Friends are good support system during dark days

Figuring out who your people are can limit feelings of helplessness, help with self-worth

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COURTESY OF ALEXANDRIA OSBORNE

When Evergreen reporter Alexandria Osborne moved to Pullman for the first time when the pandemic hit, she lived alone and experienced loneliness, which negatively impacted her mental health.

ALEXANDRIA OSBORNE, Evergreen reporter

I have been struggling with suicidal thoughts and self-harm since I was a freshman in high school. Since then, I have been working to find different ways to avoid ending it all when things get bad. 

A lot of my suicidal tendencies originated from me blocking people out of my life when I started considering self-harm. I would push important people away to avoid stressing them out or worrying them, which only made it worse because I had nobody to talk to. 

I remember writing out my suicide note on the last day of my freshman year of high school. I had plans with my friends later that night, so I hid it in my drawer. 

That night ended up being fun. My friends made me feel happy, and I realized I just couldn’t leave them. I ripped up that note when I got home, and I thought I was okay.

And I was for about six months. 

Sophomore year of high school was when I really got into self-harm and left a few marks on my wrist. I considered therapy but ended up not going because I wanted to bottle everything up instead; I wanted to ignore what was going on in my head. 

That was an unhealthy way to cope, but I didn’t self-harm for over two years. 

While I still had suicidal thoughts in the back of my head for the rest of my high school career, especially once the pandemic hit, I managed to keep myself safe from the sharp objects around my house. 

Because of the pandemic, I moved to Pullman for the first time this past spring. It was my first time living by myself; I didn’t even have a roommate at the time. 

After about a month of living in the dorms by myself, I really started to feel alone. I wasn’t going out as much as I hoped and I didn’t have as many friends as I used to. I hurt myself for the first time in two and a half years. 

I called my boyfriend for a couple of hours and cried. The hardest part of that night was telling him what had happened; I didn’t want to worry him or stress him out. 

He pushed me in the direction of therapy. 

I saw a therapist for about three months. It felt awkward and uncomfortable, and I eventually stopped going. I felt like I was in a good place mentally after a few sessions, and I didn’t see the need to talk to someone every week anymore. 

Being back home for the summer and out of school was a good refresher for me. I was able to see my boyfriend again and was able to reconnect with some friends from home. I made some memories and gave myself connections for when I came back to school so I wouldn’t feel so alone. 

Everything was off to a good start when I moved back to Pullman in August. But things started to get rough a month in, just like when I moved up here the first time. 

I recently relapsed, and it was hard to admit it actually happened. I was tired all the time and I was distancing myself from my friends.

And, with everyone talking about suicide prevention month, a lot of emotions came back to me. 

That night, I messaged my boyfriend and a few of my friends. I needed people to know I was starting to go down a dark hole again, so if I felt like relapsing in the future, I would have a few people to call to help me get through it. 

I am unsure about going back to therapy because of how awkward it was for me the first time, so having a few friends to fall back on for support helps me know I have something worth living for.