[TW: Suicide, drugs, overdose] A writing submission by M about the hardships throughout her life and where she’s at now.

Around the age of 5 I noticed there was something different about me. Nearly all my friends had fathers but I did not. This confused me in the early stages of my childhood. I wondered where he was, what he looked like, smelled like, etc. Eventually at the age of 8 I met my father who turned out to be an extremely controlling, impatient, narcissistic, and money hungry man with not an ounce of love in his heart. Looking back on it all today at the age of 22 I understand why my mom kept him away from me, but my longing for a relationship with my father thickened until it became too overwhelming and I turned into an emotional wreck. I thought there was something wrong with me. I thought I wasn’t good enough for him, and then eventually I thought I wasn’t good enough for the world.

By the time I reached high school I had already attempted suicide once. I had my mind set on the fact that I didn’t want to be here anymore and I didn’t plan on living past the age of 16. At age 14 I started experimenting with drugs which soon led to a drug addiction and heavy drinking. I went through two overdoses at age 14, one which left me hospitalized. After that my mom realized I had severe problems that needed immediate attention so I was sent to wilderness camp which is a behavioral program for youth struggling with drug addiction, depression, anxiety etc. I graduated the program in a short 6 weeks and was able to return home. I was happy for a while but even sober the depression and anxiety returned. I only managed to stay clean a total of 6 months. At age 15 I was double diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety, I was then put on a combination of Prozac, Gabapentin, and Seroquil. Taking this combination of prescription pills is extremely dangerous while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, so of course I tried it. I was not allowed to return to my high school after my behavior at school with drugs, and the way I treated my fellow classmates and teachers.

I joined continuation school which allowed me to booze it up and pop pills all day. Since I wasn’t in school during the day like most kids were I would venture around my town. I passed myself off as 18 even though I was 15 and started hanging out with much older men. Their attention felt so good to me until I got taken advantage of. Later, this behavior led me to my third overdose. A middle aged man I had been hanging out with gave me GHB after I had already been drinking all day. I had already popped a few Xanax and racked a few lines of coke as well. This led me to my third overdose which landed me in a coma with a 30% chance of coming out alive. Over 24 hours later I woke up terrified and confused with a breathing tube down my neck that reached to my lungs.

During this time I had been on probation for drug possession. After this incident my probation officer and therapist demanded I go to rehab. I searched and interviewed at multiple rehabs and felt misunderstood by everyone, but I eventually found the right one. I left the program after 6 months and stayed in AA and NA for another 6 months landing me 1 year of sobriety which I shortly broke after. No matter what program I did or what pill I was put on, I still carried this heavy blanket of depression and anxiety over my mind, body, and soul. I constantly cried myself to sleep and some nights I wouldn’t sleep at all.

By 18 I was using heroin, meth, and coke. The drugs allowed me to uphold a functioning façade when I felt broken on the inside. I attempted suicide after an argument with a friend at a party in Hollywood Hills. I reached for my phone and dialed 911. I began to feel cold I thought maybe this would be the end. I laid on the curb, by now it was getting close to dawn and a couple was walking their dog. They just stood there and starred at me while the ambulance came and took me away. I heard the woman comment to her husband, “It’s so sad, she’s so young”. While in the ambulance I said nothing. In the hospital I said nothing. I thought I could kill myself by killing my identity and losing myself in the mental health system. Hours went by of contemplating whether or not I should tell these people my name or where I was from. Eventually I gave them a phone number and told them to call my mom. I was lucky to be put in a Los Angeles hospital. The doctors did not want to see such a young girl from Laguna Beach go to an LA county mental ward. It was difficult to return to college. People starred and whispered -which made it all even worse- but I managed.

Later on I had been dating someone and we both shared an alcohol problem. While I was blacked out drunk one night we got into a fight. I ran outside and attempted suicide yet again, but I saved myself just in time. It started to rain, I had no shoes on, and my clothes were torn. I walked to a hotel and asked the front desk man to call 911. Shortly after, the police arrived and saw that I was a danger to myself and possibly others and hand cuffed me. They drove me to the hospital while I screamed in the back the whole way there. I was put on a 72-hour hold in the mental ward. During that time I had an awakening and I took things seriously for the first time in a while. I didn’t return to AA or NA even though everyone wanted me to. I just sought out therapy.

I have now been clean with no program for one year and 9 months, and I don’t think I will ever go back to the girl I once was. I am currently on minimal medication but my doctor thinks I should be able to get off it by the end of 2015-early 2016. To anyone out there that feels like they just can’t take it anymore, that they aren’t worth it, or that they are ugly, dumb, or unwanted- just know it’s not true. There are people out there that will stick by your side if you choose the right friends. Never be afraid of the voice inside that screams for you to reach out. I now have a beautiful life filled with meaningful relationships, a job, and a home. I can’t believe I ever was that girl and that wanted to give it all up. Hang in there, it does get better if you want it to and if you believe it will. I know it is easier said than done but I am living, walking, breathing proof that you can beat the depression, and that you can beat the anxiety. It still can be a struggle, but it is in no way at all as intense or unmanageable as it used to be.

Today controlling my drinking is not an issue at all. I can have a glass of wine with my steak and be totally content not needing a sip more. I have gone through some difficult times in the past year and 9 months clean from drugs without thinking about killing myself. It is possible to make it out of what seems like a never ending circle of depression and anxiety. We all have a purpose, never forget that.


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