Truth be told, I'm in one of the darkest places I've been in a long time. It's not fun. In fact, it's crushing. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for the time I had when I felt "normal" again, but it's just making everything feel all the more intense now that it's striking once again.
So, with that in mind, it's strange that I'm starting to have little memories of my younger years. Between remembering nights when friends kept me talking until I was too tired to hurt myself and remembering paintings I did during the summer holidays, I'm beginning to build up a bit of a picture of my childhood and early teens. It's an odd sensation, especially when I think about when they must have happened. I feel as though no time has passed at all, because for so long, those memories have been lost. But in reality, years have passed.
Today I watched a video on Facebook which sparked another memory. It was an insignificant memory as far as memories go, but I wonder if it's stuck with the other girl involved.
It was the first day back at school after the summer holidays. I was, as usual, struggling with anxiety. I kept my head down and avoided interaction. I didn't take my school jumper off at any point because I didn't want anyone to see my arms. I was still self-harming back then.
I made it through until lunch, so I went and got my baguette from the canteen. As I sat and ate, I noticed a 1st year looking very lost. I looked around, and there were virtually no empty seats. I looked beside me. I'd gotten good at scouting out places to sit without anyone beside me. Honestly, I'd probably have been grateful had this girl found somewhere else to sit, but I knew the fear she was feeling.
So I waved her over to sit next to me. From memory, I think I said something along the lines of "don't worry, it's not always this crazy". She smiled. When I finished my lunch, I left without saying another word.
A few months later, I had a panic attack in the girls' toilets. I locked myself in a cubical and sobbed whilst trying to catch my breath. That day marked the end of my school attendance.
Since remembering that day, I've not been able to shake the memory, much less the questions associated it. Did I make that girl feel a little less alone on her first day of secondary school? Did she ever go on to do the same for another child? Does she still remember that day?
I hope that I made a difference for her.