Eighteen years ago was my first suicide attempt. I tried to OD on my antidepressants. (Yes, I was 12. Yes, I'd been on meds since I was 9. No, I never needed them.)
Most of the detail on that is gone. I remember my dad pounding on the door. I remember crying. I remember not taking enough to really affect me, because I kept gagging on them.
(Four years later, I would do a much better job, and I would be very embarrassed because the phlebotomist was really cute and they'd stuck me in pediatrics after I got out of the ICU. And I started writing what would become Shayara in the ICU, because there was nothing to do; I managed to get a legal pad, and I wrote for days. But this is not then.)
One of the things that I remember really strongly is the next morning, when they had me pack my things to go to the adolescent psych ward; they told me I'd just be there for a week. My then-eight-year-old sister was crying hysterically, and I kept reassuring her that I'd be back in a week, that I'd be back for Mother's Day.
I was in there a month.
My sister and I were close-ish before then, but we never really were again. We grew a little bit away from each other in that time. We don't dislike each other at all... but we don't feel like sisters.
I saw The Princess Bride for the first time on that ward. I had my first sexual experience with another girl. (I swear Rachel looked like a young Susanna Hoffs.) I was assigned to a psychiatrist who changed me to heavier drugs after talking to me for half an hour. (I didn't need those, either.) I met the guy I based my character Jason on. I learned to do my own laundry; they wouldn't do it for you.
I have people on my friends list who weren't yet born when I was sitting in group therapy belligerently refusing to elaborate on the nature of my "family problems", when I was dragged out of bed at 6 AM to get my vital signs taken, when I had to march in the little line past the normal people visiting their families - because this was a psych ward in a regular hospital - back from PE, back up to the ward with the series of locking doors.
I was actively suicidal until I was 20, until I found out I was pregnant with Elayna.
I still have my days.
But eighteen years ago today, I was twelve years old and wanted nothing more than death.