Why hello there!
I realized I left you all with a bit of a cliffhanger in my last post. But it’s been three months since my suicidal mania, and since then a lot has happened in my life. I had a lovely 20th birthday with close friends; halloween came and went; and here we are at the end of this crazy year, somehow still standing. There’s a few things I’ve come to realize in the past few months, and I’ve found new ways to learn to love living again.
I lost a friend back in September –– my roommate at the psych ward, actually –– and, as terrible as it is to lose someone so impactful in my life, her presumed death provided me with a much needed fresh perspective. While her disappearance technically remains a mystery, I certainly have my suspicions, knowing her past and the things she told me. Having just gotten out of a low place myself and having just started the healing process, her disappearance felt like a slap in the face. Was the world really this cruel? At first I was devastated and felt a lot of guilt –– she disappeared just days after I was supposed to see her but cancelled last minute.
I imagined the pain she was in, the lonely, despairing, utter hopelessness she had described to me in the ward, and I imagined what must've gone through her head as she stood on the edge of the Golden Gate, ready to jump into an unknown abyss that she would never be able to come back from.
I pictured her in my mind, the girl who saved me from an insanity I doubt I could have escaped myself. I saw her begging the nurses to bring out the ping pong table for some much-needed escapism; I saw her dancing along to cheesy 2000s tunes and reminding me to stay strong. But I also saw the other side of her –– the Sam* who sat alone in a corner of the room, her eyes drowning in sorrows, refusing our countless attempts to bring her back to a place of happiness. Her depression took over her, and I understood. That was the scary part, I think, the interconnectedness I felt with Sam. As much as I wanted to be angry with her, I couldn’t. Frankly, a part of me was jealous. Come on, Juliette, that could’ve been you. I envied her for going through with it, for finding the only escape I could think of. I desperately wanted the sadness to go away, and I was so utterly exhausted of the constant internal turmoil and arguing within my head.
Of course, I eventually got past this –– with the proper medication, support, and countless therapy sessions –– and found peace with Sam’s disappearance. About a month ago I decided to make my own little vigil for her. Another friend from the ward decided to walk the Golden Gate, where Sam was last seen, bringing flowers, tears, and silent prayers in our midst. We tossed the flowers over the bridge stem by stem, with each one remembering different aspects of what we had gone through, and releasing it into the tumultuous waters of the Pacific. We weren't only mourning Sam; we were mourning a part of ourself that went down with her. We were letting go of the scariest moments of our lives, and we were finally accepting peace.
It was beautiful.
I am extremely lucky to have such a strong support system. I mean it when I say that I wouldn’t be here without them. On the days I couldn’t even drag myself out of bed, my friends laid with me without judgement or frustration. As I slowly glued myself back together, I didn’t realize how much pain I was putting them through. My best friends watched me hate myself; they watched me mutilate my skin and cry myself to sleep; they watched as I had panic attack after panic attack –– and they never left. They stood by me throughout it all, providing words of support and love and encouragement. They held my hand as I struggled to find my breath in the midst of many bad panic attacks; they listened and let me move at my own pace, even as it tore them apart seeing me at my worst. I wish I could take away the pain I caused them, and I will eternally try to make it up to them in the small ways I can.
I’m slowly finding myself again. I’ve regained the strong, independent Juliette that has stayed hidden for so long. I watch the sky paint itself in warmth as the sun sets, and I feel All the Good Things. I’m finally able to feel the intense, whole-body gratitude and love that I cherish so much. I even fell in love –– the mushy, passionate kinda first love that I’ll never forget –– and allowed myself to fully let loose. I got more involved with clubs and charities, dressing up as Anna for Power of a Princess and making a child's day a bit brighter. I'm doing the things I dreamed of doing. I'm finally allowing myself to let go of the fears that held me back from being the best version of myself.
I've found so many things that bring me joy. I joined a book club (albeit I'm not the most dedicated to reading each book) with family and friends that allows me to chat with some of my favorite people once a month. My roommates and I watch the Bachelorette together, one of the best trash tv shows ever made, and bond over the drama of the season. I've started my own little plant family, and in caring for them I am reminded to care for myself; they keep me grounded and provide a little bit of order to the chaos of my life.
I have also fulfilled my childhood fantasy of becoming a Disney Princess... more on that later...
Everything worked out for the better, and while I’m certainly far from perfect, I’m so optimistic for the coming months and years, and I know I’m destined for a really fucking good life. My creative juices are flowing again, and I have so many ideas and dreams and passions, and I know they will all come to fruition. Because I am capable. And so are you.
The only limitations are the ones you place on yourself.
I wish I had realized that sooner.
Unfortunately I must stop my procrastination (it’s finals week!) and get back to writing papers and studying for who knows how long. As always, I send my love and positive vibrations to everyone who needs it. Stay strong, love.
*names changed for privacy