All I ever wanted were a few sole sentences.
Just simple words strung together
to give me a subtle reminder that I was not in it alone.
When people saw my feet facing the toilet
under the drab wall of the stall next door to their own
and my knees crushing the hard tiled ground,
I wanted to hear a, “hey, honey, you feeling okay?”
And I know I would respond with a laugh and
“Yeah I just dropped something!”
And I’d stand up and re-position myself the right way,
but at least I would know that this lady,
a lady I had never even seen face to face once before
in my entire existence on this earth
cared enough to make sure I was feeling okay.
And when my friends noticed another meal
had gone by where they hadn’t seen me eat a crumb,
I wished for one of them to say something so simple
like, “are you hungry, love? Have you eaten yet?”
just to let me know that they noticed.
And I know they would know that no one could force me to eat,
but they could at least check in, and ask if I’m alright
calling me honey, or love
to add an extra ounce of caring.
And when I handed in my papers in class
and my sleeve slipped, exposing my striped wrists
all I wanted was for my teacher to tell me
it had to be reported, despite the look in my eye
saying, “please don’t tell.”
Because anyone who has struggled with self-harm knows
that often times, “please don’t tell”
really means “please tell someone, I’m dying.”
And all I wanted was a “honey, it isn’t worth it. You need help.
I’m here for you.”
Because I would be angry at first,
but at least I would have gotten help,
and at least I would have been rising from my
already dug up grave.
But holy shit things turned out so unfair.
The strangers and the friends and teachers
had their eyes and ears wide open and yet
I was still laying there in my grave,
waiting to die, or waiting to be saved.
Because how the hell was I supposed to know
that I had to save myself,
when there was not one person around me
even attempting to help?
But finally I figured it out,
maybe with a few kind souls at my side,
as well as some red shoes and magic pixie dust.
I’m still standing, having saved myself,
and despite my ever present need to become
more of a tiger, adding more stripes to my wrists
and then completely ending myself all together,
I know there is someone, somewhere
wishing for that stranger in the stall next door
or that friend with open eyes who opens her mouth too.
And now that I know how to save myself
I can help that someone, somewhere
save herself too.
I wished for my own stranger or
to come to my rescue and teach me the art
of saving when I had managed to nearly die
six thousand times, on the inside,
and one thousand on the outside.
But I know now that the reason I didn’t find a savior in my life
was because I had been meant to learn how it felt
to feel so completely alone in the thick of pain
and be able to walk straight through,
so that one day I’d be able to teach someone
to do the same.
So, sweety, don’t give up,
your story is not finished yet.
Someone is on their way,
And if you feel like ‘someone’ isn’t coming fast enough,
open your eyes in front of a mirror,
because you’ve already got yourself to save you.