Moving Forward, Not Looking Back

TW: suicide, self harm 

I didn’t think I wanted to write about this. I thought it was petty and stupid and didn’t deserve it’s own post. But now that I’ve sat with it for about 24 hours, I know it’s right to just put it out there. To be honest and vulnerable in the hopes that it might help someone else.

My story isn’t special, you’ve probably heard many like it. But for me, I am still affected by this experience. It’s one that truly defined my life and I don’t talk about it as such when it deserves that title. I remembered a lot of it after being back in Oxford this week. I’m in a completely different place in my life now and feel like it’s okay to share, so here goes.

In 2011, I stepped onto a college campus that took my breath away. Miami University was filled with natural foliage and all of the buildings were made of brick. Brick! How beautiful! I immediately knew that this was the place I wanted to call home for the following 4 years. I was super excited, so I went home and applied immediately.

That November, I opened my application portal to find that I had been accepted into Miami’s freshman class of 2012. I was ecstatic, my mom cried (it’s her alma mater), and my brothers were indifferent. They didn’t really care all that much.

I was bright eyed and bushy tailed about my future college, joking with friends about being a “Redhawk” and wanting so badly for it to be August so that I could see my dorm room and meet new friends and start my new and improved life.

Fast forward to move in day– I already knew my roommate and a few girls on my floor, but it was awesome getting all of my stuff set up in my room and feeling like I was home. I cried when my mom left, knowing that she would be almost 5 hours away. It was hard, but I thought to myself, “This is the hardest part. I can do this.” I was so wrong about that.

Over the course of a few weeks, I saw myself becoming a person I wasn’t. I was trying too hard to fit in with the girls on my floor. I wasn’t like them. I liked different things. I didn’t want to be in a sorority, and I didn’t like to go to bars that were crowded and expensive. I started to feel a divide. And then, one of the worst nights of my life happened.

I had been vulnerable with a group of girls on my floor about a health issue and I thought the conversation went well. I got up to go take a shower and as I passed one of the girl’s rooms, I heard my friends talking about me, saying that I was “full of shit” and that I made up this health issue for attention. I literally couldn’t believe it. I got so pissed that I posted on my tumblr about it. That’s when shit really hit the fan.

I forgot that someone on my floor followed my personal tumblr, so that night, they showed the girls on my floor. They were not happy about it. They proceeded to yell at me, my roommate specifically called me a “bitch” and used other choice words to describe me.

I packed up my stuff that night (it was 11pm) and I walked across the quad to a friend’s room who’s roommate never showed up for classes the first day. I got to my “new room” and couldn’t stop crying. I was hyperventilating, saying that I wanted to end my life. Everything around me felt so dark and nothing was going to pull me out. I thought about how horrible those girls would feel if I killed myself because of them. I self harmed in the shower three times that week. I stayed in my friend’s room until I was able to change rooms to a different dorm officially.

Two weeks later, I finally got up the courage to uproot my life and change everything about it. I applied to other schools as a second-year transfer student and tried my best to get out of the current situation I was in. I picked up more shifts at the dining hall and ended up making good friends with my coworkers. They got me through my last semester at MU. I am so grateful for them.

Two months after that night, I was accepted into Ohio State and transferred that fall. It was the best thing I ever did.

I don’t tell this story for anyone to feel bad for me. I tell it because there are lessons to be learned from my mistakes.

  1. Don’t post about people you know on your social media, unless you’re looking to get a response. I definitely wasn’t in that moment, but it happened anyway and really sucked. Maybe it was for the best? Who knows.
  2. If a situation isn’t serving you, get the fuck out of it. Change something, move somewhere, get the hell out. You don’t deserve to live in sadness because of the fear of pissing people off. Do what’s best for you. Chase happiness.
  3. It gets better. Truly, that night is still one of the worst for me. I couldn’t believe how absolutely dark my life felt. Just know that it gets better. Here I am, five years out of this experience and thriving. My life is awesome. I have my moments, but it’s not the same darkness I felt back then.

All in all, I am a better person because of it. I learned so much about myself that year. I learned that I needed to be more selective on who I told things to and needed to chase happiness because it’s wasn’t going to fall in front of me. Most importantly, I learned that I am strong and capable of seeing the light when everything feels so dark.

And you are capable of all of that, too.

If you ever have thoughts of self harm or even suicide, please reach out to someone. Reach out to me, even. I know it can be hard to do it, but it will quite literally save your life.

If you don’t have thoughts of self harm or suicide, check on your friends. Your happy friends, your sad friends, and even your friends that have their shit together. Check on them, be there for them. You never know who’s struggling.

In the meantime, take care of yourself and chase that happiness. I promise you, it’s worth it.

Sincerely,

Em

24 hour suicide hotline: 1-800-273-8255

My personal email: sincerelyemblog@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

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