When I was a kid, I dreamed of one day becoming a successful doctor, well known for her care and passion for helping her patients. I would have an amazing and healthy family, and we would live near my parents. I dreamed of one day living happily, and my future was a perfect place that I was heading closer and closer to.
Then one day, I am 19, and I walk into my mom’s room to tell her that I want to kill myself. I have spent the summer hiding from the world in my bed, feeling as if a dark and heavy blanket has fallen upon me. I can’t get it off, no matter how hard I try to think of happy past memories or talk to friends, so I leave it alone. I shut myself off from the world, and live under my blanket.
On this day, before I walked into my mom’s room to admit my suicidal thoughts, I thought back on my life and how shitty it made me feel. At this age, I have already survived cancer, a dad who underwent years of chemotherapy for his own cancer, being cheated on by my boyfriend, and being slut-shamed for having sex with a boy in an effort to cope with my recent breakup. I sat there in my bed, playing all of these memories in my head like a twisted non-stop movie. I could still see the faces of these people, hear the words that they said, hear the laughter. I shut off the movie. But shutting off the movie only made space in my head for the suicidal thoughts. You are worthless, you are unwanted, you are gross, you should die.
On this day, I contemplated how I should do it. How I should finally end my suffering. I looked at my bottle of prescription sleeping pills, pills that were prescribed to me because of my insomnia. I didn’t want to fall asleep. When I fell asleep, I dreamt about dying and finally escaping my ruined life. As I held that bottle, I thought about my parents. My parents are the most caring people in the world, and the only reason I chose not to open that bottle. So, I put it down and walked into my mom’s room.
One day I am about to turn 21, and at this point, I have found a psychiatrist I feel comfortable with and am trying to pull this thick blanket off. I am taking medication, I have opened up to close friends about my depression, and I am finally feeling like I don’t have to be alone. Maybe I don’t have to fight off this heavy blanket alone, maybe I could have others help me move the blanket away.
But one day, a close friend tells me that she can’t be my friend anymore because my depression is getting in the way of her finding an internship. I sit there in shock. I am embarrassed, I am ashamed, I play back every memory I have where I opened up to someone. My blanket suddenly wraps tightly around my body, as if I am a mummy in black. My mind races and I realize that I was wrong to try to ask for help, and that I should not burden others with my blanket. So I stay there alone, under the darkness of this thick, heavy blanket, letting it smother me more and more.
One day, I am 22, working at my first job and living on my own. I have learned to keep this blanket a secret, and to never burden another person with it. It is wrapped around my body, I cannot escape it, but I cover it up. I cover it so nobody will be burdened. I cover it so I don’t lose another friend. I hide it when I am at work, or at dinner with people, or video chatting with friends. They can’t see the blanket, but it is still strangling me, grabbing me from within.
One day, I come back to my apartment after work and surprisingly see my mom sitting on my couch. I am confused. I then find out that two of my friends realized I needed help, and instead of throwing away our relationship, they chose to do the hard thing and try to help me. They realized what I was going through, and refused to let me do it alone. I sit there with my mom, crying about how I don’t think I can get the blanket off of me, and how I think my life will forever be like this. But then I realize, for the first time in years, someone else is helping me pull off this blanket. My mom and my friends are sitting next to me, pulling at this old and dark and unwanted blanket that has been gripping onto me for years.
One day, with love and support, they manage to push my blanket a little away from me. I start to see clearly. I start to see the love from family and friendships again. I start to realize that, although there are bad people out there, there are also a lot of good ones. I tell my other close friends about my struggle, about how I now want help and hope that they can show me the love that the others have. I sit there, frightened of another person thinking that this is not worth it, that I am not worth it. But that doesn’t happen. All of a sudden there are more and more people with their hands on that blanket, working with me, ready to free me from its grasp.
Today, I go through my many messages and notifications from my friends and family. They send me funny pictures, jokes, and constantly remind me of their love and support. It is rare now for me to experience one day where I don’t have a friend reach out to me. One day a friend brings me cupcakes. One day a friend messages me about this website, trying to help me feel less alone with my problem. Now I have many people, both friends and family, who have grabbed onto my dark blanket and pull it with me. They pull at it everyday. This blanket is still tightly wrapped around me, but for once, I realize that one day I will be freed. One day I will feel the light throughout my body, and this dark and smothering blanket will be just a memory.
One day I will have rid of that blanket, covered in bad memories and bad people. I will forgive the people who have tormented me with their words and actions, and focus on the people who bring me joy and love. One day, I will be that person that I hoped to become when I was a child; maybe not the exact same, but I know I will be living happily.