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Today I Turn 20 (And I Want to Die)

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Editor's Note

If you struggle with self-harm or experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741. For a list of ways to cope with self-harm urges, visit this resource.

4:17 p.m.

Today, I turn 20. I’ve spent my morning sleeping away the warm, morning air and letting out the dog. I’ve sat in front of the TV with my parents, a fake smile upon my face. The laugh of someone else has rolled off my tongue, trying to disguise myself.

If they knew how I really felt, what I’d rather be doing at that moment, they would treat me differently.

Question after question, they’d ask everything they could to get their noses into every part of my being and judge me for it like the true jurors they are. Because, of course, they know better.

7:02 p.m.

Today I turn 20 and the only time I’ve had to myself I’ve spent crying on the shower floor, curled into a ball, the burning water cascading against my scarred legs.

I don’t even know what happened. I was fine, listening to upbeat music, trying to get myself to act more like myself. But four seconds into standing in the shower, I felt nothing.

Emptiness. Loneliness. Worthlessness. Unseen.

I sank to the cold, marble floor and soon, the water was bright blue and filling up the tub. I watched, disassociated, as the water covered my hand, then my ear, climbing up and up to my mouth. I don’t remember standing up and turning the water off but now I’m sitting naked on the bathroom floor. The only warmth I feel comes from the bath mat and the towel wrapped around my shoulders, quickly growing damper from my blue hair.

7:45 p.m.

Today I turn 20 and I want to die again. I put on sad piano music because, for some reason, Childish Gambino just doesn’t fit the mood I’m in. I try and relax and get myself motivated to stand up, get dressed and go back out there to be around my mother and father again. But all I can think about is the different ways I could die right now.

I could die like Hannah Baker.

I could die like Jackson Maine.

I could die like my favorite poet, Sylvia Plath.

I could try to die the same way as just two weeks ago.

8:14 p.m.

Today I turn 20 and I just want to live.

I want to move out with my boyfriend, I want to get married, I want to go to college to work on my writing, I want to have kids. But it’s just too hard and sometimes I can’t get myself to see that in my future. Life is exhausting, draining every ounce of energy I have left… which isn’t much.

But my boyfriend understands. And as much of a burden I feel like I’ve become, he doesn’t give up on me. Yes, sometimes it becomes too much for him and he needs to take a break, but how is he supposed to help me if he’s having problems himself? I just want him to be happy. I want us both to be happy. And as impossible as it seems right now, I know it’ll get better. This nightmare-filled existence I live in doesn’t seem so bad when I know I have someone who’s got my back.

Someone who will stay up until 3 a.m., rubbing my back as I sob into his chest. Who’ll make lighthearted jokes, trying to get me to smile and get my mind on something else when all I want to do is stop living. Someone who will support me calling in sick to work for a week because I physically can’t get out of bed, and who will stay by my side to make sure I’m OK.

8:41 p.m.

Today, I turn 20 and I don’t know where this little rant has gone. I’ve added to it on and off throughout the day, at my darkest moments and at times where I’m actually OK, sitting next to my mom watching “Bee Movie” because I needed something lighthearted.

But the thought of my significant other putting so much effort into helping me and wanting me to be OK makes me want to be OK. I don’t want all his work to be for nothing and I know he wants a future with me.

9:58 p.m.

Today, I turn 20 and I never thought I’d make it to be this old. I never wanted to get married. I never wanted to have kids. I never wanted to make it to this age. I don’t know how I’ll feel tomorrow. Hell, I don’t know how I’ll feel in 20 minutes. But as much as I don’t want to live another minute sometimes, in my heart I know there are things I want and a future I want and that means I need to keep living. Not just for my family and boyfriend, but for me.

How am I supposed to write a novel if I’m dead? How am I supposed to get engaged and “say yes to the dress” if I’m dead? How am I supposed to have a little girl and dress up like a princess with her if I’m dead?

There are things I want and I am going to fight for them.

10:03 p.m.

Today I turn 20 and it’s stopping here.

Photo by Kaitlin Shelby on Unsplash

Originally published: June 8, 2019
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