Dear Whoever Needs To Hear It:
It’s OK. It’s OK to feel this way. It’s OK to need attention. OK to need rest. OK to need a break. To need love. To need compassion. To cry. To mess up. To feel alone. To feel angry. Feel scared. Feel self-conscious. Feel anxious. Feel confused. Feel sick. Feel sad. Feel.
Take it from me. I used to only be happy. Not a care in the world. The good girl. Straight A’s. Super involved. The model kid.
Until I started to feel those feelings. And it scared me. A lot. I’d never felt such bad feelings so strongly before, and they suddenly swished and swirled up until they took over my life. I was drowning. Couldn’t get up for air. I wanted to disappear.
Why was I was feeling this way?
That was the million dollar question. I had everything! Amazing supportive parents. Lots of friends. An adorable dog. A talent. A smart brain. A brain.
That was my problem. My brain.
I had never realized how strong my brain was. When I started feeling these crazy negative feelings, my brain dwelled on them and made them even stronger. The feelings were the ocean, and my brain was the wind. The tsunami.
There was a civil war going on in my head. Half of my brain wanted me to go back to the way I felt before. Half of me wanted to feel these awful feelings.
After a while, one half was winning. Which half? The half that was forcing me to stay in bed everyday. The half that was getting annoyed with everyone. The half that made me nervous to walk into school, gave me panic attacks for no reason, and made me tired all the time. The half that made me hit my mom. The half that made me scream at my dad. The half that made me try to kill myself.
Kill myself. Maybe with a knife. Maybe with a pair of nail scissors in my bathroom. Maybe if those dull nail scissors dug deep down in my skin and reached my vein, they’d make me bleed for forever. Maybe I’d kill myself with my car.
Yes! That’s it! My car! I’ll take my car and run it and myself right into a tree! Brilliant! I’ll try that. Then the tsunami, the civil war, would just disappear.
So I tried it. I swerved up onto the curb. Tree in view. Ready to accelerate. Ready. I’m so ready. Let’s do this. Come on, let’s do this! DO IT. NOW.
I didn’t. I couldn’t. The half of my brain that had been losing the war pushed through and finally won a battle. A big battle. That half made me drive my car home. The troops were pretty tired though. They couldn’t make it all the way into the house. They made it to the driveway. And then collapsed on the cement. Sobbing. But this one battle gave the “good” side a little confidence.
After that incident, I realized I needed this to end. But not by death. Not by cuts. By a hospital. A mental hospital. Talk about scary.
Checking in, it took all I had not to run out. Run all the way home. Run all the way off the earth. It took all I had to stay in that place.
I didn’t know how long I’d be there. I didn’t know what they were going to do to me. I didn’t know who I’d meet. I had to leave everything. No parents. No friends. No phone. No makeup. No music. No jewelry. No books. No shoelaces. No strings. Nothing.
Looking back, I always like to say it was the worst/best thing that had ever happened to me. It saved my life. Without a doubt.
There wasn’t a day where I didn’t cry. But there also wasn’t a day where I didn’t smile. Or even laugh. We watched movies. We played games. We talked about ourselves and listened to others. And I even made a friend. She helped me alot in those long three days. She tried to burn down her own house actually. But she was normal. I promise. They were all normal. They had just gone through a lot. We all had.
Man, those girls were tough. They were the ones that really saved me. I had been so invested in myself, but hearing their stories made me realize that it could be much worse. And it was worse for them. But they were still alive. They survived. And asked for help. And it was OK.
I realized that I was OK. I had some kinks to work out, but I was OK. If those girls could survive their own situations, I could totally survive mine. Even though the civil war and the tsunami inside felt uncontrollable, I realized that, deep down, I had total control. And I still do. I was OK. I am OK.
I’m not saying it’s easy. It’s not easy. Not even the slightest. I still feel those feeling sometimes. But it’s OK.
You have to find the strength inside yourself to keep going.
To know that it is OK.
You have to ask for help.
You have to work hard.
You have to trust yourself.
You have to trust others.
And when you finally get through it all– it will be…way better than “OK.”
(But if it goes back to the way before, that’s OK too. If you did it once, you can do it again.)