Last year, I spent Valentine’s Day in a mental hospital. The day before that, I spent a couple of hours in jail. In the age of the Internet, I should be terrified to write this piece, as Google will forever attach it to my name. Then again, my reputation on the World Wide Web isn’t exactly flawless — this information about me is already out there in an MIT Police log and in my personal blog.
If anyone has ever looked up my name in The Tech’s search function, a page that comes up is an MIT Police log, which states “arrest for domestic assault and battery” next to my name. When people hear the term “domestic assault and battery,” they usually assume that someone beat their significant other to a pulp. Nope. I just pulled a diva move and slapped an “ex” in front of a police officer.
Before this event, I had taken a decent number of sleeping pills — but I spit most of them out when I realized that I didn’t write a suicide note. See, last year, I was in an incredibly unhealthy relationship where all we did was fight and fuck. We fought daily, but we always made sure to put on a happy façade for our friends, who fueled our affair with the line, “OMG, you two are so cute together!”
In retrospect, our relationship was doomed from the start — we went “Facebook Official” after an explosive fight about my drinking habits. To cope with anxiety and depression freshman year, I turned to booze and sleeping pills. I cared so much about what others thought that I couldn’t seek help. I entered this relationship foolishly in hopes for stability. In the end, I hit rock bottom, trying to off myself after an incredibly explosive fight, and, well, the other details in the story just get convoluted and complicated.
This Valentine’s Day will mark the one-year anniversary of hitting rock bottom, and at least I know that I will have to make a personal effort to top last Valentine’s Day. When my friends complain about being single this Valentine’s, I want to say, “well, better single than in a relationship which leads to you ending up in a mental hospital!” Instead, I just tell them, “I’m single, and well, it’s for the better.”
These days, I acknowledge that one person can’t be someone’s savior. However, it is possible to have a strong support mechanism of family, friends, and even a therapist. I would rather have a stable relationship than a roller coaster romance that ends with a crash. I was a silly freshman who believed it was a sign of weakness to seek help; now, I’ve learned it’s an indication that you know yourself well enough. It would have saved me a lot of added stress if I sought help sooner, and well, as a new Valentine’s Day approaches, I’m grateful for how far I’ve come.