They say nothing matters once you forget your name, and I've been trying to forget mine for years now. It's been a fruitless task, up until today.
I'm not sure how long I've been walking. Time seemed to lose its meaning the moment I took the blade to my wrists. I can see blood seeping through the bandages I wrapped around them. It doesn't scare me as much as it should, and that scares me. I have a couple more bandages in my pocket, but I don't really have the energy to retrieve them. I have the razor blade in with them, as well, just in case the job wasn't as well done as I think.
It's dark outside, cold, and it's probably going to start snowing again. There are already a few inches of the stuff on the ground, and I look down every once in a while, to make sure my feet are still leaving tracks. The longer I bleed, the less real I feel, as though every drop spilled takes a little more of me with it.
I've never known who I was, and I guess that's the problem. People who know themselves probably don't feel the need to slice into their own wrists, to exercise to the point of exhaustion, to deprive themselves of food to the point of delirium. The last time I ate was about a week and a half ago, I think. I'm starting to lose count. Every step I take accelerates my heart rate to dangerous levels and causes black spots to show up before my eyes, but I keep moving. I need to get home.
I'll be alone when I arrive, no family, no friends, not even a pet to keep me company. I've thought before about getting a cat, just as a way to give my life some purpose, but I can barely take care of myself, let alone an animal. No poor feline deserves to have me as an owner.
I have no life, which just makes everything harder. If I had something to work for, maybe I wouldn't feel obligated to self-destruct the way I am. I don't fear the idea of being a burden - I fear the thought that everyone around me is living a life, however mundane, and all I'm doing is existing. That's the problem with general, undefined anxiety. It paralyzes you. I've tried so many things in an effort to create a life for myself, to just become a person, but nothing seems to work. I've tried making friends, I've tried getting a hobby, I've tried depriving myself of food and cutting my skin to shreds, but still nothing works.
I attempted to talk to a therapist about my issues once, and it just fell into the list of things I've failed at. I wasn't sure why it didn't work for me. I opened up, I poured my heart out, I did everything she asked of me and then some, but the anxiety and emptiness remained. At our last session, she said she wasn't the doctor for me, and offered to refer me to someone else, but I didn't take her up on it. I had failed with this therapist, and I knew finding another one would just end the same way. She called me at home a few times, to see if I had found someone new, and after the third time I had to tell her no, I stopped answering her calls. There was no point.
When the suicidal thoughts first started, they frightened me, and I did my best to push them out of my mind, but they always came back. When they stopped scaring me, it brought on a new kind of terror - was my sense of self-preservation completely gone? Had I fallen down so far that there was no sense in even trying to find my way out any longer? When I just accepted them as a part of myself, even that terror disappeared.
I didn't actively try to kill myself, my religious upbringing making the idea of considering such a thing almost unimaginable. I didn't seek out death, but rather causally invited it in, while still skirting around it. Every day I went without food, I thought of it as a step closer to the possibility of dying. Each time I cut myself, it was one move nearer to a dangerous precipice. Now I'm close enough that I can look down and see to the bottom of that precipice, and even I had no real idea just how difficult - or easy - it would be to jump off. Outright suicide wasn't an option, but maybe I could help it along.
So began the starvation with a purpose. It seemed like a better idea than slitting my wrists. I would be the girl who had the willpower and the strength to deprive herself of food to the point of death. But that method was taking too long, which was how I found myself walking to my house, becoming weak from blood loss, alone on a cold winter's night.
Winter was my favorite season as a child. It conjured up images of hot chocolate, warm sweaters, and Christmas songs sung in loud, cheerful voices. But now I have no one to share it all with, and the magic of the season has been lost to me.
I often thought about the idea of having someone to share my life with, but my anxiety made that impossible. What if they discovered something about me and used it as ammunition against me? I was already at war with myself - I didn't need someone on the opposite side, tossing cannonballs and putting holes in my already weak sense of self-worth.
I almost dread going inside when I get home - the empty house makes the loneliness worse - but I'm freezing, and my wrists are still bleeding, so I gather up what's left of my courage, and go inside.
I always leave the television on in the living room, as a way to combat the silence, and tonight is no exception. The news is on. I used to avoid the news because it exacerbated my anxiety, but it's gotten so bad now that I doubt it could get too much worse, so the television is usually playing the news. I turn it up just a little, and go into the kitchen.
Clicking on the light, it's no surprise that the kitchen looks exactly the same as I left it. No one is here to move anything around, after all. The unreality I've been feeling suddenly gets worse, and my head swims for a moment, but it passes quickly, replaced by the weakness of starvation.
I sit at the kitchen table, taking the razor blade from my pocket, and consider it. How could such a small piece of metal bring about my expiration? How could it finally end all my feelings of inadequacy, all my fears and constant anxieties? How could one single man-made object hold all that dark promise?
I put both wrists on the table and take off the bandages. The blood makes it hard to see the deep gashes, but I can certainly feel them; hot and aching, pulsing in agony. I wasn't trying to slit my wrists; they were just cuts, same as always. Or maybe I'm just lying to myself. It's getting a little easier to do that.
I'm getting woozy, and I hold the blade to the inside of my right arm, yanking it downwards quick enough that the resulting pain lights me up. I went deeper than I meant to, but I can't find it in myself to care. I'm too exhausted. I lie my head down on the table, getting blood in my hair.
What's my name again? I wrack my brain, trying to remember, but it isn't coming to me. It's like when you're trying to think of the name of a song, and the answer is right on the edge of your thoughts, but you can't quite pick it out. It eludes you.
I'm starving, bleeding out, freezing. And as darkness takes over my vision, I try one more time to think of my name. I can't. There's nothing there.
Nothing matters once you forget your name. And tonight, after so many years of trying, I finally have.