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You’re Not Alone – I’m Crazy Too This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By , Layton, UT
The shower head dumped steaming water onto my back as I leaned over, studying my feet. My hair, pushed by the scalding water, tumbled over my shoulders to shroud my face. I'd never considered suicide like this before.

I cupped my hands between my eyes, covering my mouth and nose tightly. Tears began to mix with the water, and both seeped into my hands. A small pool formed in my palms and I inhaled the water gently, just enough to choke me. I coughed until my lungs were clear, disappointed in my cowardice. Millions of people were starving, freezing, and dwelling in their own waste, and here I was, unable to face the next day but incapable of doing anything about it.

There's something weird about water, I guess. It's been a family ­favorite. Ever since my dad tried to kill himself in the bathtub 10 years ago, I've always considered water a death sentence. Just a chip off the old block. I turned the knob up, scalding my skin.

I'm not the type of girl who typically considers suicide. I could be a cheerleader or on the drill team if I wasn't so busy balancing AP and college classes as a high school junior. I could be at parties with boys every weekend if I didn't work at my mother's dress shop. But yet, here I was, the happy girl, choosing to end it all.

Fact: Everyone will die.

Fiction: Everyone can choose how they die.

Some people are youthful, cheerful, and beautiful. Some people's deaths are accidental, coincidental, and completely happenstance, like my cousin, the only girl I know who will remain forever young. She was my age, and she would be still, if she hadn't been hit by a car when we were two. I imagine that she'd be gorgeous now, just like she was then.

Fact: I was going to choose to die.

I suppose I had every reason to live. It was January and the girls'-choice dance was coming up. I could ask the football player in my chemistry class I'd had an eye on. I could be elected royalty.

Who was I kidding? I had my sweethearts dress and no date. There wasn't anyone to ask. What was the point going, anyhow? My dress didn't fit anymore. As I said, I work at a dress shop, and I had wanted this dress since the day we got it in. It was an extra small, but it was too big for me now. I guess I just didn't have time to eat, and when I did, I simply chose not to.

I wasn't going to admit it to anyone, but I knew the truth: I was a suicidal, anorexic teenage girl. I slept little, ate less, and stressed a lot. Those were the facts. You can't change facts, right?

Fact: Facts can be changed.

Fiction: I'm still a suicidal, anorexic teenage girl.

It didn't take long for me to realize that I was part-crazy, but it took others around me longer than I could bear. I was a recluse, not suddenly, but gradually. When I didn't go out to lunch with friends or bother to make weekend plans, no one worried. I ­wasn't invited anyway. Presumptions were, in all ­reality, my stairway to hell.

It all started with one night, one mistake. One slip-up turned into a rumored many. One boy turned into 20, and a small mishap turned into a sin. I became my high school's very own Hester Prynne. It seemed as if people devoured my life behind the covers of Haw­thorne's book, pretending to read as they received the slew of texts telling my story. If they'd read the book they might have seen that my story wasn't very different. But after I'd stood on the scaffolds and the wounds were no longer fresh, people forgot. No one remembered the molehill, and they only vaguely ­recalled the rumored mountain. I'd gracefully dealt with my shame by hiding myself away.

Isolation is a terrible monster, with claws that grip your heart and teeth that crush your mind. It wasn't
so much the embarrassment of the gossip that led to my suicidal thoughts, but the loneliness that resulted from the rumors. I stopped going to church when
they preached that those who committed suicide weren't allowed into heaven. I can't believe that the God I know would turn so tortured a soul away from His arms.

God had His reasons, and the Devil had his motives, and either way I'd take what was given to me. Then an atheist vegan or, in other words, the hero who defeated isolation, waltzed into my life. Either an ironic act of Providence or a scheme by Satan, this girl showed me fellowship in my darkest hour. Somehow we belonged together, though we were exact opposites.

She noticed my pain. She'd felt that pain herself. After I was abandoned by the girls I'd once considered friends, she showed me what a best friend really was. We found some help for me after I told my parents how I felt, and the counseling had an impact on my life. I no longer feel like a broken Barbie doll, with perfect hair, no waist, and a fake smile.

Fact: I still can't fit into my dress.

Fiction: There's no one to ask to sweethearts.

I'm going to ask a boy I know at another school, one who's never been a jerk. I'm climbing out of my grave. It seemed like the earth was pressing so intensely on my chest that I was about to be crushed under its weight, but a shovel and a friend to dig with made all the difference.

Fact: There is hope.

Fact: I will not choose how I die.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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Hover This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 6, 2011 at 10:50 am:

Anonymous,

This was a beautiful piece of work with a hopeful message at the end. Thank you for sharing it with the world. :)

 
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