You know what’s terrifying? Well yes, tornadoes, clowns, and the thing living in your closet are pretty scary. But what’s even more terrifying lives in your head. It’s looking yourself in the mirror and admitting to yourself that there is something wrong with you. No one likes to admit anything is wrong. We all like to live in Fantasyland and believe that everything is perfect. But I always knew what was wrong with me, I just had a hard time coming to terms with it and voicing it. I hated myself, like really hated myself. I can’t remember a time in my life where I could consider myself fully happy, and I didn’t know what to do. Yes, I’d smile and laugh and have fun but something was missing, and I wasn’t sure what secret ingredient in my life was.
So for about 3 years in high school, I turned to cutting, just a little here and there, nothing serious. I didn’t want to die necessarily. I enjoyed living. I just didn’t enjoy living in the body and the personality that had been given to me. But alas, that didn’t cure me…and rightfully so. I think I’d have bigger problems by now if that had managed to make me feel better (I was somehow strong enough to quit that by myself. But if you’re ever in that situation, please talk to someone. Heck, talk to me!).
Then I thought a boy would be the answer. Maybe, just maybe, if a guy loved me, I’ll be able to love myself. Wrong. I just needed someone to confirm, “Hey, you’re not that bad.” Besides, that thought process goes against pretty much everything you read on Pinterest telling you to love yourself first. But seriously ladies, a guy isn’t the answer.
And then when that didn’t work, I just decided to run away. No, not run away to a friend’s house for a few days without telling my parents. That’s some rookie shit. No, I actually left the country and literally ran away from my problems. I thought having this awesome, brand new adventure would help me to be happy. But I realized I was just trying to keep my life exciting for show. Maybe if people thought I was cool and adventurous, I’d start thinking that about myself too. I also had the mindset that no one needed me or wanted me in his or her lives. So I decided that leaving the country would show that I didn’t need anyone either, when really I was just scared to let people in. “Hey, look at me everyone. I’m brave and independent. I don’t need any of you.” Don’t get me wrong; I had the time of my life during the times I lived abroad, but I also experienced rock bottom during those times as well. And as I’m currently faced with another opportunity to run away, I just don’t know if that’s what I want anymore. I’m kind of tired of running.
So back to the point of this all. It’s taken me 22 years to realize that I am the secret ingredient that makes me happy. People can tell you that all they want, but you need to realize it for yourself. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment when it clicked and everything changed for me. I don’t blame anyone or anything for the way I felt and I’m not writing this for people to feel bad for me. I’m writing this because I’ve finally pieced it all together. I’m writing this because I’ve finally come to terms with my past and myself. I have finally gotten to a place in my life where I am happy with who I am. I’ve realized I’m not perfect, nor will I ever be or have to be. But I am completely fine with that. I can sit here now and look you in the eye and say, “I like who I am,” with complete confidence. I do have to give credit to all the people I’ve met and the friends I’ve made during these 22 years though. Without you all, I’d still have a permanent residence at Rock Bottom. And I don’t really want to go back…they don’t have a Sheetz there.