- It’s 1am when I tell you that I self-injure, when I tell you that I take sharp edges to my skin and etch in bright red lines up and down my legs. It’s 1:15am when I tell you that I have a butterfly drawn in in on y thigh because that’s how I remind myself that self-harm hurts me. It’s 1:30am when you ask me how many people I’ve told, and I say you’re the only one. And you thank me.
- It’s been two days since I’ve told you my darkest secret. It’s taken two days for it to finally sink in exactly what I’ve done. And all I can do is lie in bed and think about every word I’ve said to you. Before I know it, it’s already two hours past midnight, and I’m still crying in fear of rejection and abandonment. I send you a text about how much I regret telling you my secret, and you send two back telling me that you care about me and that you will always support me.
- The longest I’ve gone without self-harming this year is three months and three weeks, and I’m actually so very proud of myself. I tell you, and you look just as happy and proud. And you show me the depth of your feelings in three ways: a caring a smile, a tight hug, and a whispered “thank you.” It’s three hours later before we finally get back to studying. We were too distracted celebrating with my favorite movie and my favorite chocolate (which you bought because you knew me better than anyone else).
- It’s the fourth time I’ve called you in the middle of the night, but this time, it’s so much worse. Because I can’t keep going. I can’t anymore. I just can’t. I’m terrified and broken and sobbing and I’m this close to ending it all right here, right now. I can’t breathe but I’m breathing too fast, my thoughts are racing, my heart is pounding, I can’t feel my fingers or toes, my blood is ice, and my eyes are wild. But you do your best to ground me, and after of four hours, I’m okay to let go of your shirt and pick my head up from your chest.
- You end our friendship in five sentences. One, “I’m sorry I hurt you.” Two, “I’m sorry that all of my promises turned out to be lies.” Three, “All of this was my fault.” Four, “I’m sorry I can’t give you more closure than this.” Five, “I hope this doesn’t affect our work relationship.” Everything we’ve been through together, destroyed in five simple sentences. Five minutes later, I’m still standing in the courtyard sobbing, uncaring of all the staring strangers.
But you know, what we’ve been through can’t be reduced to simple numbers. We were more than that. We were hurt and heartbreak, love and healing, life and close brushes with death. We were life, and life can’t be reduced to numbers.
But that’s the only way I can cope. Because if I don’t trivialize it, I wouldn’t be able o stand. I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed. I wouldn’t be here.
Because I burn your things, your possessions, every bracelet or jacket that reminds me of you, but that won’t be enough. Because I know that memories don’t burn. Because I can try to walk around campus and avoid your usual haunts, but I still have to work with you, and I can’t trigger warning your very presence. Because I would have jumped on a fucking grenade for you, but now you’re the one who threw it at me and shattered me into more pieces than I can find and collect.
I’m broken and all I can do is tell myself to breathe in, hold for five seconds, breathe out, and repeat. I’m going to be okay.
Suicide did not defeat me one, two times, and neither will you.