I remember that night like it was yesterday. A 16-hour work day had drained most of my energy, and by the time I dragged myself home that night I felt like nothing more than just a pile of flesh. I had been working for a number of days consecutively and my next day off was another week away. I was physically exhausted. All I wanted to do was shower, crawl into bed and get a few hours of sleep before going back to work in the morning. It didn’t seem like too much to ask for, yet it was almost impossible to attain. When I arrived home that night, I went straight to my desk, put my bags down and planted my body into the chair. Just a few minutes, I said to myself, then I’ll get up and change. I just needed a few minutes.
What happened in those few minutes still frightens me today.
I don’t really remember the details. I just recall my mother coming up to my desk to nag me about something that I felt was completely unimportant. Her words shot out at me like bullets from a machine gun. I tried to take cover by turning to my computer, but I found myself facing another gunman there. This time it was my friend who messaged me online and practically jumped down my throat for not having time to hang out with her. Then at almost the exact same time, I got a message on my cell phone from another friend. She also demanded to know why I could never make time to catch up. I’ll never understand why, at that moment, everyone wanted a piece of me.
It was as if guns were shooting at me from every direction. I couldn’t run and I couldn’t dodge. My mother’s voice was adding fuel to the fire that had ignited within my body, and in a rush of emotions I stood up from my desk and faced the mirror in front of me. It had a reflection of a girl who looked just like me, but I knew it wasn’t me. The girl stood there for a second staring blankly. Then, as if the girl in the mirror took complete control over me, I lost control of myself. I found myself pushing my way past my mother to get to the kitchen. Next thing I knew, I was standing in front of an open kitchen cupboard with a knife in my hand.
It was that night, in the Fall of 2005, when I first realized I had a problem. I didn’t know exactly what the problem was, but I knew very well that if the fire inside me had not been extinguished in time, I would have taken that knife and stabbed myself in the stomach with it. For once, I wasn’t consciously trying to end my life. Something inside of me was provoking me to do it. And for the first time, I was afraid that I would actually kill myself.