This Year Isn’t Heaven, But It Isn’t Hell
last year was hell.
it started on thursday, march 7. i ate lunch with the one friend i was still hanging onto by a thread, but we barely spoke. the thread snapped.
i ate alone at our table on friday. and on monday, march 18, i started eating lunch in the corner across from my locker. i sat there for the next two months, my need to wash my hands slowly increasing.
and then, at the end of may, i was triggered. i tried to push through it, to ignore my compulsions. it didn’t work. it made everything worse. i went to the hospital the following afternoon, begging to talk to somebody.
they told me the only psychiatrists they had there were in the inpatient ward. they also told me they weren’t going to admit me because “it wasn’t the best thing for me at the time.”
i went to freshii and got a kids’ salad. i ate maybe two cucumbers out of it. then i had a shower and went to sleep. i slept for the next few days. i remember waking up to sunlight, rolling over, and going back to sleep. i don’t remember eating or drinking or going to the bathroom.
the next week, i went back to school part-time. i sat in random offices throughout the school, because going to class was too much, but i couldn’t go to resource cause i didn’t have an iep. i struggled through the last few weeks. i hated being at school, but home was barely any better. at least at home there were comfortable chairs and a shower.
there was one day when i was triggered and went to take a shower. i was in there forever, panicking. mom finally came in, and i curled into a ball on the floor of the shower, crying, because i was having suicidal thoughts. also because i had used conditioner instead of shampoo on my body and i was exhausted at the thought of having to do the compulsion all over again.
i spent the summer sitting on the floor, doing puzzles, scrolling through the @aerie app and @jennakutcher ‘s feed. i had to walk certain paths through the house, and i was living off a tiny portion of my clothes and belongings from the corner of my room. i couldn’t touch my siblings.
i struggled to do my job at the library. there were too many triggers that i had to avoid. they made accommodations for me, allowed me to prepare crafts in the back room, but eventually, they needed me to be shelving things again. the women i worked with could no longer do my job for me.
i tried. but i was terrified of being triggered, and i eventually took a break, went outside, and refused to go back in. mom arrived, talked to my supervisor, and they both decided i should take a break. they held my job for me for a few months, but i had to officially quit because there was no way i could go back.
september rolled around. i went back to school and struggled with triggers. there seemed to be an awful lot of them in the morning, which ruined my whole day. at the end of the month, i quit my morning class and took a spare.
i started eating lunch in the resource room. but i was still terribly lonely. then came wednesday, january 8. i think i needed pictures for my weekly yearbook assignment. and there was a club happening in the room next to resource, so i went to investigate. i knew one of the boys from a class the previous year.
and on january 22, he asked for my ig. we got to talking. we fell for each other. we started dating on february 2. i finished writing my book on february 29. i hugged my little siblings on march 20 for the first time in 10 months. i went all of april without needing a compulsion shower and wrote the second draft of my book. on may 23, i finished the third draft of my book. on june 12, i started my blog. 9 day later, i started my ig.
this year isn’t hell. i wrote and edited a book, i fell in love, i hugged my little siblings.
it isn’t heaven. i’m struggling with my body image, with anxiety, with quarantine.
this year isn’t heaven, but it isn’t hell.
and right now, that is enough.