Reflections of a Seventeen-Year-Old Girl
Through the FogSome may deem my hospitalization as sudden and dramatic, but actually, a lot had been leading up to that point. I only did not see it coming but I had grown so accustomed. A handful of my closest friends had gone through similar struggles of their own, and I viewed my own world in a lens in which self-harm was a part of normal teenage angst. It was not until my good friend, J.M. came along, when I began to question my own mental state. My friends and I had been so used to what he saw as rather concerning behavior. In the hospital, I thought back to my last few weeks in school. Hiding under the table during English class was not normal. Constantly falling on the floor was not normal. Almost never being hungry enough to finish one muffin was not normal. Crying randomly in the hallways was not normal. Following the same logic, wanting to hurt myself was certainly not normal. If it were not for J.M., I am not sure I would have even acknowledged the fact that I so very desperately needed help.
Throughout my treatment, I realized that I was overly fixated on people who made me feel awful, when I did not need to be. There were people who made me feel loved and accepted and validated, and I had been so consumed in those who did not. Upon coming back to school, I reminded myself that it was better to be around one or two peers who made me feel safe, rather than a hundred people who ultimately made me feel alone.
But perhaps more importantly, I am beginning to forgive. Maybe it is not as much as forgiving as letting go. I cannot forget the words people have said or the things they failed to do, but why should I suffer for it? In trying to accept my own flaws, I have begun to look past others’ misdoings. I do not want to continue to feel hurt from those who love and try to understand me otherwise, and I would hope the same for those I have disappointed as well. Once you stop holding on to the people and memories that drag you down, you will finally be free of suffering.
"The sense of loss is such a tricky one, because we always feel like our worth is tied up into stuff that we have, not that our worth can grow with things we are willing to lose."
— Tori Amos