Who am I?
My name is Arianna Sterling. It's technically something else, but I've been introducing myself as Arianna for years and every single one of my friends knows me by this name.
I'm twenty years old and I'm in college. I love books, whether it's reading them or writing them. I love Doctor Who and Stargate and Once Upon a Time. I can't stand most vegetables. My favorite shirt says “Then Buffy staked Edward. The end.”
Basically, I'm a typical person. Who got to stand next to a British flag in Virginia once.
What's this for?
I'm going to be as honest on this campaign as I was with all of my friends who have been helping me out.
A few weeks ago, I reached a breaking point. I've always been pretty stressed, but up until that point I had someone who meant the world to me and with them I was able to handle everything. Then I ended up losing that person. That loss of someone who was supposed to care about me destroyed my ability to tackle anything.
I settled on suicide. It was something I'd considered before, but this time I was completely serious about it.
I researched every method I could think of and lied to my friends, claiming I needed to know things for a character in a book, and had them help me learn more about the possibilities. I let one person explain to me what kinds of drugs could be combined with alcohol to cause a painless overdose, and another help me figure out how to drown myself in a bathtub with the addition of painkillers, and I quizzed someone in medical school about if it would hurt to dehydrate completely and what would happen during that process. In the end I settled on dehydration and decided a date and started making lists of who I wanted to have my belongings. I wasn't quite writing notes yet, but I did have a list of who I wanted to leave personal notes to.
Somehow the idea of dying in a few weeks didn't scare me at all. Instead I was completely apathetic and looked at it with a view of, “Huh, I guess I won't be around to see such-and-such-movie when it comes out. Oh well.”
Then Friday, February 15th rolled around and I was just sitting there trying to motivate myself to do something, which is a challenge when you're not planning to be around for much longer. Out of nowhere I had an inspiration.
My friends know I'm usually very planning-oriented and I like having things set in stone as far in advance as possible and I go about most of what I do in a pretty intelligent way. So at that point I thought, “What if I do something totally out of character?” and “Why don't I make the biggest change I can possibly imagine?” I thought of the book “13 Little Blue Envelopes” by Maureen Johnson, in which a girl gets a collection of envelopes from her dead aunt, and those envelopes guide her on an adventure through England and Scotland.
I've never had the confidence to do anything like running off to a foreign country, but it seems to me that when your other choice is a definite suicide, confidence becomes a lot easier to manage. I decided that I could absolutely do with a random trip to England.
The problem is, I don't have all that much money. I have some, but not enough to assure that I'll be okay over there while just traveling around. I don't intend to do a bunch of touristy things and waste money, as I'm mostly interested in exploring and meeting people and just seeing what happens. But the point stands that I need more money than what I have.
I think I could be successful with about $2000 for getting around and eating. As for places to stay, I plan to make use of CouchSurfers and maybe stay in a hostel a few times if I absolutely have to.
What do you get if you donate?
It's probably evident I won't have the ability to be giving out amazing perks, as I'll be using funds raised to stay well while I'm gone. I do plan to blog all the time while I'm away though. Anyone who donates anything at all will get a mention on the blog, and probably a picture dedication. If it's possible I will also be willing to send personalized postcards as thank-yous (from England, of course).
Thank you to anyone who supports me in Mission England!