My name is Aria. Throughout elementary school, I had a fairly normal childhood. The school bully threw basketballs at my head, called me a teachers pet, and it didn’t really bother me. However, though it shouldn’t have, what bothered me, even when I was in 5th grade, was what my “friends” thought. They used to laugh at me when I didn’t know all the popular songs, didn’t have the newest wii games, couldn’t name the movie they were quoting, and didn’t do my hair the same way they did. I was different, and I didn’t like it.
In 8th grade, the stakes got higher. Though I wasn’t forced to do anything that many girls my age have gotten into, such as sex, drugs or alcohol, I got involved in the other end of problems. One of my friends had been going through a variety of family problems, and had started cutting as a result. Once the idea was in my head, as soon as I started having problems in my own life, that’s what I turned to.
When I was 13, I began having arguments with my friends, my family, and one night while I sat in my room crying, I wanted a way to deal with it. So I fell, into a hole of self hatred and as a result, self harm. Throughout the rest of my eighth grade year, the friendships I had built over the years began to crumble. I made mistakes, and paid harshly for them. I was called names, ugly, worthless, stupid, a traitor, a liar, and all the things I had tried so hard not to be. Everything I had worked for over the years, the reputation, the friends, the life I had built, began to crack. My friends complemented each other, loved each other, and supported each other, while I was the one who was blamed for every little problem. I started to take everything to heart, and eventually, the person that hurt me the most was myself. I threw every little dream, hope, and little thing I liked about myself away. I started to hate myself, hate myself for everything I had done wrong, how I looked, the fact that other people hated me. I was cutting almost every day, making from 1 – 50 cuts every day. I wore hoodies and long sleeves all the time, and constantly hid the scars and cuts from my friends and family. I found myself “running out of room” and had to get more creative with the ways I cut and the ways I hid them.
Eventually, I was alone. My friends decided they hated me, and they left. I was 13, and up until that point in my life, what those friends thought of me was all that mattered. Because I had been so narrow with my vision, I didn’t see the people who were still in my life. Maybe they didn’t try hard enough to reach me, maybe I didn’t try hard enough to seen them. However it happened, I found myself at my cousins birthday party on May 31st. Someone had sent my friends a text she had received, bullying her and saying horrible things about her. She claimed the text was from me, and it wasn’t until I pointed out the phrases she used that I never did, that my friends began to believe me when I said it wasn’t from me. She had written the message herself, wanting to push all their hatred for me completely over the edge so they would leave me. Though I proved the message wasn’t from me, it worked. I wrote out my suicide note over and over again, wanting to finish it all. I searched the most effective ways to commit suicide, how long I would need to be alone before an overdose would kill me, planned the perfect time, and made sure I wasn’t going to fail. That was the last thing I wanted.
However, right when I was at my lowest, my cousin had an early birthday party. That’s where I was, the night of May 31st when I made plans to kill myself. I spent the night with her broken, hating myself for the fact that I was still alive.
By the morning, I had lost the courage and the energy to take my own life, but the idea wasn’t out of my mind.
Summer was starting, right about the same time ask.com became very popular. This was when the cyber bullying started. Ask.com lets you ask someone a question, anonymously. However, I barely ever got asked questions. Instead I received anonymous messages, bullying me, telling me to cut, kill myself, and destroying any hope and love for myself I had left. I spent the summer inside, cutting whenever I could. I never went swimming, and wore hoodies and long pants in the 90* weather to cover up my cuts. I was only 14, and regretting the fact that I hadn’t killed myself. The problem with cyber bullying is it doesn’t go away. You can’t leave school, or leave those people, or go be “alone” in your room, its still there. Cyber bullying follows you home, and it’s always there.
Fast forward to October. I had switched schools, and was building a new life for myself. I was working for a family friend, and had made some new friends. However, I still had the scars, both physical and emotional, and was still adding new ones. I didn’t want to be happy, I honestly still hated my life. Though pieces of it were better, I was still depressed. One day at work, I had a guest get really mad at me for something I couldn’t have prevented. After that, I was wrongly accused for something, and had my boss get very mad at me overs something I hadn’t done. I had a few coworkers make fun of me, and though I’m sure they meant it as a joke, I had had enough. I had had a long week, and as I went about my work, I started to think about everything I had done wrong. Everything I didn’t like about myself, all the people that had left me. And once again, I decided I was done. I had regretted that fact that I was still alive ever since May. So I made new plans. That night, right after I got off work, I planned to go home and make a cut for every little thing I had ever done wrong. Impossible, stupid and immature – I know, but I was determined. Then I got to thinking how it was impossible, and that I should just kill myself instead. So I came up with a new plan, a seemingly flawless way to end my life. I composed the suicide note, decided what pills to take, when to do it, and even what I wanted to wear when I died. Then, a voice broke into my thoughts. One of my new friends (one who hadn’t contributed to my problems) asked me if I “was coming tonight”. This was possibly the 8th time he had asked me. It was his birthday, and he was having a small party and wanted me to come. Putting my suicide planning on hold, I asked him if he was serious. He said he actually wanted me to come, and hoped that if he asked enough I would change my mind. And you know what? I did.
I got off work, and went to his party. I laughed, met some new people, and made some memories.
I woke up the next morning.
Yes, I still struggled with depression over the next couple months, and I was still cutting in December. However, that was the last time I did. I have been clean ever since.
Though I am still struggling with a lot of insecurity issues, I’m beginning to learn how to deal with them. Yes, it takes time. Yes, it is hard sometimes. Yes, it is possible. Looking back, I see how small and insignificant all my “problems” seemed. So I cared how some of my friends thought about me a little too much. Seems like a pretty stupid reason to end my own life, but it mattered then. No matter how small and insignificant yours or the people around you’s problems might seem, always keep in mind that they matter to them. Something that can really not bother you that much can absolutely break the person next to you. We are all different, we all deal with things differently, and all of our problems matter.
I am still here, I am still alive, and I thank God for it everyday. I am alive because someone decided to show me that I mattered, that I was important (and we are now happily engaged. 🙂 Sometimes that’s all it takes. Just because you think someone else looks ok on the outside, they can be completely opposite on the inside.
You can save a life, just by making sure the person next to you knows they are important , they are beautiful, or that they are loved.
If you are considering suicide or self harm, know this.
Suicide is not the answer. But I understand why you’re considering it. Yes, you’re problems are important, but yes, so are you. You are here for a reason, and you have a future, even if you don’t know what it is right now.
In a year, 5 years, even 10 years, you will look back at that moment when you put the pill bottle down and be so happy you did.
You are loved.
You are important.
You are beautiful, smart, special, unique, amazing, incredible, and the only you there is.
That’s my story.