Friday, December 28, 2007

Moving forward

Whenever someone asks the question, "What's your biggest secret?" I typically respond with some embarrassing moment that happened to me when I was younger, or perhaps breaking down during my freshmen and sophomore year of college. Not that I was in an actual college, but none-the-less, the years defining my young adult life were marred by deep emotional distress. Most of my friends know by now that I was in a serious depression. But I have managed to avoid answering the question "What's your biggest secret" for years now, or at least what seems to be years. I do not recall who I have told (aside from Patrick) about the one thing I have kept secretly to myself for the past five years.

The year 2007 is coming to a close, with me meeting up with old acquaintances (or at least attempting to) and making new friends. With all these social networking sites on the internet it is nearly impossible to be an inconspicuous person. Of course I fully admit to surfing the sites Facebook and Myspace for people I once knew and called friends. Surfing through my past has often gotten me reflecting back on my actions in life, but one moment in particular. For the most part I have isolated myself from many people that I knew when I was going to high school. The isolation stems in part from my social paranoia of what people think of me, and also because of my relationship with my ex-boyfriend.

When I was about 20 I lost control of my life. I had dedicated so much time to my friends I grew up with and my boyfriend that I lost sight of my goals and as well as letting myself degenerate into a depression. The last two years of high school were fairly tough for me since I was going through my angst-like teenager phase (rebellion) and dealing with losing my grandmother. I felt like such a failure as most of my friends I still spoke with were away at college or obtaining their goals of transferring on time while I secretly held all my problems inside. The only thing that was ever truly apparent was my anger and unhappiness over the end of my high school relationship. I was not only a despondent person, but a person who was utterly dependent to someone who, upon looking back, just didn't feel the same way for me. These are the two years I really rather forget, particularly one night. But it is time for me to move forward and admit what I have been keeping secret for a few years now.

I know that I was around 20 because the incident happened at my old house. When people tell me they are unhappy or depressed I often ask them why. Maybe they're not happy with their job, or maybe it is because they are single. Sometimes people get upset at gaining weight, or not doing well in school. Many people become sad and depressed because a relationship ended, or they got cheated on so and and so forth. Typically people are depressed because they are facing a personal (and usually emotional) struggle. I suppose that I embodied everything listed there. My dependency to another person was so bad it clouted my mind and my judgment.

One night underneath my loft, I tied a cable around my neck and tried to kill myself. I couldn't come through with it, but the attempt was great enough where I ended up bursting some blood cells. People who attempt suicide, according to psychologists, do so because they want attention. I admit, and I am completely ashamed of this, that part of me wanted the attention. But like I said, it wasn't as though the incident didn't go unnoticed. The next morning I woke up and half of my face and one half of my neck was splotchy. Of course someone in my family noticed, and in this case it was my dad. I never gave him an explanation, but he sort of just assumed that some of my blood cells had burst and caused this red blotchy disfigurement spread across my face. Whether or not he knew, I will never know because I will not bring up this subject with him. All I know is that my dad figured I would just heal over the next few days and my face and neck would return to normal.

I've never met anyone else who has ever wanted to end their life. For me, it is hard to admit that I was so emotionally distraught that I felt life was not worth living. It is hard to imagine that, for all that I have accomplished since then, I once tried to take my life. But because of that night, I try to be more compassionate and understanding about certain situations. My friend Aaron and Tammy (I do not know how) both addressed the same thing to me once, and this was regarding women in abusive relationships. How women end up in one is I guess, beyond me, but when you are so far from reality and so depressed, sometimes it is hard to realize that you (for this part myself) are in an unhealthy relationship. Yes, I admit that I let myself end up in a bad position. At the same time though I know plenty of girls who subject themselves to the same thing I did to myself, just not to my extreme. But it is the perpetual question of why girls do this to themselves. I cannot answer this question for all the women out there who have ever felt, literally, like shit about themselves. But as vague as this answer is, most of us do not realize it until it is too late. And we learn the hard way. But it was the question propounded by both my friend and coworker that made me fully open up and evaluate the hardest period of my life.

I know why I did it, and I know I am still alive today. There are many people that think I am a bright, smart, funny and strong person who loves life. Still, even the strongest and smartest person can fall victim on attempting to take their own life. To this day I am deeply ashamed of what I did. Sympathy isn't needed. All I want to do is to reach out and let someone else know that I actually understand, because I do. Anytime I come across a story about a girl who killed herself over a guy, I cringe because five years ago, that was me. I was fortunate enough that I was too scared to go through with it.

Being able to finally admit and write down my darkest secret has made me realize how fortunate I am to have the friends I have. Laughter has been the biggest and thickest wall I hid behind. At least now my gregarious personality is no longer a facade.

2 comments:

JD said...

wow. I had no idea. Thanks for sharing, that must have been difficult to do

Zug zug said...

It was a difficult post to write up. I felt it was time to let go and embrace my future. Things are much different now and I feel like the only real way to move on was to acknowledge it.

Thank you for reading.