Other people are not medicine. They should have told me that before I found myself drowning in your words, craving the compliments you spoon-fed me with. They didn’t sound like lies when you said them.
It was January when I fell in love with you. March was when I realised I needed you. I needed the rasp of your voice to force me out of bed, to prise off the cover that I used to hide from my reality. I needed the twinkle in your eyes to guide me through the darkness that would otherwise consume me. You became my anti-depressants, the pills that burned through my body, ignited a fire inside of me that I thought could never go out.
But it did. It went out when you left me standing alone on that bitter November night, suffocated in thick layers but naked inside. Empty. My bones were weaker than your apologies. And that twinkle that used to keep me going, you let it shine for someone else. I fell into a black hole when you left me, sunk deeper than the scars that wound their way up my wrists, around my ankles.
I wound up in hospital weeks later, echoes of pills and broken vodka bottles piercing my mind. You weren’t holding onto me anymore, so I didn’t need to either.
It’s been a year since the night I woke up to Mum’s cries of relief. You’re alive, she sobbed into the sterile white sheets. And I am. For the first time I can breathe. Alone. Without you.
I thought I needed you. I thought I needed a hero. Someone who could save me from myself, shield me from my own thoughts. It took me seventeen years to realise that the only person who could do that was me. Other people are not medicine. You shattered the glass I’d been made out of, but you couldn’t pick up the pieces to put me back together. I could. And I did.