Content Warning: Brief mention of Schizophrenia.
Hospital room 212
I’m writing to you to pass along a very important message. You won’t believe me, but I promise it’s true.
In a month you are going to be accepted into university. Your family is going to turn on you in ways you never before thought possible. You’re about to get so sick for so long that you’re going to want to succumb to illness already. I know you’re laying there right now, strapped to a bed in the psychiatric ward, staring up at that ceiling wondering how things could possibly get worse. And trust me, they’re about to get so much worse.
You’re going to survive though, just barely. You’re going to defy every odd, prove your family wrong, and escape. They’re going to try to keep you there, try to convince the ward that you are dangerous and to lock you up there indefinitely. You believe them, I know you do. You think it’s better to stay locked up, that way you can never find out if your shattered mind could cut someone else. I know they told you it would, that you’ll hurt someone. But they’re wrong. You have to listen to me when I say that you cannot stay there, you’ll die there. I know that’s what you want right now, but Bulletproof, hear me out.
The perceptional disturbances don’t stop. Your life will never be the same. Your passion for writing will suffer greatly, your artwork will veer dark. You will be petrified of the stigma. Scared that people will be scared of you, because you’re scared of you.
But Bulletproof, in a matter of moths you’re going to get away, you’re going to walk into your dorm room and it’s going to hit that you’re free. You’re going to look out that window and see the city from nine stories up and you’re going to smile.
You’re going to have a wonderful roommate and get back to a healthy weight, your relationship is going to last and your world is going to get so much brighter.
You’re reading this thinking that I don’t remember how scary it was back then, being locked up, and that’s the only way I could be happy now. But no, I remember. I still fly awake, the feeling of that Velcro restraint digging into my wrists, fresh on my skin, for I fear that one day I’m going to wake up back in that ward. I remember, I do. So that’s why I’m writing this to you.
You’re going to try to hide your illness form your coworkers and they’re going to worry, wonder what happened that destroyed you. And I know you’re scared of what others will see in you, but in a few months you’re going to stand in front of a classroom and say “In December 2016 I was broken by instant onset schizophrenia,” and instead of judgment and fear, you’re going to be met with so much support you’re going to stand in front of them and cry.
You’re going to get a tattoo with a promise to yourself, you’re going to cut your hair in that style no one back home likes. You’re still going to be lonely but it’s okay, it won’t always be that way.
I know you remember that spark in the back of your mind, that memory of when you felt the most alive. Hold onto that dream, because it’s going to be what pulls you through this. I know a spark is the last thing you want right now in your world that was set on fire, but you only have two choices when you’re set ablaze: succumb to the flames, or become one.
You’re never going to be the same, a part of you got lost when your mind betrayed you. You won’t ever be able to find that part, no matter where you look. But what you will find are parts of yourself you never knew existed.
I know time machines don’t exist yet, but I’d send this to you if I could.
One last thing, then I’ll let you get back to suffocating in internal turmoil.
Remember what I said about that spark, that dream, that passion?
Well today, 216 days from where you are right now, you get hired to do that dream job that made you feel alive. You get to talk, tell stories, make people laugh, and live out that dream, that spark you see in the darkness.
Dear Bulletproof, I know they told you that your goals were now out of your reach, they said that you were dangerous, they predicted you’d die before 20. But Bulletproof, I want to tell you that your goals are just around the corner, you’re not a danger to anybody, and your 20th birthday will be amazing.