Seven.

It’s said that the human body replaces itself, at the cellular level, every seven years.

If you have ever taken a human biology class, ever, you know that’s not true. Every body part, every cell, has its own very distinct lifespan. A bunch of cell types are constantly getting replaced, and there are also a handful that never get replaced.

I’ve been thinking about that a lot this past week. That myth has always been in my head. Part of me always thought it to be true, or rather I wanted it to be true.. I think of this especially with the things going on in our culture right now. This past week one of my favorite humans ever, Jamie Tworkowski, wrote a response to “13 reasons why.” It was brilliant. Everything I could have possibly wanted to say.. (Read it here!)

2017 makes 7 years to a couple of things, including but not limited to:

7 years since I started taking antidepressants.

7 years since I first read the book 13 reasons why.

7 years since I attempted to take my own life.

Which as one can imagine all the above made the Netflix series really exciting for me to watch because I loved the book, but really triggering because Hannah was me.

I never talk about it. There is such a negative stigma around it, especially considering the field I’m in. Of course, theres the concept of “wounded healers” but no one really shares the “wounded” part. Of course my family knows, they found me half dead. But in my family, everything is shoved underneath the rug. How would that look like to others? A girl who went to church all her life, purposely overdosed. No one in the church knew. To everyone I was in the hospital for a month that summer for a “headache.” Right, okay.

I remember it so clearly. The agonizing stomach pain from all the pills, but the relief slowly letting go of reality into the nothingness that awaited me. I didn’t even care about what I’ve always heard at church. “I was going to hell.” Correction, I was leaving hell. I was in so much physical pain, but it was bliss. Pure substance induced bliss. I have no idea how I wound up at the hospital, incubated days later. Once I realized what was going on, I basically turned into the hulk. Forcefully ripping everything off me, with nothing but anger. Being forced down, strapped and labeled “flight risk,” so many thoughts flooding my mind. “Why didn’t it work? How could this happen? Why can’t I do anything successfully?” Being, the con that I am, I then faked it ’till I made it. I played every doctor in that hospital, then every therapist in the following residential treatment center into believing I was okay enough to leave that place weeks later. But of course, not without acting out, pulling pranks and flirting just because I was bored..

Maybe I shouldn’t have done that, maybe I would be okay now if I had only adhered to residential treatment, therapy, support groups, etc. I think about that sometimes. Not once have I regretted the attempt to take my own life though. Probably wrong to admit that, but it’s honest. More often than not, I get angry all over again that it didn’t work.

I still resonate so deeply with Hannah Baker, my former self, it frightens me. I still have that notion that everyone is against me, that my rep is a bad one, and that I’m perpetually alone. It’s not even a said notion, but much of it is fact. I probably shouldn’t have watched the series to be honest, for my own mental health. But truthfully I get mad at myself, too. I don’t blame my parents for not telling anyone. I should be okay. I should be relying on God. Regardless of how much I try its like nothing works. I should have a proper support system that points me to Him. How can I do that? How can I be a successful social worker anyway? These are only my daily anxieties, exacerbated by the viewing of the Netflix series. What is one to do anyway?

For this, I wish so badly that the body would regenerate itself every seven years. This year being the year I get a new brain, one that isn’t sick, or sad, or broken – or whatever is going on in there. This year being the year I simply forget everything in my past. I know all things are made new with Christ. And don’t get me wrong, so much has drastically improved, but I’m so incredibly tired of the journey. Of the struggles and the pain along the way.

But I guess that’s all that I shaped me into who I am today, huh?

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