Three years ago, I had no idea if I had any purpose in life other than work at a job I hated so I could maybe afford to live on my own some day. I would find a guy I-guess-I-loved and he would treat me somewhat ok and life would be mediocre and I would die with little to offer the world.
I often let my depression and low self-esteem suffocate my thoughts and ambitions. I told myself many times, “You are not meant for this world. You are not like the others.”
I was only half right.
Today I am sitting in building twelve of my community college campus. I just picked up my cap and gown from the bookstore. I graduate in a little more than four weeks.
In four months I move three hours away. A new territory, a place where no one knows my name. No one knows my story. A refreshing chance to recreate myself into someone I know I cannot be in Luzerne County.
Throughout my two years at LCCC, I relied heavily on support from my friends and family to make it through. All that know me knows I struggle immensely with mental illness. I go back and forth owning it and condemning it. The lowest part of my journey was sobbing to my mom like a child after we both knew I needed help.
“I am trying really hard,” I managed through spit and tears and a cracked voice.
“I know you are, honey,” She said.
“I know you are.”
That stuck with me a little, because I really was trying. Were people noticing? I was working, waking up and going to school. I was doing my best not to sleep my life away like I always had. Most of all, though, I was doing my best to stay alive. I weave my way through periods where I want to die so badly and times where I want nothing more than to live a normal, productive life.
These past few months I have taken cocktails of medications, big pharma’s field day. Hundreds of dollars of medications to help my brain, help me sleep, help this, help that.
Except its not helping anything. I was (and still am) only getting worse. In theory, a pill seems great to take the pain away. So many of us can’t live without them. Can I live without them?
April 27th I went to work after sleeping only 2 hours. I was met with sleep paralysis’ open arms, over and over the night before. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t yell. I could only pray to a god I am not loyal to to please make this go away. I spent the entirety of my work day feeling other-worldly and confused, breaking out in cry after cry, feeling like a fool that I let myself get as bad as I did and allowing others to see me in that dim light.
Let’s be honest– I have the world ahead of me. I refuse to accept anything less. I have been through more at twenty-one than most people experience in forty years.
I can rely on only myself to make the most of the life lying ahead of me. Single. I am capable of figuring things out on my own.
I’m going to have a hell of a time getting off of the medications I was prescribed. I am going to have an even harder time transitioning into a life I know nothing about.
I was just as scared three years ago.
Look how far I’ve come.
The world needs me, and I need you.
We are meant for this life.