Staying alive

The following took place last Friday. Since this post is kind of...dark...I want to let you know ahead of time: I'm okay now, and I will be okay.


I'm curled into a ball on the chair in the corner of my bedroom. I'm in my pajamas that I've worn for the past 24 hours. And, of course, I haven't showered in those past 24 hours. My eyes are puffy and my face is wet from the tears that I've been crying for no particular reason other than it hurts to be alive right now. I'm full of emotion: sadness, hopelessness, fear, anger, guilt; but, at the same time, I feel numb. I feel everything and nothing all at the same time. I am one flaming-hot mess.

I'm supposed to go out later that evening with some friends, but I know I just can't do it. I feel guilty and angry at myself. Why can't I get my shit together and go out there? It feels like too much: to shower, to get dressed in real clothes, to move. I stare at my phone and thumb through text messages and a Facebook feed full of bad news: Paris has just been attacked. What in the bloody hell is happening? I panic: my brother is there on vacation. I receive text messages that he is safe, thank god. Still, the worry sets in and gets added to the mixture of emotions that I'm feeling.

I start bawling again, but not for the right reasons; not in response to the tragedy or the shock of what's going on in Paris, but because of my own state of existence. What is wrong with me? I'm so pathetic, feeling sorry for myself while people in the world are literally dying right now. They were robbed of their lives, and I'm sitting here not wanting to live. How self-absorbed am I? I should be grateful to be alive. I continue to cry, disgusted at myself.

It hurts. Everything hurts. My body aches. My emotions pull at my insides and my heart aches. And my head hurts; I've had a migraine for the past 48 hours. It's all too overwhelming. All I can feel is everything bad. All I can think about is everything negative. And then, the really bad feelings set in. Feelings of wanting to hurt myself, feelings of not wanting to live, because I can't make the pain stop. I want it all to stop. These thoughts surprise me and scare me, and I cry even more. I need help, I need help, I need help.

I pick up my phone, then put it down. I pick it up again, and put it down again. I finally convince myself not to put it back down and I call my boyfriend. He answers and I burst into tears. Through my loud, ugly sobbing, I tell him that I need his help. He's supposed meet up with the aforementioned friends soon, but he tells me he's coming over now. He tells me to stay put, to hold on, to wait just a little longer.

He arrives and finds me in a fetal position on my bed, a pile of snotty tissues next to me. He comes over and sits next to me and gives me a hug. He holds me close and tells me it's going to be okay. I tell him how I've been feeling and, instead of judging, he gives me words of comfort and support. It helps.

I try to apologize for the state I'm in—the state I've been in for awhile—for not being able to be a functioning person right now, for being a burden. He tells me there's nothing to be sorry about. He tells me that he loves me. It helps.

It's time for him to go meet his friends, but he makes sure that I heat up some food for myself, and that I figure out something to distract myself with for the night. He kisses me and assures me that he will be back soon. It helps.

I get a Facetime call from my parents. On the other end is the image of a phone screen with my brother's face on it. It's our makeshift three-way-Facetime-calling. I'm glad to see their faces. Everyone is safe. After my brother hangs up, my parents stay on and I tell them it's been a rough night. They offer their words of support and tell me they love me. It helps.

I make my way to the couch and I eat the leftovers I've heated up for myself, with my dog curled up beside me. I watch a couple episodes of "Jane the Virgin" and a few smiles appear. It helps.

It's not long before my boyfriend is back to give me more hugs and kisses and to tell me tales of his night (he and his friends literally skipped over a mile from a bar to a park and back). The thought of his adventure makes me chuckle. It helps.

I make it through the night and wake up the next morning feeling groggy—eyes still puffy—but better. The storm is starting to pass. I think the worst is over.

 Photo by Yuriy Khimanin via  Unsplash .

Photo by Yuriy Khimanin via Unsplash.