It’s very easy for me to be inspired by something one moment, and then lose all my focus and drive the next. Because between those moments my inner thoughts are basically a bombardment of negativity. It was a startling realization that I finally had: I don’t believe in myself.

This past year has been a whirlwind for me. I ended several relationships that had been very important to me. I had to learn how to be completely independent for the first time in my life. And for a while there, I actually felt good about myself…like I was making progress, even if I struggled, because I kept going and I felt like I was managing everything.

But the truth is, somewhere along the line I stopped making an effort, and I wasn’t really managing anything at all. I was living, but barely. I simply went through the usual routine of life but devoid of happiness, contentment, joy. Yeah I was waking up on time for work, after downing three times the prescribed dose of my sleeping medication. I vented anger and loneliness by cutting. Any fun I had consisted of drinking and drug use, and the amount of time I spent sober became less and less. My depression and anxiety have been relentless the past two years; I had nothing left. I gave up. When I tried to kill myself, that was the most relief I have felt in probably years. I can’t even describe it. I laid in my bed and felt a wave of tranquility: that was it. It was glorious and beautiful – I was finally free.

Except I wasn’t. Obviously, I’m still here…and while I can appreciate it now, while I was in the hospital I just felt angry and anxious. Anxious about how the people around me were taking it, and angry that I failed. But when the doctors asked me, I told them I felt fine. I wasn’t mad or disappointed, no. But what else was I gonna say? I wasn’t about to admit the truth, especially when it would have earned me more time in the unit (which, honestly, was a nightmare and frankly if I hadn’t been suicidal before I was in there, I would have been after). But it was pretty obvious to everyone – from the note I left (which only said that I was sorry, and to not keep me alive), to the amount of pills I took and mixed with other drugs. I was told I’ll have permanent damage to my long term memory function. I fucked myself up pretty bad, but not bad enough. But unfortunately, it meant there was no denying it: the attempt wasn’t an “accident” or a “cry for help”. I was serious about dying. The way I was spoken to and treated when I was on suicide watch makes me angry when I think about it. I’m not really ready to go in depth about my stay in the hospital, although I know I have to confront it at some point. But…baby steps, right?

I don’t even know the point I’m trying to make here. All I know is that something’s gotta change, because quite frankly I can’t go on like this. I can’t keep listening to the negative version of me, who gloats when I fail and whispers in my ear at night about how shitty I am. Maybe I’m recognizing I still have some fight left in me. I struggle with being kind to myself – but I’m determined to change that.

That means a lot of things. It means I’m ready to say goodbye to people who take advantage of me. It means I need to take better care of my body, to nurture it, anything from making healthier dietary choices or to not use drugs, or cut. It means being patient with myself when I make mistakes, and being honest with myself and others around me. It means making a genuine effort in all aspects of my life. I’m letting go of the past and focusing on today.

So goodbye, old me. Maybe you did die after all. I’m sorry for being cruel to you. But I’ll cherish the strength you’ve instilled in me today…you were a hell of a fighter.

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