Shelley Goad

"I always valued my worth based on my GPA, which I realize is completely ridiculous. But that is just how I did it. 

All of that was fine, and I thought that I was fine, too, up until the end of my first semester at college. I began feeling like the epitome of 'fucking stupid' when I didn’t meet the required GPA to rush a sorority. 

I figured: it is such a silly thing to be sad about; not being eligible to rush a sorority. But with my mindset on worth, suddenly the thought that I didn’t even meet my own expectations came into my mind. I was so angry because, stereotypically, sorority girls are 'dumb' too, right? How stupid could I not even be smart enough to be in the 'dumb girl' category? 'How pitiful,' I thought to myself, 'that girls whom I viewed as ditzes
were smarter than me.' 

I hid my disappointment and growing hatred for myself from everyone, and only a select few knew that the reason I wasn’t rushing was due to my grades. I told everyone else that 'I just wasn’t sure if I wanted to yet...maybe I’ll do it next year…'

I am surrounded by such beautiful and talented friends, and I love them so much. It hurt my heart, however, when I experienced an empty feeling in my gut while watching them succeed. I simply thought I was useless and stupid. I was jealous and ashamed of myself. 

I lied about how I was doing and I hated being judged or looked at differently, so I just put on a front. I was afraid of talking about my feelings because I felt like what I felt was true, so what was the use in talking about it?

During the weekend of my twentieth birthday, I was in the absolute worst state of mind I have ever been. I was struggling so much with school and I just accepted it because I figured it was all because I was not smart. All of my friends were doing so well in school. They were talking about their high exam grades that they had worked hard for, they were dating boys who actually liked them, and I was happy for them because they deserved it. 

I, on the other hand, didn’t deserve to be treated well by the mean boys who I clung to. I didn’t deserve to even talk to my professors or teaching assistants because I was so stupid that I may as well not make them upset with how helpless I felt in class.

The night of my birthday, I walked home alone from a bonfire in tears because I didn’t know what I was going to do with myself. Everyone was so happy and liked each other... and I felt completely alone. 

I was in so much pain that I didn’t even want to feel any pain when I died. 

I researched all weekend for painless ways to die. I had tried pills before and that didn’t work out, and I didn’t want to try shooting myself, as that would upset my parents for using a gun that they had bought me for my birthday because I was so good at aim. I didn’t have very many materials that would be needed. 

I was upset because I didn’t have easy access to supplies needed to end my life. My roommate--who is also my best friend--came home and I hinted at my situation to her. I’m not sure if she knows how serious I was about it then, that i was already calculating where and when to do it, but she told me how much I meant to her. She told me she would be so lost if I left her and that she wouldn’t have her best friend by her side when she needed me.

Instead of following through with my plans, I asked my group of friends if we could just have a cuddle night. They dropped everything and came to me, assuming that I was just having a bad day. 

I’ve never really explicitly told them that I needed love and needed to feel wanted.

I wish I could say that after those moments before I almost ended my life, I was immediately healed and no longer hated myself. 

I have, however, taken the first steps necessary to get to that point in my life."