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Self

How do you protect yourself from yourself?

I think life is a choice. Not everyone is supposed to live. Some of us are just planted here to remind others how important their lives are. 

I'm Jackie.

17.

Junior at North Bridge high.

Five years living suicidal. 

Not every 12-year-old thinks about death, but I certainly did. It was just a thought one day. I was just sitting in my room pretending to clean it when, BAM. What if I were dead? Then I wouldn't have to clean this. My counselor, Dr. Marks, says I most likely planted a seed in my mind that suicide was a problem resolver. I would face every decision with the thought of suicide sitting on my brain, up until now. Now I have to fight my own mind just to keep these thoughts away. I don't understand it. I have a boyfriend that I love with all my heart. I have my family that cares about me more than anything, and I've brought them all on this crazy, emotionally draining journey. I'm sure suicide never crossed their minds until that blade crossed my wrist. I bet my parents never suspected a thing until I was found in my room bleeding. So many doctors and counselors and never-ending questions. 

"How do you feel today?" 

"How are you going about helping yourself?" 

"How can we help you help yourself?" 

If it was as easy as answering a question, then I wouldn't be sitting here. Sometimes I blame myself for not getting it done and over with and wasting my time. My time...how much time do I have left before I'm successful? What if I go home and start to feel down? Will I do it tonight? No...I have too much to do tomorrow. I cant do it tonight. Maybe tomorrow after dinner. 

I wake up and the first thing I think is: Man, it would be so nice to just close my eyes and stop breathing. I think I've thought of every possible suicide option. Some plans are more problematic than others. I don't know how I haven't succeeded already. I have so many ways out and none of them seem to be fitting for me. I've tried a few and never really felt like they would work, and I guess I was right because I'm still here. Still. Here. This isn't where I'm supposed to be. 

Dylan is cooking us lunch today at his mom's house. We usually go to his dad's, but today his mom wouldn't be home til late, and we never get privacy. He's been through so much with me. He has his own problems too, but he never talks about them, as much as I try to. He flips the ham steak over on the pan and I can see the little water droplets dancing on the seared meat. He pokes it a few times with the fork and then places it on the counter while he turns, looking at me, folding his arms across his chest. I look up into his dark brown eyes and I can tell he's going to bring up something I don't want to talk about. He hasn't said much on our walk from his dad's to here other then what we might have for lunch. I hate Sundays. 

"How was your appointment this morning?" He asks while scratching his forehead. I take a deep breath and exhale dramatically. 

"Oh, you know, just another day. Nothing significant happened." 

He turned towards the ham again and started poking at it with his finger. "Jackie, I cant stand when you don't talk to me. You know I'm here for you 100 percent and I feel like lately you've just been shutting me out."  

I cant even be annoyed with him cause he's right. I have been shutting him out, but only because I cant explain to him why I'm this way. It's not his fault, even though it might be easier for him to blame himself than have no answer. I just don't have an answer to give him. This is just me. After a few silent minutes, he flicks the stove off and leaves the ham sizzling on the stove and sits in the empty chair on the side of me. I put my head on the table and hold my breath. 

"Listen babe, I know you're tired of talking about it to everyone. I'm just so afraid to lose you. I want to make you happy, and if I can't, then maybe we should brea-" 

My head shot up and I stared at him blankly. My face started to get really hot and my eyes were swelling with tears. Not once has he ever talked about leaving me. He grabbed me and pulled me into such a tight hug I couldn't even gulp out my sobs coming up my throat. 

"Babe shhhhh, don't cry please. I didn't mean it like that. I'm so afraid to lose you I don't know what to do anymore. I just figured maybe someone else could make you happy enough where you would WANT to live." 

He let me cry for a few minutes before he kissed me on the forehead and stood to make me a plate. I didn't say anything because I didn't want to say the wrong thing. All I know was I was killing my relationship. That was something I couldn't lose. He put a plate of ham and reheated mashed potatoes in front of me. Sitting down, he said, "I feel like you've been pushing me away this whole week and I've been preparing myself for you to have a bad night." That's what he calls the nights my parents would call him to let him know I had been admitted to the ward again. I hate that place, and I promised myself my next try was going to be it. I would win this fight, but I've been saving it up for the right day. The right time for me. We didn't speak much the rest of the day, just cuddled and watched movies. Maybe tonight will be the night. I cant keep hurting him anymore.  

"Jackie, are you all set, hun?" The nurse standing in the open doorway is grinning at me like this is going to be my life saver. I wonder if she would bet her life on that. 

............................To be continued