Vermont is nowhere and I am in the middle of it. Sitting on the white carpeted floor of the room my cousin used to sleep in. It is mine for the night. On the nightstand is a copy of Taking Eyeglasses Seriously: Art, History, Science, and Technologies of the Vision. This book pisses me off to no end. It isn’t even something worth knowing. It’s just a bunch of shit facts that you can awkwardly spew at parties and make everyone feel uncomfortable. Who the fuck would take the time to write that book? Aggression is boiling in my veins. The cuts in my leg have reopened and are bleeding through my grey sweatpants. I am such a fucking loser. Alcohol is for eighth graders with eating disorders, weed for my burnout ex girlfriends, and cigarettes only make me look cool in my friend’s cars. But I’ll bust open pink razor heads to get my pain fix. The blood and the scars almost validate me being such a whiney bitch. Almost.
All I looked forward to after the hospital was debate camp at Dartmouth; a month of freedom from parents to do something worthwhile. Day two, and the panic attacks have made it impossible to leave the dorm room but I push through. Because when my parents are saying, “we knew something like this might happen,” I refuse to be defeated. If the anxiety wins, they win and I will not let either win.
The suicide attempt was just an attempt. Everyone always wants to know what it feels like to die. Is it painful? Is it scary? I think it is neither; just a release of all the pain and fear you have ever felt in your life. I never actually wanted to die; I just needed some help but the hospital made things a lot worse. Go into the psych ward with depression; come out with anxiety, and vice versa. A week and a half into camp, and my aunt and uncle are nervously watching me as I eat a salad at a restaurant in Montpellier, Vermont. My dad is in rescue mode on his way from Michigan to come take me home. I am pitiful.
Vermont is just a state filled with mountains and speckled with the occasional tiny ski village. Don’t blink or you’ll miss the whole downtown. Every once and a while there will be an old drive in movie theater or some other random bit of Americana. The mountains seem endless and, despite their beauty, become more and more boring the longer the car ride; two hours from Dartmouth’s campus to Swanton, Vermont where my aunt and uncle live. The repetitive scenery only makes my depression worse and adds to the monotonous fog the anti-anxiety meds have created in my head.
Truth is I left camp because I was afraid and nobody can tell me differently. It just got too damn difficult to breathe knowing that every kid there was smarter than I was. I can only pretend to be intelligent when everyone else is a complete idiot. But debate camp isn’t high school. I am so angry at myself for leaving but I would have been miserable if I stayed. At least this is what I am telling myself. My whole world is shattering into a million fucking pieces and honestly, I don’t care about anything anymore. Not even debate.
My therapist always tells me that there are lots of different parts of me and the anxiety is only a small piece. This is bullshit. I am not weak and I am not a quitter but that is what the anxiety forces me to be. It runs my life and I am so tired of everyone acting like I am just a shy, sad, weak little girl. People catch colds all the time and get better, and sometimes they catch cold again. I get anxious and then get better, and sometimes it comes back. It is not part of me. I don’t want it to be part of me but I am still guilty of using it as an excuse when I feel uncomfortable. Everyone keeps telling me that they don’t think any less of me and that I’m strong but it doesn’t matter what they think. I matter. My opinion of myself is the only one that matters and right now, it is the lowest it has ever been. I am going nowhere, fast.
All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of Colette Royal.
Published on e-Stories.org on 07.08.2011.