into something physically real (and to know that it’s not just in your head). To control what you’re feeling, to turn that wave of emotions that’s drowning you into something you can release in trickles through your skin. To punish yourself. To cope. To give yourself another option aside from that final one.
Why do you hurt yourself? Because it does all that (and possibly more), and you are addicted to it. You are hopelessly addicted to it. You know it, and they know it. They called it an addiction, a terrible addiction, one that shouldn’t exist at all. But it does. And it’s real. And it’s there.
Everything is too real now. You understand that you have depression. You realize that it’s a serious mental disorder, and you realize that you have it, that you have been diagnosed with it. But you can’t grasp it. You don’t know how to grasp it. Putting a label on it makes everything too real. Giving all of these feelings names (depression, suicidal tendencies, addiction to self-harm) is almost too much for you to handle.
It is too much for you to handle. So you fall back into that cycle of self-harm and suicidal thoughts, and they try to pull you out every time you go to them. But it hasn’t been successful yet. And you wish everything would just be over.
You could blame yourself. Rather, you do blame yourself. Because if everything is your fault, then you should be able to fix it. You might be too weak right now, but you’ll be able to fix it, given time. But it’s not your fault (no matter how much you wish it were). So you can’t fix it. You can’t fix it alone. You need help, despite how much you hate having to depend on people just to continue living. They even think you might need medication. How ridiculously terrifying is that? You need so much help that they have to interfere with the workings of your brain just so that you’ll have a desire to live to see the next day.
You’re scared. You’re confused. You’re hopeless. And the only things you can do are cry and try and cry again. Sometimes, you wish you could just curl up into a ball and sob and scream until everything is over. But that’s not realistic. You can’t do that.
So you struggle on.