It’s not that I don’t love you. It’s the sound I heard when I was 9 and my father slammed the front door so hard behind him I swear to god it shook the whole house. For the next 3 years I watched my mother break her teeth on vodka bottles. I think she stopped breathing when he left. I think part of her died. I think he took her heart with him when he walked out. Her chest is empty, just a shattered mess or cracked ribs and depression pills.
It’s not that I don’t love you. It’s all the blood in the sink. It’s the night that I spent 12 hours in the emergency room waiting to see if my sister was going to be okay, after the boy she loved, told her he didn’t love her anymore. It’s the crying, and the fluorescent lights, and white sneakers and pale faces and shaky breaths and blood. So much blood.
It’s not that I don’t love you. It’s the time that I had to stay up for two days straight with my best friend while she cried and shrieked and threw up on my bedroom floor because her boyfriend fucked his ex. I swear to god she still has tear streaks stained onto her cheeks. I think when you love someone, it never really goes away.
It’s not that I don’t love you. It’s the six weeks we had a substitute in English because our teacher was getting divorced and couldn’t handle getting out of bed. When she came back was smiling. But her hands shook so hard when she held her coffee, you could see that something was broken inside. And sometimes when things break, you can’t fix them. Nothing ever goes back to how it was. I got an A in English that year. I think her head was always spinning too hard to read any essays.
It’s not that I don’t love you. It’s that I do.
1. When you cut yourself, clean and bandage it.
2. Do not start smoking cigarettes because the boy who broke your heart does.
3. When you want to kill yourself, don’t.
4. Cutting calories doesn’t do anything but make you unhappy.
5. If the number on the scale rises, throw it out.
6. The first girl you ever “date” is going to call the police on you even though she lives three thousand miles away, because you’re going to tell her that you’re not in a good mental state shortly after you’ve “broken up”.
7. When you want to kill yourself, don’t.
8. Break up with the boy who says, “You had a sexy phase!” when you tell him that you’ve dated a girl before.
9. Dating your friends is not always the best idea, but you can still be friends after you’ve broken up with her.
10. Your mother will try to become your best friend because you’re leaving for college soon. Let her.
11. When you want to kill yourself, don’t.
12. Your closest friend will stop talking to you when you leave for college.
13. It’s okay to cry.
14. When you want to kill yourself, don’t.
15. When you cut yourself again, clean and bandage it. Do not be ashamed.
16. Your anxiety is going to try and control your entire life. Tell it to shut the hell up, because you’re trying to live and that task is hard enough as it is.
17. The past has a funny way of coming back in the form of you developing a crush on another friend.
18. Try not to hate yourself for breaking up with your boyfriend.
19. If you’re still smoking, apologize silently to your mother.
20. When you want to kill yourself, don’t.