I could have sworn I was sitting in the middle of a murder scene. Her blood painted the marble bathroom tiles and the pills were scattered around like they were party confetti. I watched the cold blade run across her thighs like her skin was a sheet of ice and the blade was just skating along as it pleased. She promised that she was okay and that she had it under control, but her eyes told a different story. I could have taken one look at her and known that she wasn’t okay. Her makeup ran down her face, her hair looked like a tropical storm had run through it, and her voice was raspy and shaky like she’d been crying and screaming all day. I watched her legs shake as she struggled to stand up off the tile. As she walked out of the bathroom, I caught a glimpse of her in the mirror. That is when I realized that I no longer knew the girl in the mirror.
“Why? Why me?” I asked my reflection. “What did I do to deserve this? Why am I even here anymore? Does anyone want me here anymore?” I started to question everything about my life, even my own existence. I begged my reflection for answers, but instead she stood there still as a statue, just staring at me with a blank and empty expression. I slowly walked away from her, grabbed some bandaids and the softest tissues I could find. I then walked back and sat myself down on the cold bathroom tile. As I dabbed the tissues on the fresh cuts, I allowed a few more tears to run down my face. I was no longer crying because of anger, or emotional hurt, or even physical pain. Instead, these tears ran because of guilt. I felt guilty because I had previously promised myself I wouldn't allow myself to get this bad again. Here I was, though, breaking the promise, feeling guilty because I was worse than I have ever been. This time the cuts were deeper, the anger I felt was overwhelming. I was simply out of control. As I finished cleaning myself up, I looked back at the girl in the mirror and stopped to take one last look at her. She was such a mess. I began to tell her, “I will fix this. I will get better. No more hurt. No more pain. Just happiness.”
The next morning I woke up feeling uneasy about the eternal fight that laid ahead of me. I knew that this would be the hardest, most important, and emotional fight of my life. Forcing myself out of bed, I later found myself dragging my feet down the crowded hallways with my peers. We were playing bumper cars with our bodies, just trying to get to our final class of the day. A few long minutes later, the final bell rang to dismiss us. As I got home, I knew I needed to get rid of anything and everything that would've triggered another episode. So I grabbed all the blades, pills, and anything that could've been a trigger, and got rid of them all. As I watched it all fall into the trash I knew the fight wasn’t over, but I also knew that I wouldn’t be able to harm myself. I walked away from the trashcan feeling as if a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. I felt as if I had won a small battle in the middle of this war with myself. The days went on and the weeks grew long, but it all got easier. I didn’t wake up hating my life, I started to sleep through the nights, and I began to become more confident. I worked so hard each day to make sure that I was truly okay, to make sure that I was mentally stable and not wanting to harm myself anymore. I found the positives in everything I did and every challenge I faced. One day I took a moment to look into the mirror, and I finally knew who I was looking at. I was looking at the person I wanted to be. She was now a beautiful, confident, smart, brave, strong, athletic, loving, and overly caring woman. She was me.
Today, the girl crying on the bathroom floor is still a part of me, but so is the confident woman. I have worked hard every day to do better and be better than I was yesterday. Some days it is harder than others, some days it is as easy as brushing my teeth. This mental health battle is a never ending battle. Fighting for my recovery by myself has taught me some of the greatest lessons in my life. I have learned that it is okay to ask for help when you’re hurting and don’t think you can continue with life. I have also learned that it is okay to not be okay, I am more than my mental illness, and that all my emotions are valid. The most important lesson of them all is that I am not perfect, but I am worth fighting for.