January 28, 2011 was not just the day after my 19th birthday. It was not just the day my brother proposed to his (now) wife. It was the day I knew in my heart that death was the only way to escape the pain I had felt, and the pain that had been building, for 9 years of my life. Those 9 years were filled with bullying, and an escalated habit of cutting myself. And on the 28th I finally smiled to know I was going to kill myself. And for that, I can see now I had hit rock bottom. To feel happy that you are going to die is something I wish I never felt. But that day, now that I look back, opened doors for me. I ended up drinking so much vodka that by the time I made it to the hospital, the doctors found no way I would've survived the night. But I did. And I know now it's because I needed to deal with my experience being bullied, and deal with, what I came to find out, was 5 underlying mental illnesses I didn't know I had. That one day saved my life.
To describe what I went through with bullying could be summed up in one word: deteriorating. By the time I was in sixth grade, I had been shoved and pushed in the hallways. I had been called fat, a loser, disgusting, worthless, etc. Students in my class wouldn't touch anything I touched because I was gross. I had girls refuse to work with me in group projects because they hated me so much. Groups of people would just laugh at me as I walked by. And I sat in silence while it all unfolded. In high school, I had been bullied online with the same name calling on my photos. I had groups of people follow me down the hallways yelling at me. I had been cornered and screamed at. People who sat behind me in class would throw pens, and crumpled pieces of paper at me like I was trash. My best friend even started horrible rumors about me with her new group of friends. I am 21 now and I know that that group still makes fun of me when they get together.
When it comes to cutting, it took one paper clip scratched on my skin to open a release I was obsessed with. I soon used pens, pencils, and paper to cut myself while I was in school just to make it through. I drank my father's gin when I finally got home to numb myself. In high school, I started using scissors and knives to cut my forearms, my thighs, and my ankles. My first job at 16 led me to steal the box cutters and bring them home to cut even deeper. The night I tried to kill myself, I sliced my arm with fabric scissors.
If anyone has read this so far, please let me tell you I have been to hell and back. I have suffered for so long but when I came home from school, after my suicide attempt, I got a therapist. I told my story for the first time and I realized I wasn't alone. It's taken me 3 years to find happiness and it's still a struggle sometimes. I am not perfect, and my recovery is ongoing. But if I can go through what I did and come out in the end wanting to live my life, than anyone can. I am a survivor. I have every reason to give up on myself but I keep fighting. There is strength inside me that I never knew existed. So if you're being bullied, there is hope. Even if you can't feel it, yet. You have the same strength that I have and you are not alone.
There is a whole community of people who have the same story, and I am one of them. I stand for anyone who is currently being bullied or has been in the past. We stand together. You are better than what bullies say, and are better than how they treat you. Hold on to your life and fight. I will stand behind you. And we will all stand behind you.
By writing some words below, you are showing your support and letting everyone know they're not alone.