Trigger warning: self-harm
So I had an abortion. I don’t feel proud and I don’t feel guilty. If I could go back, it would be nice to think that I wouldn’t make all the same mistakes but i was so messed up at the time, I highly doubt it. I was a student and suffering from the manic highs and excruciating self inflicted lows of depression. At one flat party I was trying to find happiness in empting glasses but feeling progressively more hopeless. I locked myself in the bathroom scoring my wrists with a razor blade contemplating what pain I could release. A friend tried to look after me and console me but with the affection and alcohol we just ended up having sex. Sex was one of my only sources of ‘love’ in my life at the time, it was a drug for me, I was incredibly lonely. I let the need for condoms be dismissed and the morning after pill was enlisted. It didn’t work. I remember the nurse asking for my medical history, after letting them know about my depression she looked at me sternly and said ‘don’t use this as an excuse to make your depression worse’. She was right, I had punished myself enough through depression, I had to make sure that an abortion didn’t add fuel to the fire of self loathing. The understanding and judgement free care I received made my experience less of an ordeal and more empowered, an informed choice about my life, body, dreams, potential. I finished the final year of my degree, pulled myself together and went on to do a PhD albeit with depression often by my side. I had counselling and good friends to help me help myself. Now many years later I have a job I love at a leading research institute studying infectious disease genomics. I have people in my life that love me and depression is something I used to have. I’m stable and proud of the strength I’ve had to get myself from there to here, a place that I’d be happy to bring new life into.