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Rock Bottom (Part 1)

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I never thought that through my moments of weakness I would find the strength I needed to keep moving forward. More importantly, I never thought I would look back and be disappointed in the person I was, the person I left behind. Five years ago, I wouldn’t have considered myself a strong person. I was anything but strong, I allowed myself to take the easy way out. I would convince myself that if I could not control the situation, I could at least control the pain I felt from it. So it began …

I was sixteen, and too young to cope with what happened alone but too stubborn and embarrassed to ask for help. I kept reassuring myself that I had survived the toughest part and things would go back to normal. I thought I would go back to normal. I never imagined that I would never be able to get back to the girl I use to be. I never thought that the girl who was voted “best personality” for a school superlative would disappear forever. But I did, and I had no idea how much I would be tested in the years that followed.

The memories from that December night wouldn’t go away. I tried suppressing my thoughts, but it was useless. I couldn’t control them. Mistakes I had made, moments of struggle, my weaknesses, constantly replaying in my mind, taking over my every thought. Have you ever had a song stuck in your head? One of those really annoying overplayed songs, like Gwen Stefani’s “B-a-n-a-n-a-s”? Throughout your day no matter how hard you try to distract yourself or think about something else, somehow “this shit is bananas … b-a-n-a-n-a-s” always ends up creeping back into your mind? That’s exactly how I felt.

I stopped caring about everything: school, friends, family, and myself. I couldn’t look at myself so my appearance became less than unattractive. The only productive thing I did was my poetry and even that never seemed good enough.

After a couple months of hiding out at home on the weekends, my best friend convinced me to go a party with her. I had no desire to go, but I felt guilty constantly blowing her off and shutting her out. On top of that, the past several weeks her concern about my behavior had escalated, and I was running out of excuses. So I agreed to go to the party. I tried to convince myself it would do me good to get out of the house and get my life back; I was wrong. Years later I marked this party as my first public “freak out”; because that’s exactly what I did, I freaked out and unfortunately it wouldn’t be my last.

At the party I paid particular attention to what was going on around me. Just as I started to feel remotely comfortable, Andy, a boy I grew up with, came from behind and hugged me. I was caught off guard. Sort of like when you’re ten and you finally gather the courage to slowly walk onto the diving board. You’re standing there on top of it, legs shaking. Is it a result from being cold or scared? Most likely it’s a combination of both. You inch closer towards the edge. You’ve almost convinced yourself to jump. Then out of nowhere your brother pushes you from behind. You catapult through the air and gracefully belly flop into the water. One step forward, two steps back.

Part 1 | (Part 2)

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