My Little Island

My Island may sound like a peaceful place but, believe me, it's not. Barbed wire and sharks, alligators and barricades block my Island from every which way. It's a kingdom of isolation and a place to lock myself away from the world.

I always had my island. I kept everything locked up in there. It seemed much simpler that way; I couldn't get hurt if I didn't let anyone in. I liked to pretend that the loneliness was what I wanted, that I loved every single thought I had echoing around my head and bouncing off the walls, causing me to spiral. Letting people in usually involved them leaving - running off to fight in wars, or moving to the other side of the world to live a new and exciting life far away, or the people I trusted most in the world dying and leaving me with a sense of guilt as if it was my fault. My island worked for a while but eventually the loneliness and emptiness in my life increased. I self-harmed when I was growing up and I overdosed dozens of times before anybody noticed. I had an unhealthy reliance on drugs which was another way of avoiding my emotions and locking myself up on my island. I was in a hell of my own creation.

Now, at age 17, I'm in a psychiatric unit - another hell where all my food has the same texture. I have found myself befriending a plethora of mental health staff, including my therapist who pushes me to experience my emotions: to not be afraid to love the boy who moved so far away and came back as distant as ever, and to come to terms with the fact that Nanny Rose isn't coming back and I need to let people love me like she did. I'm being taught to tolerate myself, to recognise that I have an IQ of 130, I have a sense of humour and I'm caring. I still don't see myself this way but maybe one day I will. My HappyBox is full of sad things, but they are sad things that comfort me because I can relate to them.

Published on 19-Oct-2016

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