WAIT! Stop reading right now. If you haven’t read my post, “Things You Don’t Get to Say to Someone with Mental Illness,” read it before proceeding by clicking here.
Have you finished reading it?
Yes? OK, you may continue.
I’ve always been curious about the world, and I’ve always asked questions. In fact, according to my parents, my first words were “How’s it work?” So, it’s not hard to understand why I believe that asking well-thought out, somewhat unusual questions is one of the best ways to get to know someone.
However, if you plan on getting to know me anytime in the near future, here are a few questions you cannot ask me.
1) What is your favorite video game?
Because I want to be able to say something cool like Halo or something. But I’ve only played Halo once with a friend, and I did pretty well. But then I wanted to play by myself, and it was going well until I got to this part where very suspenseful music was being played. I just couldn’t handle it, so I freaked out and quite playing.
But I like PacMan. Pacman’s good.
2) You’re an English Major? Are you going to teach? What are you going to do with it?
Yes, I am an English Major, but I am not planning on teaching (at least not right now). I have no idea what I’m going to do with it, because there are so many things to do, and I don’t think I am ready to decide right now what I could possibly be doing for the rest of my life. Because I didn’t think I’d make it this far, and right now the world seems so vast and the future so foreboding. And right now, I’m just trying to figure out how to use what I’ve been through to help others.
I’m writing a book.
3) How are you doing? (or similarly, How you doing kid?)
Right now, I’m not doing much of anything except trying to survive. Some days I use up all my energy getting out of bed in the morning because the ground looks pretty shaky, and sometimes it takes everything to believe that I will be ok. Those are the days when I know I won’t be able to get along with people, so I hide away in my room. But really, this is pretty normal for people like me. So a better question to ask me would be…
4) How’s it going?
It’s going. Because life moves quickly but also so slowly, and I move right along with it. Although sometimes it seems as though I’m moving in slow motion, because I have no idea what I’m doing or where I’m going, and I’m just trying to figure it out. So I’m going with the flow and also against the flow, because if society is going to tell me that I’m not beautiful, I’m going to prove them wrong, because my battle proves otherwise.
5) Can I see your scars?
No, you cannot. Over the years, I have learned to wear my scars boldly, because they are a reminder of where I’ve been. And they serve as hope for the future. And I’ve had too many people make fun of me because of my scars. Self-harm is not a joke. It is not funny, and it is not something you should make fun of to get a laugh out of people. It’s a serious problem. It’s not ok to diminish the severity of this issue by taking pictures of fake blood in the shape of a heart or whatever because you think it’s beautiful. Because let me tell you, every time I cut into my skin I felt a little bit less beautiful, and I hated myself a little more, and I’ve spent the last three years trying to undo it. IT’S NOT OK. It’s horrible when you get to that point when you feel self-harm is the only way to feel pain. It’s horrible when you become addicted. And I hope I never walk that path again, but every day the struggle is real. It’s not a joke. And it’s not ok to use my scars or anybody else’s as a joke or an example of what not to do. Everybody deals with pain differently. Don’t make anybody hate themselves more than they already do.
So no, you cannot see my scars, because while you may think they’re beautiful, I don’t. I do my best to hide them, because all I want is to feel beautiful.
6) How are you feeling?
I don’t know how I’m feeling. I’m feeling happy and sad and sometimes nothing at all. And I don’t want to feel this way. I don’t want to be cautiously happy and overwhelmingly sad. I’d give anything to not feel this way—my left kidney because I only need one, part of my liver because it’s the only organ that regenerates, my lungs because I feel like I’m drowning, my heart because I doubt anybody could ever love me, and if I still had my appendix, I’d probably give that too.
So really, I’m feeling everything and nothing, but most of all I’m feeling terrified. Because life is unpredictable, and I don’t know if I can deal with anymore hurtful suprises, and I’m trying to make sense of this chaos, because out of chaos comes beauty, but when I look in the mirror all I see is ugly.
Please don’t ask me these questions, because I don’t have coherent answers. All I know is that I’m trying, and therefore, no one can criticize me.