Thirteen Reasons Why and One Reason I Won’t

I just finished the show Thirteen Reasons Why on Netflix. First let me tell you there are spoilers included in this post, so you’ve been warned.

I read some articles discussing the good and bad points of it, but I wanted to give some additional feedback about the show from my experience and also share my personal experiences with mental illness, bullying, sexual assault and suicide.

Hannah Baker

Hannah Baker from “Thirteen Reasons Why” as played by Katherine Langford

Let me begin by saying that yes, some of what Hannah Baker experienced can be attributed to “normal high school experiences”. Yes, feeling outcast as the new girl, feeling alone sometimes, gaining and losing friendships, etc. are all normal. But there are other parts of Hannah’s story that are far from normal.

 

Overall I felt that the show was more focused on the trauma Hannah experiences than a mental health condition or a clinical definition of depression. Given all the trauma Hannah experiences during a short amount of time, it’s a normal thing to feel sad, depressed and low. Never once does the show reveal that Hannah is affected by any kind of mental health diagnosis or undiagnosed illness. No one ever says anything about mental health at all other than the scene where Clay’s mother suggests he try medication. Therefore, the hopelessness and loneliness that Hannah experiences, in my opinion, is not a byproduct of a mental health condition; it’s a reaction to trauma. She’s bullied, sexually assaulted and abandoned. She’s experiencing everything from guilt and shame, to flashbacks and triggering and the people she does turn to for help don’t recognize the signs or do nothing and her normal coping skills aren’t working. Maybe they just didn’t ask the right questions.

Hannah Baker experienced trauma.

It’s not her fault. She’s a victim in all of her trauma. To blame Hannah for what led to her suicide is ignorant. In the long run, Hannah did have other choices, but the choice she decided was best for her was taking her own life. Yes, it’s always sad when a preventable tragedy like this happens, and it’s a senseless loss of life. I’m not making judgments on Hannah for this choice, nor am I saying “she shouldn’t have done it”. I’m only saying that it was Hannah that made that choice, and it was hers to make.

I don’t get to decide what is best for Hannah’s life, only Hannah does.

While watching the show I identified with Hannah. I know what it’s like to feel alone, bullied, assaulted and hopeless. I know what it feels like to experience trauma and the lasting effects of trauma. I know what it feels like to think the only option is suicide. Even as I watched and knew what would happen eventually, I found myself screaming at the TV at the people who could have helped Hannah. I yelled at them about what else they could have done or resources she could have accessed. As I was sobbing and watching helplessly as Hannah slit her wrists, in what was the most heart wrenching scene of the show, I thought about all the ways her story had gone sideways, and all the ways it could have gone differently. I was thinking about why she felt suicide was an option for her, and why it isn’t an option for me.

I’ve been where Hannah Baker was. I’ve reached out to people to get help only to have them tell me to “move on” or “cheer up”. I’ve felt like I wanted to disappear, like my life was too hard. I’ve had people say I was a “drama queen,” a “slut,” and that I was making things up or making them “all about me”. Even this blog will be misconstrued by some as all about me. (It is, but it’s also about trauma reactions and mental health and it’s my blog.)

I’ve sat with that razor blade at my wrist willing myself to cut. I’ve had two failed suicide attempts. I’ve used cutting as a form of coping. I’ve had many more times when I contemplated suicide or even had a plan but didn’t carry it out. I’ve wished that I didn’t exist or wished I could disappear. And still I say that suicide is not an option for me.

Here’s why:

Suicide isn’t the end of my pain, it’s the transference of my pain to those I care about.

Think about it for a minute.

I love those who are in my life. I want the very best for them. I have family, friends and coworkers who care about me as well. If I were to take my own life, they would be the ones to feel the fallout just as the friends and family of Hannah Baker did. They would be left with the questions, the guilt, the shame and sorrow of what I had done. They would stay up late at night, unable to sleep because they were thinking about something they could have done differently to help me or stop me. They would cry at my funeral and every time afterwards when my name came up or they were reminded of me. They would be embarrassed when someone talked about the stigma of suicide and what it meant about me as a person, when they implied that I was selfish, weak, or unable to cope or when they blamed my bipolar.

Suicide isn’t an option for me because I can’t bear the thought of leaving them my pain. I want to leave a legacy of my accomplishments, my victories, my happy memories. I want people to cry because they miss me, and because it’s a shame that I am no longer alive, but know that I had a good life. I want people to talk about how I tried to dispel the stigma of mental illness and was open and honest about my symptoms and mental health. I want people to know that I lived with passion, I loved as much as I could, I lived my life to the best of my abilities regardless of my bipolar and the challenges it posed.

I want people to know that there’s no shame in asking for help, and if you can’t ask on your own, have someone help you or let someone know you need help. They don’t have to hide it. Just tell them “I need help” or “I’m suicidal. Can you help me please?”.  I want people to know they can offer help even when it’s not asked for. Like this “You seem pretty down. Are you feeling like hurting yourself?” or “Do you ever feel like hurting yourself?”

Let’s talk about mental health and suicide!!!

Suicidal thoughts are not shameful, I think everyone has them at one point in their life. So let’s talk about what is a shared experience for all of us regardless of the cause or reason we feel/felt that way. We can say “We can rely on each other and be honest about our feelings.” or “I’ve had suicidal thoughts. Have you?” or even “I’m a safe person to share suicidal thoughts with.” I guess it’s been my experience that offering help and having someone say “No, I just need to talk.” is much better than not offering. Discussing things makes it so that having future conversations isn’t awkward or difficult. If someone had cancer, they could talk about it openly. If someone had a broken leg and needed to go to the emergency room, they’d ask for help. Why should mental health be any different?!

I want people to know that medication can be a helpful tool for some people, and there’s no shame in that either. No, medication (or therapy, or anything else) cures mental illness-at least not yet. And finding the right meds, or combination of meds, or combination of therapies is BEYOND CHALLENGING and can be so frustrating! But it’s important that you do what works for you. Don’t judge yourself based on the meds you take. Don’t let others judge you based on your meds either. Everyone takes some kind of medication in their life because they need it. So if you need it, and that’s what you want, then there’s no shame in it. And if you don’t want meds, that’s ok too because it’s YOUR choice.

Lastly, I want every single person on this planet know that you are cared about, you matter and if you were gone this world wouldn’t be the same. This is true for every single person alive. Sometimes your brain will try to tell you this is a lie, but it’s not. So think about what will happen when you’re gone before you go. We all will die someday, that’s the nature of this fleeting journey we call life, so just be sure you really lived. And above all, be kind to yourself and to others. You never know what is going on with them.

Life of an Advocate

I wake up. I try to come to grips with the fact this today will be busy, but I will make it through – I have a 100% statistic so far in my life of getting through the day.

I slept like garbage last night, I’m exhausted and I no longer own a coffee pot. I also don’t have the money to buy coffee or the time to make an extra stop on my way to the courthouse.

I throw myself together in 5 minutes and hope that I look presentable enough for court. (Hey, I showered and brushed my teeth, I’m wearing clean and professional clothes, so that’s great, right?)

I arrive at the courthouse and drive around for 10 minutes before finding a space 2 blocks away.

I run to the courthouse so as to avoid being late and accompany my client. Things go smoothly.

Finish my first appointment at late 10am and my next one starts at 10am… across town. I’m definitely going to be late.

Run to my car and try to obey the speed limits as I’m driving, but it’s so tempting. I think to myself “Getting a ticket will make you later and broke.”

Client doesn’t show after all that rushing. Oh well, on to the next. I shake it off.

I return to the office and it’s an absolute mess from yesterday and all the work I did. I clear enough space to start working.

My phone is ringing off the hook and I have 8 phone calls to return already.

I have 3 clients with financial needs waiting for an answer and my director has still not responded.

I have 12 emails in my inbox and most of them require a response today.

I shove a snack into my face as I try to call back a client, no answer. I leave a message. I pray to God my garbled message is understandable. I make a mental note not to eat when I’m calling a client, but who knows when I will be able to get lunch?!

I have a client at the front desk wanting to speak to me and an appointment in 5 minutes.

I’m stressed out to the max and my stomach is growling so much I’m worried someone would be able to hear it through the phone.

I needed to pee at 9 am and still haven’t gone, it’s now 1pm… my bladder may explode.

I’m sitting in a meeting when I get an email from the accounting department about a client financial item. They are issuing checks today… right this minute…and if I don’t get my request in now it won’t get paid for another 3 days.

I leave the meeting and run to my desk and then downstairs to accounting. I run back up to the meeting and try to regain focus.

I shove some food in my face between phone calls. My phone continues to ring off the hook as I’m on the phone and trying to eat.

I have an appointment in another hour. I’m sure she has a lot which needs to be addressed and I know my workload will get worse before it gets better.

I suddenly wonder what it would be like to work in the corporate world again. It would be so nice to have predictable hours, predictable needs and predictable workloads. I can picture my life as boring and average. I wouldn’t be helping people in need, but my skills would still be in high demand. My day would be filled with , human resource functions such as staff trainings, creating documents, running reports, employee files, background checks and interviews.

I’m bored at the simple thought.

Would my life be easier doing many other jobs? Of course it would! But I wouldn’t ever want them. As stressful as my life is, it an be very rewarding. As hectic as it can be, it can be filled with client victories and progress towards risk reduction. As ever-changing as it is, it can sometimes be boring and mundane still. As much as I may travel and it annoys me to “waste my time” on the road, it’s not wasted because it’s bringing vital services to clients who need it. I’m making outreach in rural areas which need me. I’m assisting some of the most vulnerable people on this planet with vital services. Is it sometimes challenging? Absolutely. Is it sometimes very sad and hard to listen to the stores I’m told? Hell yes. There are days where I wonder how someone could hurt another human being like that. But as hard as it is, it’s important to listen to victims. It’s crucial to their story and it’s a huge first step to getting their needs met.

Being an advocate can be hard as fuck.

But I wouldn’t want anything else right now.

A Little bit of Happy

It’s been brought to my attention that lately my blog has been reflective, but doesn’t accurately describe the happiness which is currently in my life. For that reason, I would like to share with you a little bit of happy.

I’m so blessed to have in my life a man who makes me so happy. Last night my best friend and I were sitting around talking, and I could not get him out of my head! Now I’ve known this girl since I was 4 years old, and she hears close to everything about the people I date, my work, everything. She’s one my my best friends and she knows me so well. But she has never heard me talk about anyone the way I talk about this guy.

The best part about the guy I’m seeing is all the small things. He doesn’t buy me flowers or take me on expensive dates, but when he spends time with me I feel like the luckiest girl alive. I’ve never wanted any of those things anyway. All I’ve ever wanted is someone who let me know just how awesome he thinks I am and how lucky he is to have me around. This guy did it last weekend in 5 words:

“Thank you for being mine”

How can 5 words make me so happy?! I’ve dated lots of guys, and they all had one problem. They were all fatally flawed and doomed to fail. But this guy has me feeling like I’m living a romantic comedy movie. I feel like this may finally be my happy ending and the credits may roll at any moment instead of a star-crossed lover waiting for the end of the relationship. I’m totally twitterpated and it’s thrilling and oh-so-scary all at the same time.

The biggest reason I feel this way is that I’m always my complete and unadulterated self with him. Never have I pretended to like something which I truly don’t. Never have I had to make excuses or little white lies about how I feel about something. Everything I say to him comes with complete acceptance. Every strange thing I do is just how I am, who I am and what I’ve experienced that makes me uniquely me. I don’t have to wear a mask, I can just be 100% Jodi (which can be scary to others, I know that) and he enjoys every minute of it.

This weekend I went to spend some time with him. We had dinner and then went to see a movie. It was no big deal. It wasn’t tickets to the opera or five star dining. It was great food and a movie that I wasn’t all that into, but I got to sit in a dark theater for 3 hours holding his hand and being next to him. When I was cold during the movie, he gave me his coat so I could stay warm. He let me hold his arm as we walked down the street on the way to his apartment from the movie. Nothing that was a big deal to most people, but to me it was the most precious gift to be able to spend time with him because with him everything means so much more.

Just being close to him is a big deal because I know he has other things he could be doing. He has hobbies and friends. He works a lot. He has a lot of responsibilities at work, and I can understand that sometimes it’s hard to pull himself away from things he needs to get done at work, but he does it for me. He makes time to see me even though we live a good distance apart.

And in the back of my head there’s starting to exist this thought I’m not quite sure about committing to yet. That pesky thought that I may be falling for this guy, a feeling that has really snuck up on me. What if I’m falling in love with this man? Does he feel the same way? There’s always that awkward moment when you worry that you like someone more than they like you, but I don’t feel that way. I know that he likes me exactly as much as I like him, and it’s so comforting and so reassuring to know that I am someone so special to this guy. I love it. I’m so thrilled that I am important to him. To him, I’m a huge deal and he’s just as honored to spend time with me.

So I’ve been keeping it to myself what I’ve been feeling because I’m so scared that if I utter those words out loud it will scare him away. I’m scared that if I say it, it’ll all fade away. But last night talking with my friend it all came out, and she instantly said “I knew it! You really like this guy! You’re falling for him!” and I was ok with it. It wasn’t something I didn’t already know in my own head, it was just the fact of how I felt. And now it’s public on my blog… which is even more scary because what if he reads it!? (Oh god!) But I really don’t care because I think he already knows.

He showed me where he works. Not just “this is the office building I work in”, but he gave me a full tour like a proud papa would show off a new baby. He showed me his office, and the full building, and he was proud to do it and it made him happy to share it. I was just impressed. And not just because he has so much more responsibilities than what I do (we work in the same field), but that he allowed me to see what he does when I know his job is such a huge part of his life. And he wanted to share it with me, which is a big deal!

But I’m waiting to see where this life takes me and to see what happens next, and I can’t wait. I’m anxiously awaiting our next date as the days pass. With the holidays I know I will have to be extra patient, but I’ll gladly wait as long as it takes to see him again. I hope he feels the same way about me. I hope he’s just as smitten as I am. I hope he pictures our future together. I hope he is curious to see where our path will lead together. I’m not talking marriage and I’m not talking having children, but just this life and what experiences we’ll have together. I’m so excited to see what happens next, it’s like reading a book and wanting to turn the pages extra fast so I can get onto the next page as fast as possible!

And I hope he is falling in love with me because that would just make me so happy.

Sometimes I forget to sit back and really appreciate all the happiness I have in my life, but this is definitely one bit of happiness I’m so thrilled to share with all of my friends. I have my moments where I’m sad, and where I think the world isn’t fair, but then I have moments like this which make all the suffering in my life thus far seem so far away and so worth it for what has brought me to this exact moment with this amazing guy because if I hadn’t experienced all those things, I wouldn’t have been right where I needed to be for all of these pieces to come together and for this to be my little bit of happy. Maybe it will turn into a lifetime of happy. I’m not sure yet, but I’m enjoying it for now.

Moving on… literally

It’s day 14 after my big breakup and things are slowly getting back to ok. My ex and I are now able to talk without me bursting into tears. I’m able to eat and function normally for the most part. We’re able to see one another without awkwardness too much. Tomorrow I’m moving into a new apartment.

Now I’ve lived in this apartment for 2 years, 8 months and 26 days. That’s the longest I’ve lived anywhere since before I left home. This apartment was the first apartment which was MINE and mine alone. I learned how to be single in this apartment. It was my rock for the past few years.

I’ve loved here. I’ve cried here. I’ve heard good news, great news and bad news. I’ve been angry here and I’ve yelled here. I’ve cried tears of joy. I’ve made new friends and lost old ones here. I’ve made love here. I’ve fought here. I’ve studied my ass off the night before an exam here. I’ve graduated here. I’ve created beautiful works of art here. I’ve lost dreams here. I’ve made dreams here. I’ve made dreams come true here. I’ve aged here from my youthful twenties to my wisdom-filled thirties. I’ve made mistakes here and I’ve accomplished goals.

A lot has happened in the past 2 years, 8 months and 26 days and there’s no good way to sum up everything other than I’ve made memories here. This apartment has been the one stable thing in my life despite all the ups and downs I’ve had in the past 2 years, 8 months and 26 days; and now I’m moving out tomorrow.

I’m terrified.

I’m moving to a new town where new neighbors live. I’m moving farther away from my friends, my family and my support system. I’m moving to a town where the only person I really give two shakes about is now my ex, and we’re no longer together. This move is suddenly terrifying.

Up to this point I’ve been excited. As I boxed things up I anticipated leaving this place with joy, excitement, happiness. I lovingly packed my things in paper and in boxes and I thought about my new apartment and all the memories I’d make there, but now I don’t want to leave the memories I already have.

I’m terrified to be alone…really alone. I’m scared to move away because I’m worried that my bipolar will make me sick… again, like the last time I lived away from my support system. I’m scared that I won’t like the landlord there. I’m scared that I’ll lose my job in that town and be stuck commuting to a job in a different town again; wasting my time, energy and money on the drive every damn day.

This feeling came over me as I was driving home from work today. I realized that it was the last time I’d drive “home” to this town, at least for a while. Next time I drove “home” it would be to my new apartment in my new town. I’m realizing that the reason I took the job I have now was to be closer to him, to be with him, to rationalize moving closer to him and eventually moving in with him; and now I want to be farther away from him, but I can’t run away. Even “home” will only be a few blocks away from him starting tomorrow and it breaks my heart that I’ll be so close and yet unable to have him.

And so here I sit surrounded by my life packed in boxes. All my memories packed up in neat little cubes waiting to move to a new place. Waiting to be unpacked in their new place in my new apartment.

And I’m terrified.

But sometimes you need to pack up your life, your doodads and your clothes and your knickknacks and move on…literally. Sometimes you need that push in order to do something great. So that’s what I plan to do; do something great in this next chapter of my life.

It’s been 2 years, 8 months and 26 days… it’s time to move on.

The Deer in my Path

So I’m on day 8 post-breakup and things are still about the same. I still hate most everything and everyone, especially people who have good news or have moved on with their lives. So many people I know are coming out with big news of weddings and babies, and I’m so happy for them… but so sad for myself.

In other news, every morning I’ve been seeing a deer. I’m not sure if it’s the same deer, but it’s in the same spot every day rain or shine. Now I’m all for symbolism, so I looked it up, and here’s what it said about the symbolism of deer:

“A deer is often a sign not to be too hard on yourself. Still the voice of the self critic and treat yourself with gentleness and understanding, be yourself and continue along your path. Seek out your inner treasures and use them generously to help those around you. Trust that kindness and graciousness will be well received.

We are also reminded that we cannot push towards change in others, rather we gently nudge them in the right direction with love and understanding. Lead by doing and showing the way.

Deer is a messenger of serenity, can see between shadows and hear what isn’t being said. Deer teach us to maintain our innocence and gentleness so we can share our open-heartedness with others.”

Now this says a lot to me. First, I’m being INCREDIBLY hard on myself relating to this breakup. I’m blaming myself for a lot of things which I’m not fully responsible for.

Second, I’d love for anything for my ex to change for the better. He’s an amazing person and I’d love nothing more than for him to be the man I see in him and live up to what he’s capable of, but I can’t force this. He has to make that choice for himself, and that’s a difficult reality for me to deal with. I’m trying as hard as I can to nudge him in the right direction, but we’ll see what happens.

Last I’d love a little more serenity. Right now I’m incredibly stressed out…

SERENITY NOW! SERENITY NOW!

Serenity now

I know that with time I will feel that peace, but I’m being a little impatient, ok? My heart is a big open wound and I’d like to have it heal just a little already.

For now every time I see my deer, I will think about being one minute closer to healed, one step closer to change, one tiny bit easier on myself and one nudge away from something amazing.

Dear Ex

Dear ex,

It’s been 5 days since our breakup. I hate the world less. I hate you less. But I’m starting to miss you. Given all that has happened I know that I should think that I’m better off without you, but I don’t feel that way. There’s so many reasons for me to not want you, but I still love you and none of those reasons will ever trump that one thing.

Each day when I wake up I want to text you first thing. It’s hard choosing to be without you. I miss talking to you, you’ve been my best friend for the past few years. I’ve shared things about my life that I’ve never shared with anyone else. You’re the first one I want to tell about my good news, and the first one I want to tell about my terrible day. You’re the last person I want to say goodnight to.

I didn’t cry today… until now.

That’s pretty good. Not great, but getting there.

I still remember the first time we met. Your hair was longer then. You looked like a wreck. You were wearing Birkenstocks, torn jeans and a yellow tee shirt. My friend told me you weren’t good enough for me, but I didn’t care what she said. I looked into those eyes, and I was hooked. I never wanted to look into anyone else’s eyes.

I already knew your heart by the time we met in person. I’d known you for months. You shared your dreams with me. You shared stories that you had never shared with anyone before you and I had ever met in person. You shared your heart with me before you even knew you’d done it, something which took you by surprise as well.

I don’t know why, but I could tell you anything and know that you wouldn’t treat me any differently regardless of how fucked up it seemed to me. You knew you were just as fucked up inside. We were both a little damaged around the edges, but we both accepted the flaws of the other, and together it worked.

For years we developed our relationship. We developed our own patterns, our own inside jokes, our own memories. We built a life together for these past few years. We shared laughter and we’ve shared tears. We’ve been afraid together. We’ve been excited together. I know every inch of your body and you know every inch of mine. We know what the other is thinking even before a word is said.

But now I don’t know where we stand.

I have news I want to share, but I can’t share it with you anymore.

I have struggles I want you to help me with, but I can’t share my burdens with you.

Most of all I just want to look into those eyes one more time and not see anger like what was there the night we broke up. I want to feel the way things used to feel. Not like the world is falling apart around me, but like it’s falling into place.

My friends are trying to help me get through this. They are saying terrible things about you, but they don’t really know you like I do. How can those things possibly be true? How could I have fallen in love with someone who my friends think isn’t worthy of my love? Why would I stay with someone who doesn’t appreciate me or deserve me?

I miss you.

I miss your smile and everything about you. I miss our inside jokes and our patterns. I miss our memories. I even miss things that once drove me crazy about you, like when you’d leave your socks on the floor.

Oh dear ex, where did things go so wrong? How can we fix them?

I don’t know if we can, but I want to try.

I still love you more than anything.

Maybe that’s enough.

Going through a breakup so please excuse me for not giving a fuck

Right now my world is a shambles. It sucks. I hate it. I hate everyone in this world.

I’m going through a breakup.

The worst part of going through a breakup isn’t that your heart is shattered in a million pieces. It isn’t that you feel like you can’t breathe. It isn’t that you just lost something you think you can never replace.

The hardest part of a breakup is sucking out the poison.

Breakups are like getting bit by a poisonous snake. Sure the bite hurts. You become so wounded and the poison sets in and makes you forget about everything else in life. You don’t care about your house, your dishes, your job, that you haven’t showered in 4 days, that you aren’t wearing real clothes except by Wal-Mart standards… The wound cuts you so deep regardless of how long you two were together. The wound hurts because you left yourself open and you got bit… again. It spreads and burns like fire in your veins.

For most of you this isn’t your first bite. You’ve been bitten before, but the last one didn’t feel as bad as this one is, or as deep as this one feels. The last bite was tiny and this one has punctured your soul, but as I said, it isn’t the bite that’s the hardest part, it’s sucking out the poison.

The first thing you need to do after a breakup is remove him or her from your life. You suck out the poison. This means you stop spending time with him or her. You don’t call. You don’t text. You don’t Snap Chat. You take down all the pictures of the two of you in the house. You delete the photos on Facebook and Instagram and every other social media site that you now use in this modern age. Worst of all, you unfriend and block him or her (and everyone who connects you two) on social media. You donate the clothes he or she left at your house or give them back. You throw out the toothbrush that he or she left at your place.

This is quite possibly the most emotional and hurtful thing you have ever done to yourself, but also the most essential. The more times you do it, the harder it gets. You cry. You sob. You look at yourself in the mirror while crying (we all do it sometimes). You use more tissues than a teenage boy who just discovered porn. You can’t eat (or you eat all the time). You can’t sleep. All your brain wants to do is fight this change, be together again, make it like it was before and it will stop at NOTHING to convince you that this is possible regardless of how you broke up or why.

Your friends all tell you how you’ll love again, but you don’t want to love anyone ever again. They try to reassure you that you’ll survive this bite. (They are trying to be good friends here, so try not to bite their heads off.) But inside you feel this hole starting to build, the hole where the fangs got you. And you feel it spread deeper and deeper until you’re more hole than person.

You suck out all the poison until the open wound that bite is now clean and you can really assess the damage. You suck out the poison until your whole soul is exposed and clean and you’re the most vulnerable you’ve been in the longest time.

But that’s not all there is to recovering from a breakup. There’s a whole list of other steps you have to complete before you’re done. And it can be overwhelming. It can feel like nothing will ever be the same, but I promise that once you suck out the poison, the wound begins to heal. It will be the most horrible thing you ever do, but hang in there. Soon the wound will get smaller. You’ll consider scratching it and letting a little bit of your ex’s poison in via Facebook message, or text or tweet, but don’t do it. You need to stay far away from the poison so you can heal.

The most important part of sucking out the poison is to do it for yourself. Don’t try to heal for anyone else but you. Give yourself time. Let yourself be vulnerable and weak. Show your emotions. Cry and sob and let that mascara run without caring. You need it.

But most of all love yourself and know that it takes two people to make a relationship work. Forgive yourself for any mistakes you’ve made. Mistakes are a part of being human. Know that you will eventually heal in time, but in the meantime, don’t let anyone else bite you.

Pretty soon you’ll be playing with snakes again…