Normally, I would tell you that I know how hard it is. I would tell you that I know what it’s like to feel so alone. That I know what it’s like to hurt this much. And normally, I do. But what I don’t know, is what it’s like to hide behind the booze, the sex, the drugs and the knives. Sure, I’ve contemplated taking my own life. I’ve thought about what it would be like to lie in the cold, hard ground, forgotten by the rest of the world. I’ve wondered how I could make the pain go away. But I never did anything. I guess you just have more guts than I do. But I’m here to tell you that that’s not a good thing. When it comes to hurting yourself, you don’t want to have guts.
I don’t think you give me enough credit, because I’m not stupid. I know the difference between a caffeine buzz and an alcohol buzz. I know the smell of weed because I’ve smelt it on you before, not matter how much gum and perfume you use to try and mask it. I recognise the glow of a previous great night. And I know what it means when you tell me that you’ve yet to receive your monthly gift. I know the reasoning behind buttoning the sleeves of your blouse shut. Because they never are unless you have something to hide. I don’t know about anyone else, but I can see right through that fake smile. And when you say “I’m fine” or “nothing’s wrong” I know that you’re lying. I’m not writing you to tell you how wrong it is to drink that much, or to smoke or have sex because you know that. You know it’s wrong and I’ve told you before. But what I can’t stand seeing is you hiding your arms. I think you think it’s lucky that our school uniforms require long sleeved blouses. It saves your ass from having to do a lot of explaining, or I guess in your case a lot of lying. But then the redness fades and the cuts close up and you think you’re safe. You undo the buttons and roll up your sleeves, just like I do. The only difference is that my arms aren’t marked by fading grey lashes.
Other than this, I know what it’s like. I know how hard it is to feel so alone, so alienated and victimised by the people around you. Even the people who are supposed to love you, like your parents, are never there. I know how easy it is to get addicted to the misery. I was. I didn’t want things to get better because deep down, although I’d never admit it, I liked the misery. I guess that’s why it’s an addiction. I can’t tell you why people get addicted to suffering and misery and isolation. I just know that a lot of people are. But I also know that being happy is a lot better than being addicted to the dark. I know that celebrative drinking is better than drinking in an attempt to stop feeling. I’d imagine that sex because of love is better than sex to feel love. And I could only imagine the sense of pride that comes from seeing those scars fade.
It takes time. Being happy, it takes time. It took me five months to completely free myself of the misery that bound me. And I consider that lucky. It won’t happen overnight, nothing ever does. It takes time, and patience and determination. You won’t start getting better until you realize that you really, truly want to. Sometimes you don’t realize that you want to. That’s what’s tricky about this whole thing. Sometimes you know, sometimes you don’t. It’s different for everyone. Some people need more of a push than others, they can’t do it alone. Some people find their own motivation and come back to happiness before people even knew they were in the dark. Some people are stuck there for years and years, seemingly forgotten by the world until one person reaches out for them. What worked for me, won’t necessarily work for you. But something will. There is always a way to turn your life around, so to speak. Bells won’t ring and firecrackers won’t explode when you decide to really try. It’s hard work, and it’s often lonely. Being happy again is a lonely process. People expect you to just be ok again. They expect you to bounce back like nothing happened. But they don’t understand that it doesn’t work that way. You don’t bounce back from an addiction. It’s hard to let go of something that you’ve known for so long. I’m trying to be honest because I don’t want you to have all of these expectations about how easy it’s gonna be to break the habits that you’ve formed. But I know that you have the strength to do it. I know that you have the will to be happy again and to stop hurting yourself.
You need to realize that you’re worth it. You’re worth living a life that’s amazing. You have a purpose someday you’ll find that purpose. Believe it or not, you have people who love you. If anything, I know I do. I might not say it and I might not show it, but I love you. If you were gone my world would be destroyed. I would blame myself. I would say that I didn’t try hard enough to keep you here. That I didn’t show you how good life could be. I would feel so guilty if you took your life. Maybe I wasn’t always there for you. Maybe I brushed you off when you came to me for help. I would torture myself with thoughts like these. Thoughts that I should’ve done more to keep you here. You’re one of my closest friends and I really don’t know what I would do without you. You always manage to make me laugh, every single day. Even when you’re not feeling your best or you’re really down, you still say something that’ll make me laugh. When I need someone to talk to, you’re there. I don’t always take up the offer, but I know that it’s there and that means the world to me. The point is, you deserve a beautiful life. You’ve suffered and done your time with misery. You deserve something more, something happy. You deserve to live a life where you can walk around proudly displaying your bear arms, knowing that you have nothing to hide anymore. Knowing that you’ve conquered something huge.
I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t quit. Don’t you dare give up on life. I promise that it can get better. I promise that one day the pain will go away. I know that there are times that the pain seems unbearable, that the loneliness just seems to consume you. I know that in those darkest times being in the ground doesn’t seem like such a bad idea. But it is. People really do love you and care for you, I do. It’s not an easy task but I know that you have the strength to come out of the dark, shinning brighter than ever. Radiating with happiness, love for yourself, confidence, and pride in knowing that you have the strength to let the scars fade away. Please know that you’re beautiful and that you deserve so much more than the things that you do to yourself and what you give yourself credit for. It’s time to change, now. You have the power to stop hurting yourself and stop beating yourself down. Don’t hold it in anymore, just let it all out and breathe. That’s the best first step you can take. And you know what? Just the simple fact that you’re here, breathing, right now is pretty amazing. So don’t you dare ever give that up.