From the outside my childhood looks plain.
I did soccer and cheer,
doodled in class,
and whispered promises of forever to elemtary school friends.
No one wouldve noticed the pain I carried with me.
The way I hid in the back of every class,
anxiety taking over my voice,
holding it captive in even the most dire of situations.
They couldn't have known the reason I was "shy."
Why I only wore long sleeves,
burning in the middle of summer,
hiding the fact I thought I was worthless.
They couldn't have known.
But I did.
I remember being 5 years old in my room.
Staring at the stars,
asking them for answers,
wondering if I would be better off joining them in the sky.
I remember being 10 in the bathroom.
Looking at my reflection in the mirror,
wondering why my friend told me to lose weight,
listening to her as I sat with my fingers down my throat.
I remember being 13 in the hospital.
The doctors telling me why I fainted.
"Lack of nutrition," they said.
They didn't notice the empty pill bottles in my bag.
They couldnt have known.
But I did.
I was in the hospital for a long time.
I talked to lots of doctors,
some talked about my physical health,
but most of them talked about how I felt on my new medication.
When I got out I was moving to a new school.
One that promised a strict "no-bullying" policy,
that was a new concept to me,
but throughout the years I found it to be true.
I was alone in my geography class for 2 weeks when I met my best friend.
She grabbed my desk while I was still in it,
pulling me to her group,
saying I looked like I was closing in on myself.
I thought they couldn't have known,
but somehow she did.
I was skeptical and closed off at first.
I didn't have much trust,
previous people I knew,
taught me that the people closest to you are the ones that can hurt you the most.
Slowly I realized that I was getting better.
Smiling at my reflection in the mirror,
raising my hand in class,
shedding off my longsleeves when it got to hot.
The day I knew that I had recovered was my last therapy session.
I was rambling,
giggling and smiling,
and I told her how happy I was with the people in my life.
They couldn't have known what they did for me.
But I did.
I remember the end of my freshman year.
I laughed as my friends signed yearbooks,
talking about plans for summer,
reliving the most stressful and fun year of our lives that far.
It's my senior year now.
I'm sitting at a cafe with my best friend,
all these people that have made my life a brighter place.
I tell them about my life.
we look at each other,
they tell me that somewhere along recovering, I also grew up.
I can't pinpoint a moment when I grew up.
Maybe the day my friend did what I tried months before him,
only he didn't get a second chance,
maybe the survivors guilt matured me in ways I can't describe.
Maybe it was the day I got my license.
My nerves on fire the whole day,
driving to my friends house,
talking about all the places we would go in the future.
Maybe it's the first day I considered having a future.
I had been asked where I saw myself in 5 years,
and without hesitation,
I told them I didnt know, but wherever I was, I was happy.
So did I.