To be honest, I know it’s really stupid to make it seemed like it was everyone else’s fault except for mine. After all, there is a thin line between narcism (seeking attention) and being mentally unstable (experiencing depression/anxiety/mental breakdowns/emotional and mental abuse). I even have questioned myself a lot throughout the process, believe me. I’d even blamed myself again and again, asking myself “Why am I so attention seeking? Why am I so weak? Why am I like this?”. Those questions were what I had asked myself every day, and the only time I didn’t was when I had “good days”, or when I’m fueled with intoxication.
It was only after a few years (recently) that I knew it was all my fault. All. It was my fault that I let the devil in my head and that I had placed my utmost faith in the wrong people – him and my toxic friends.
In June 2014, I graduated the University of Washington with a Journalism major and with my bags all packed and ready to head home. “Great, I’m leaving this sadness and loneliness and I’ll be reuniting with him and my family. Everything will be great.” See how shallow my mindset was? One thing I forgot to take in consideration is that Jakarta changes people. I forgot to take in consideration that my friends have changed, my perceptions changed and most importantly… How our relationship has changed.
Coming back, I didn’t fully know who I was or who I’d like to be. I just flowed with the current, the Jakarta current filled with cookie-cutter molds. Thankfully, I was employed immediately after settling down in Jakarta so I had added responsibilities. But still… That feeling is always there. I was always feeling very ‘off’.
Adjusting back home was something entirely new for me and did not helped with my mental being. My parents did not understand what I was going through, they still saw me as the young 16 child who had left home to pursue my higher education. Because having issues like depression, anxiety, and the likes are new to them, they have always scoffed at the comments that I make such as “I don’t know what I am doing in this life/I don’t know what my purpose is/I don’t know where I am heading” and from there I realized that I have been repeating “I don’t want to live anymore” to myself and them. But they think I’m crazy.
“What the hell are you talking about? Don’t be stupid,” they would say. My friends would have not taken me seriously and said that exact same thing as well.
The thing is, you can’t fight fire with fire, especially if someone is unstable. The more you say that, the more you would encourage them to feel like that. The more alone they feel, the more negative their thoughts would be. They would feel like no one understands them. They would feel like nobody is there for them. The more they feel like there isn’t a purpose in life.
Then, that one day happened. That was when my thoughts got the better of me. I had found out that the person who has just at my place a couple days ago was in Bali with another girl. He had betrayed me and had taken what I gave him for granted – my trust.
I remembered that day very well. What I was wearing. What my room smelt like.
I took the long cloth that’s used to tie the curtains together. I secured it at the back of my toilet door, on the hook. The IKEA stool that my parents had gotten me just a few days earlier… I stepped on that. At that exact moment, I knew completely I wasn’t myself. I took one last look at myself in the mirror. Red, puffy reds. My face all dull from the crying and stress. I stepped up. I secured the ropes tightly to make sure it was okay. Funny, isn’t it? At that time I still had time to make sure the ropes were okay instead of myself.
I took one last sigh, put it over my head, on my neck. I saw myself turned red. Then purple. Then black.
It all happened in 20 seconds.
The rope snapped.
I fell down on my knees and can’t helped but bawled my eyes out, my heart really hurt at that exact moment. At that exact moment, I could only say one thing “Thank you Lord”.
At that time, I was working for a renowned F&B group and I went to work with scars on my neck. I’ve gone through a few days of shame, a few days of emptiness, a few days of confusion. I told my boss at that time what had happened and he shared his journey with me. I still have his email up til today, and I got to thank him for making me an appointment with a psychiatrist. Isn’t it embarrassing to have your boss do it for you?
I never went. I wish I did.
After that tipping point, I slowly got rid of my toxic friends. I tried getting rid of him too. It was all back and forth, back and forth for the longest time. I had no idea what made me stay in such abusive relationships. I guess back then I never really knew what love was. Not in any way saying that I wasn’t loved but I had a hard time understanding what love is. I placed my trust and my everything towards the wrong people, to the wrong things at the wrong timing. It was all wrong.
As for my alcohol addiction, it continued until that day in December 31st when I decided I would cut down on my drinking. It suddenly hit me – I’m no longer young, I should no longer be childish, I have to have goals and work towards it like a normal adult. I don’t want to hate myself and my life this much that I need these superficial fun to regain my happiness.
Happiness. What exactly is happiness? Frankly speaking, I’m the last person you should ask about happiness. I went through many, many years feeling unhappy, feeling unfulfilled, feeling unloved. I guess I could say my love tank was empty. Feeling unloved is the worst feeling anyone can ever feel.
Just like what I said earlier on. I could easily have been in Chester’s and Oka’s shoes today. I’ve had episodes where my anxiety took the better of me, I would lose sleep over whatever someone has said about me, him. I would lose sleep whenever my friends would say “Are you crazy? Don’t be like that, Don’t post this, don’t post that. You look like you are losing”. I would lose sleep over opinions of a sheep.
Because I’ve gone through all this, every time when someone says things associating with suicide, I would reach out my hands to them. Even if I don’t know them and they’d think I’m “SKSD” with them, I’d reach out to them. Because truthfully, nobody deserves to feel that way, and sometimes I wished someone would have been there for me too. (Thank you Naomi for being one of my only friends way back when I was having a hard time). I didn’t have a lot of friends, I had a lot of friends whom I’d go to for mindless fun, but that was that.
Feeling unloved. Feeling like I didn’t have anyone to go to. That’s what strengthened the reason why I should have ended my life way back then.
It was only until this year when I looked back and think, “wow, what a journey it was”. It was only until February of this year, when I said “enough” to him. It was when I said enough is enough, because I love myself more.
I love myself more.
That’s the key. Love. Loving myself more. I’ve also gone back to church and following the teachings of the Christ, following His steps. It says in John 3:16, For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Eternal life equates to happiness for me.
I wouldn’t really step into religion in this post, I’ll treasure it for another one. But going back to loving myself. It’s a hard process and it takes time and effort and support and encouragement from the right people. I’m entirely grateful for people who have stepped both in and out of my life to show me my worth, what I stand for and what I can’t stand in people. My worth. But my worth is never dictated by how they treat me. This is why I am how I am today. I keep most of my friends close and a lot of them I am careful with. Because that’s how you need to be, careful with yourself. Love yourself SO much that you know what’s worth your time and not. Don’t put all your energy and love and effort just for one person, especially if you are not getting the same in return.
Love yourself enough to hug yourself and say “you’re enough and you did good for the day”. I did that, for days and days, until I wake up one day and think “There is just so much to look forward to, people to love, people who loves me and today will be a good day.”
My first step? Trusting my family more. I am entirely grateful for all the things I’ve gone through and they have always supported me entirely. If they don’t, then I seriously would reconsider everything. My family’s support is everything to me. They are the ones who know me best, they are the ones who are there when none of my friends are. I took a long time to open my heart to them and it was worth it.
Second step… Quitting everything that wasn’t healthy. I quit my previous job where I was exposed to alcohol 24/7. I quit him who was just unhealthy for me emotionally. I quit going out with friends who weren’t good for my mental being, the type who would meet just to catch up on other people’s lives instead of their own because what everyone else is doing matters more than what they are up to in life. Perhaps, they didn’t even have anything happening in their lives. I quit (slowly) being resentful to myself. I quit my lazy ass and pushed myself to go to church every Sunday. Slowly, the light shined upon me.
A lot of things happened that led me to loving myself. It takes time and self-determination and wanting the best for myself. Because I am worth it.
And don’t for once think that “Apaan sih, masa cuman gara2 cowok?” (trust me, my mum has said this so many times), or “Apaan sih, gila… masa gitu aja. Orang banyak banget yang di Africa ga dapet makan etc, masa nih cewe bisa ga berterima kasih banget?” Stop. Don’t belittle someone’s mental state. She/he may not be where you are in life to think the way you do. She/he may not even know how to be thankful, because at that time, I surely didn’t know how. However, like I said repeatedly, it takes time. It also takes understanding. Tapiiii…. ya ada juga sih yang ga tau diri. But gue tau diri kok, gue bisa ngerasa thankful cuman ya pengen nya mati aja terus. That was way back then.
I started this blog and my make up Instagram at one of the most crucial times of my life and I never regretted it one bit. I just regretted keeping in consideration what other people have said to me in the past such as “Gila, lo di rumah make up-an melulu ya?” and those who have not been supporting me. Knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t have let that even affect me one bit. This has helped me channel what I love most – writing and make up – and helped me find what I am so very passionate about.
Sure, I have bad days from time to time. But it doesn’t last as long as how it used to way back when. I am glad I’m now at this stage of life where I try to radiate with positivity and straightforwardness. I won’t let anyone else tell me otherwise.
Lastly, perhaps this all may sound impossible for you. But if you are suicidal or are having suicidal thoughts, please know that there are many people who have dug their way out of the darkness and you can too. What I can suggest is to reach out to someone, anyone. Or even to me! Indonesia also has a suicide hotline (500-454), 021 96969292 or email firstname.lastname@example.org (source from @affiassegaf). Please reach out and I wish you can one day share your journey just like I did with mine.
“Maybe it’s not always about trying to fix something broken. Maybe it’s about starting over and creating something better.”