I was eight years old when someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up. I said, I want to be a singer. I want to be pretty, I want to be popular.
I was nine years old when I got sick. And for some reason, I could barely face my teachers when got back. The way they looked at me; they had danger written on their foreheads. I knew I was overreacting, but my brain was sending me signals to hide in the corner.
I was ten years old when I had my first panic attack in the back of my mother's minivan. Anxiety was clutched around my neck; my eyes were on fire. I couldn't breathe but God forbid we pull over. The cops asked me if I had any experience with anxiety before this. Does wanting to die count? I cried until three in the morning.
I was eleven years old when I cried myself to sleep because I didn't know how to say "something is wrong." How are you supposed to tell your mom that you feel like a freak. This is not how normal kids act. Mom, when is this feeling gonna go away? By the time winter ended, I was seeing a therapist every week. My anxiety is thick and sticky; and I hate it.
I was twelve years old when my best friend told me how annoying it is when I "get like this". I told her “I’m sorry”; but why should I have to apologize for something I can’t control. After all it's just war inside my head. I was twelve years old when I missed school because I couldn't get out of bed. I stayed in bed feeling bad because apparently “everybody has those days”. Looking out an icy window to find a field of snow; a field that was pure, unlike the person I had become. I was twelve years old when my life turned into the first chapter of another suicide story; i don’t need to be in a nuess to gasp for air; bang. I was twelve years old when I starting downing meds like gummy bears. Fluoxetine, Gabapentin, Seroquel; no one should need medicine to be happy. I was twelve years old when I first started using razors for things that did not include shaving. I became a painter; my brush was a blade. Band aids can cover cuts but they cannot cover depression. I was twelve years old when I went to the hospital. They sat waiting to take me away. You get a cast for a broken bone, what do you get for a broken mind?
I guess time flies when you're mentally unstable; when you spend all your time practicing saying the word “here” before your teacher takes attendance. Freaking out when it's midnight and you forgot you had homework. Using all your energy being beautifully broken.
I am thirteen years old, and I am living proof that it does get better. I am a visual representation that these disorders do not define us. All that's left on my wrists is skin. There is no longer red lines to remember what I've gone through; there is skin, to remember how I lived.
Someone asked me what I want to be when I grow up, I said “happy”