I Am

by Samantha Capps

She says we’re off balance. He says I’m insecure. He questions what I said to the library patron on the phone. She’s says I’m amazing. They tell me they’re so happy for me. He ignores me. She questions me.

I don’t know who I am. I’ve spent my whole life listening to other people’s voices.

I am…

23 years old. 5 foot 8 inches. Over 160 pounds for the first time since before college. Near-sighted. Left-handed. Female.

I double majored in college. I have a perfect verbal GRE score. Five semesters on the Dean’s List. 3.89 GPA.

I work at a library. I’m going to library school in the fall. I think I want to research information seeking behaviors, but I don’t really know.

I’m getting published in The Sun. I’ve been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. I want to win a Pulitzer one day.

I’m mentally ill. Bipolar. Four hospitalization. One suicide attempt. Self-harm scars on my right leg. Compulsive skin picker. Binge eater. OCD obsessions. I take Effexor, Abilify, and Neurontin. Former binge drinker. Recovering codependent.

I’m in pain. My left ankle is in chronic pain. I have vulvodynia. My vagina hurts for no reason. I do physical therapy for this and it is slowly helping.

My father was an opioid addict. My mother had post-partum depression.

I have amazing friends.

I’ve been told I’m needy.

I’ve slept with five men. Kissed seven men and one woman.

I’m backpacking Europe this summer. I’m excited and terrified.

I struggle to feel secure.

I have something to say.

I’m a human being like everyone else.

I feel a lot of shame about myself, but finally I can look to myself in the mirror and see that I’m beautiful.

I’m Samantha.