Depression Defined.

#MaydayParade
#MaydayParade

I’m a little late, but I’ve had this post written for weeks now and just finally got around to uploading it. It’s about Robin Williams…

I still can’t believe that he’s really dead. I really can’t. Moreover, I can’t believe he did it by killing himself. It’s just so ironic, you know? That the man who made millions laugh, myself included, had a darkness so intense inside him that it drove him to kill himself. It’s just crazy. And unfortunate.

I don’t usually get emotional when it comes to celebrities and their deaths. I mean, why would I–I don’t know them. They don’t know me. I mean, I care…because despite their celebrity status, they are still human beings. They have the same feelings and their very own drama, just like the rest of us. They’re just people…granted they’re people who get paid millions of dollars and bathe in luxury…but they’re still people. They matter, too.

I don’t think people are crazy to be so affected by the death of someone like Robin Williams, despite never having known or met the man. I mean, you grow up with these people in your world and on your TV in your homes for years, and it’s like they’ve become part of your fold. You don’t know them, but you feel like you do. It may not be entirely rational, but it’s true. It’s just the way it is.

It probably shouldn’t, but it bugs me to no end when I hear or read that Williams was selfish and how so many people are judging him for his final act. For starters, it’s NONE of their business. Secondly, they don’t have a fucking clue (excuse the language). The man was clearly struggling. He didn’t hide the fact that he was depressed or that he had issues with his mental health. He wasn’t afraid to lay it all out there or to be open about it all. If you ask me, that’s one of the bravest things you could ever do. To put your world under the microscope for everyone to see–the good AND the bad. It’s called honesty and it’s a trait that few people possess. He was one of them.

The way I see it, he was brave right up to the very end. I mean, how could he not be? He went out on stages and on television to entertain and bring joy to millions of people–even if just for a few minutes.  He made people forget about their crappy lives and forget that the world is an absolute freaking mess out there. And he did it even though he had no joy for himself. That says a lot about a person’s character. His character. Was it selfish for him to kill himself–I don’t think so. I mean, I’m sorry for his family and for all of those who knew and loved him…but it wasn’t selfish. After doing so much for others, he finally did one thing for himself. Don’t get me wrong–I am in no way condoning suicide, but I will uphold his right to do as he chose. It was his life and his pain. He had a right to want it to end. I know a lot of people disagree on that, but I don’t care. Those people didn’t have to live with it. They don’t know what he was going through or how he felt. No one does. Only he had those answers and he’s not here to defend himself.

They say that in death, he’s become the face of Mental Heath and Depression. And in a lot of ways, he really has. He made a lot of people wake up and recognize that it’s a real epidemic in this world. People are finally talking about and trying to do things to change it. People are finally starting to take notice, rather than ignore it like we have for so long. Personally, I think we’re too scared to talk about it because we’re afraid that if we do, we’ll have to admit that it exists…and we don’t want to do that. We don’t want to focus on death or the hard stuff. We’d rather pretend that everything is just peachy clean. If you ask me, it’s just plain sad.

While it’s tragic what happened to Williams, his death has helped so many people. People who are no longer ashamed to admit their emotions and fears and struggles. People who are no longer afraid to ask for help. People who will ask now that they know they aren’t alone…and that what they’re going through can and does happen to anyone. Even celebrities. Even people like Robin Williams.

No one’s immune.

No one.

#RIPRobinWilliams

xoxo Messie

 

 

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A Little Pick-Me-Up

 

Ehhh, it’s just been one of those weeks. Things are just…how do I put it…absolutely-freaking-crazy. Classes have started and the work seems impossible. My family is at war with one another. I’m taking care of two sweet, but extremely needy small humans. My mother isn’t doing well with her chemo treatment at all…and she’s got surgery coming up in a month. I feel so out of touch with everything…life, my friends…literally everything. I haven’t seen the bestie in over a year…and I talked to her the other day, the first time in weeks. We say all the time that we should get together–and that we will–but like I said, it’s been over a year since we’ve actually hung out in person, so who knows with that. I feel like a horrible friend because I haven’t really put forth the effort to get together. It’s not that I don’t want to–it’s just that everything else keeps getting in the way and schedules keep conflicting and I don’t know, it’s all so complicated. I hate complicated. Like HATE it! With a passion. I just wish everything was simpler. That life was simpler. I wish I could go back to being 18. When the Bestie and I would drive around the back roads listening to our silly punk rock songs and singing off-key and bitching about guys and love and just life in general. God, it was so much easier back then. Way more than now.

I feel like I don’t have enough time…and at the same time, I feel like there’s too much of it. I know, it makes no sense. Welcome to my world!

I know it’s all going to go by so quickly. Before I know it, December will be here and I’ll be leaving for Nashville. I’m trying to stay positive about it all. To tell myself that this is a good thing–that it’ll be a good thing for me. I’m trying not to feel guilty for leaving…for wanting to…for feeling like I need to. But it’s hard. It’s really hard.

I’m afraid. I’m afraid my mom’s going to get sicker and I won’t be here to help. I’m afraid something is going to go wrong with one of the kids or my grams. I’m afraid everything’s going to go to hell in a hand basket, so to speak. I’m just…I’m terrified.

Yeah…not having the best of days. So…I thought I’d turn to music for a little pick-me-up. Here’s one of my fave bands–country of course!–the amazing Lady Antebellum, with “One Day You Will.” If only it were this easy…to believe that everything will be okay. But I guess it can’t hurt to try.

xoxo

MESSIE

When The Time Comes.

So it looks like I might have a moving budding/roommate come December when I move to Nashville. That’d be my friend Ryan, so that’s a big emphasis on might. He recently just moved back to New York, having spent the past 6 or so years living in Dallas, Texas. He’s no more keen on staying in New York for the long haul than I am, so he says he’ll go. Unfortunately, he’s proven to be a little “flighty” come commitment time, so I’m going to just hold my breath ’til the time comes and see what happens.

Honestly, I’m a little undecided about how I feel about the idea of having him move down with me. I mean, on the one hand, I think it could be fun. I think the fact that our friendship has maintained intact–for the most part–all these years despite the distance, is saying something. And our being friends, at the very least, takes away that whole “stranger roommate” tension, so there’s that. I love him to death and I trust him, so I don’t have to worry about getting screwed over. I know him way too well for that. Plus, I think it’d be a little easier to settle in and get to know Nashville with someone I know there with me. If nothing else, it’d be a hell of a lot less lonely.

On the other hand, I’m a little worried about what it might do to our friendship. I mean, I’ve been there. I’ve done the whole roommate and friends thing once before with the Bestie, and well…that didn’t work out so well. In fact, it was pretty much a total disaster. It nearly tore our friendship apart. I’m not looking forward to having a repeat of that show…no thank you. Also, knowing him as well as I do, well it could have its’ disadvantages, I’m thinking. For instance, in a lot of ways, he still hasn’t grown up. He’s older than I am–in his thirties now–and he’s still got that cocky, egotistical teenager mentality that is annoying as hell. We tell each other everything…too much, sometimes. I mean, I’m glad that we can share things and be honest with one another–but there’s only so much I want to hear about his sex life–and by so much, I mean none at all.  He’s really full of himself and loves to brag–which is fine….if I were one of the “guys”, but I’m not.

Fortunately, there’s no sexual chemistry there. We experimented with that once and as it turns out, we just don’t click in that way. He’s like the awesome big brother I never had.

Despite all of that, I think what worries me most is that him being there is going to change everything. I mean, the whole point of moving this far away is to get away from here and everything that reminds me of this area. My main objective was a fresh start. That was the plan. And it’s a good plan. But if he comes with me, that’s not really a clean break, you know?

He doesn’t think I’m going to go through with it. He’s a little skeptic, considering my track record. I mean, after all, I was supposed to be in NYC over a year ago. That didn’t happen obviously, but I had my reasons. In my defense, the Bestie backing out kind of threw a big wrench into those plans. We had everything planned out and then everything bottomed out. I may be a little idealistic, but I’m not stupid. You don’t move to NYC by yourself on just big plans and big dreams alone. But this time, it’s happening.

I’m scared though. Scared it won’t work out. Scared that I’ll get there and I’ll want to come back. I’m scared that I’ll fail…and that I’ll HAVE to come back. That worries me the most. That’ll I’ll disappoint everyone…and myself. I don’t want that to happen. I don’t want to come running back home with my tail between my legs, so to speak. I want to be successful. I want to prove everyone wrong who says I won’t make it and that I won’t last. I want to prove to them–and to myself–that I can do this. That I can make it–without them. That I can do this on my own. I know that proving a point is a ridiculous reason for leaving, but it is what it is. I’m sick of feeling like a failure. It’s time I change my own luck and make my own destiny.

It’s time.

But, we’ll see.

We will see.

xoxo MESSIE

Can’t Live With ‘Em…

Okay, so I’m having a pretty shitty day…or past few days, I should say. Because of family. What else, right? God, this is getting old.

Do you ever just get the notion to up and leave? To pack a bag–or a few–and just go? No looking back, no telephone call when you reach your destination, nothing. To just disappear–if only for a while?

Oh, how I want to do just that. Right now. I’m just so damn TIRED of it. Of all of it. The constant bickering and arguing. Pointing fingers and placing blame wherever, whenever. Feeling the constant weight of what’s expected of me. Wondering if it’s ever going to get better and knowing deep-down that it’s not. All of it.

We went to my family’s this weekend. I didn’t want to go. I’ve been sick all week and just wasn’t in the mood. But my sister had work to do at the school and she refused to leave the boys with my brother-in-law–who happens to be THEIR FATHER, by the way–all day, alone. Which is total and absolute bullshit, if you ask me. Hell, I do it every day. Why can’t he get a taste of what it’s like to take care of two small human beings for an entire day, completely on your own? It’s only fair, right? Right. Well, that wasn’t going to happen and I wasn’t in the mood to argue about it–as it gets me absolutely nowhere–so we all piled into the Acadia and headed for my grams’. My sister and the bro-in-law went to the school and I stayed at the house with the boys, my grams, mother, and the girls. Well, that was no fun. It was loud and crazy and absolute chaos, like usual. But then, I guess that’s to be expected when you’ve got a four and eight year old running around like banshees–and you add two needy 8-month-olds into the mix. Anyhow, trouble started the minute my sister/aunt got home from her “shrink appointment” between her, my mother, and my grams. She was home for about 10 minutes before she told my grams she was leaving to go to “the store” and that she’d be right back. Which in other words, pretty much translates into, “I’m leaving, shutting off my phone–so don’t bother calling–and don’t expect me back for hours–if at all.” Yep. It’s so typical for her that you just get used to it. She’s barely home to spend time with her kids, and when she is–she doesn’t do much with that anyhow, so it really doesn’t matter either way. Except to my mother…who’s quite vocal on the subject. She can’t stand it…and she has no problem letting everyone know that. That said, she and my grams–who’s given up trying to make my sister/aunt change her ways–tend to bump heads on the subject, so to speak. This weekend was no exception.

The moment my mother found out that she’d left AGAIN, she went at with my grams. Threats and words were thrown–most of them unkind and not appropriate for publication–and it was ridiculous. I get what my mother’s issue with it all is–it’s not right–but what, if anything, is there to actually do about it? Nothing. You can turn her into CPS or take her to family court, but all that’s going to do is uproot the kids and get tensions rising. There’s really nothing to do, but ignore it. I mean, the time to do something was years ago. At this point, it’s just plain pointless. But my mother doesn’t see it that way. She sees it as my grandmother letting her get away with it. Which, in a way, she is doing…but she’s got her reasons. She doesn’t see the point in wasting her breath–and as far as she’s concerned, so long as the kids are with her, it doesn’t matter to her where their mother is. But my mother cares. She’s obsessed with it. It’s ironic, really, considering she was no better with my brother, sister, and I than my sister/aunt is with her kids. My mother was constantly gone while we were growing up. And even when she was there, she had different priorities…and they weren’t us. My grams is the one who stepped in and took on the responsibility of raising us up…just like she’s doing for my sister/aunt’s kids now. My mother fails to see the resemblance though. I call it denial.

Anyhow, so they’re going at it and my mother’s trying to get me to side with her…and I was having none of it. I hate when she does that. When she bitches and complains about something that, let’s face it, isn’t going to change any time soon, if ever. I don’t care who’s right. And I refuse to take sides. It’s just better in the long run that I don’t, trust me. It’s pretty frustrating. I mean, are that they dumb that they don’t see why I got the hell out of there in the first place–or why I don’t like visiting much anymore? I mean, seriously. If it’s not one thing with them, it’s another. And I’m sick of playing referee. If they want to hash it out, then I say go for it. Let them. Just leave me the hell out of it.

So yeah, my sister and brother-in-law finally get back late that afternoon and we’re all sitting around the table. Something got said and I raised my voice–and my bro-in-law decided to open his damn mouth and “scold” me for talking too damn loud. Yeah, well…that pissed me off even more. And I made no secret of it either. I mean, really dude. You’re going to sit there and tell me that I’m too loud–and make some snide remark about how it’s the norm with my family, while in my family’s house–when your family is so loud and obnoxious that you can hear them from two houses away when they’re downstairs just having a normal conversation with one another? Seriously. I don’t think so. I don’t know who the hell he is, or where he gets off acting all prim and proper and superior, but I sure as hell have no patience for it. So I told my sister in no uncertain terms that she either says something to him, or that’s it. I’m done and gone. I’ll do it, too. I really will. Hell, I don’t care. I really don’t. I mean, I don’t have to be here. I could be down in Nashville already, like I’d originally planned instead of waiting for December, and they can find someone else to take care of their children. It’s no skin off my back.

And then they wonder why I refuse to stay. I honestly just want to record them for a day and show them the video afterwards so they can see how truly fucked up they all are. I mean, I’m fucked up, too…but they give dysfunction a bad name. No joke.

All I can do right now is to keep on, keeping on, so to speak. I keep telling myself that it’s just 3 1/2 more months. Just 3 1/2. Then I can go and never come back. I can leave all the drama and the petty bullshit and just go. I can’t wait. I’m literally counting down the days. Call it running away…but it’s better than staying. There’s nothing here. Just drama and bad memories. I want a fresh start…I need one. And god knows after the hell I’ve gone through in the past few years, I damn well deserve one. So, family or not–all I can say is to heck with ’em. If they want to destroy each other and fight like kids, then they’re welcome to do so. I just won’t be a part of it. Or a spectator. Not anymore. I’m done.

Just done.

xoxo MESSIE

Father Of The Year–I Think Not.

Sorry in advance, but I really have to vent right now.

My brother in law is driving me absolutely crazy. Then again, crazy isn’t really word for it. He’s pissing me the f**k off. Yeah–that’s better. I don’t get him, I really, really don’t. For example…last night. My sister was at the school all day to get her classroom ready in preparation for the start of school in September, so I had the twins and my niece Lena who stayed after the boys’ baptism on Sunday. No big deal. I’m used to having the boys. That’s not the problem. The problem is their damn father.

He’s useless. I’m sorry to say that, but it’s true. He does nothing. Absolutely nothing. And yesterday was no exception. He pulled his bullshit again where he comes home from work, changes his clothes, then holes himself in the office playing one of his damn computer games non-stop. And by non-stop, I mean for hours on end. It’s true. He’ll literally sit in front of that computer, or TV, or iPad and play his stupid games. His idea of interacting with the twins is to crouch down in front of the jump-a-roo for a minute smiling and saying “hi buddy” and ruffling their hair…and that’s about it. One minute. If that. He doesn’t interact with them at all, unless he’s told or asked to, and even then–he only does it grudgingly. He doesn’t see anything wrong with that. In fact–he’s under the impression that he’s in the running for father of the year. He’s got everyone fooled. No one knows what it’s like. He’s convinced his parents that he’s a doting father and accepts their praises when it’s all total bullshit. Not that they’d care if they knew the truth because for some damn reason, they seem to think that he walks on water. Well, newsflash–he doesn’t. At all.

Anyways…last night.

Like I said, he got home and stopped on his way into the office to play his game to inform me–which I already knew–that my sister wouldn’t be home until really late, and to tell me that if I needed him, he’d be in the office. Yep. He stayed in there the entire time AFTER he let the damn dogs into the room, which woke up the babies from their much-needed afternoon nap–right after I’d just gotten the sleep, by the way. Ohhh, I was pissed. I was just like really–are you effin kidding me, dude? He doesn’t care. I mean, so what if it just took me ALL day to finally quiet them down long enough to take a nap…oh well. So what if Tyler’s cranky and teething bad right now and is screaming his head off. So what. He just ignores it. I don’t know how he does it, but he does. Don’t get me wrong–crying it out is healthy sometimes. But there’s a difference between “crying it out” and crying because something’s actually wrong. Not that he’d know the difference. My sister and I know that there’s a difference between a crying-it-out cry and a pain/really needing attention cry…but he couldn’t tell you the difference even if he had flashcards. That’s how oblivious he is.

My sister has tried talking to him about it, on many occasions. It seems to just go in and out of his ear. She’s tried everything. She’s tried punishing him by limiting the time he can play his game or watch the TV…but that only lasts a few days and then he’s right back at it, doing the same damn thing–ignoring his children. Oh, how I’d love to “talk” to him about it. I really would. You have no idea. It wouldn’t be pretty–that’s for sure. I want to tell him exactly what I think of him, I really do. I want to tell him how much of a selfish, obnoxious, useless jerk he is. I want to tell him that while he may have the rest of the world fooled–he doesn’t fool me one bit. He likes to complain about my sister/aunt neglecting and having nothing to do with her kids…when hello–he’s no better.

He may provide them with food and shelter, but that’s about it. Now, some people might think that’s plenty enough, but I’m not one of those people. The way I see it, it’s not even close. It’s not. I mean, how can you honestly call yourself a good father–or just a father in general–when you barely have any interaction at all with your kids? You just can’t.

I don’t get it. Actually, it’s ironic. He claimed he wanted kids so badly before the twins. I mean, why would you go through over a year of fertility problems and spend thousands and thousands of dollars on procedures and treatments if you didn’t want kids? It doesn’t make sense. I’m starting to really believe that it was all just about appearances. I don’t think he wanted the kids–not really. I think he just did it because it was expected of him. He was at that age and married and financially secure and the oldest of his siblings, so logically the next step was to have kids. I honestly think that’s all it was to him. A duty he fulfilled–that’s it. Nothing more. Whether he wanted them or not though, is besides the point. The fact is, they’re here. And he has a responsibility towards them whether he likes it or not.

My sister’s given up trying to get him to step up, as its only proven to be a waste of time and a waste of her breath. But I’m sick of it. I really am. The guy needs a reality check. A big one. He needs to realize that it’s not about him anymore and get his priorities in check. I’d love to help him with that–oh, I really would. He wouldn’t like it–that much I’m sure of. My sister thinks I should just ignore it. Well here’s what I think about that–HELL TO THE NO. I’m fed up.

She knew I was pissed when she got home from the texts I’d sent her earlier in the night, and she knew why. Apparently she had a talk with him when they went to bed and get this–the bastard had the nerve to lie and say that he tried to help me, but I wouldn’t let him. The hell he did! All he did was tell me on the way there that he’d be in the office playing his game if I needed him. Well, I didn’t need him. I’m perfectly capable of taking care of the twins on my own. I don’t NEED his help…but for christsakes, it’d be nice of him to at least OFFER once in a while. Like he could have offered to help me feed the boys dinner and give them their baths and play with them. Did he? Of course not.

My sister says that I should have gone in there and made him come out and help, but why the hell should I have done that? I mean, come on…they’re his kids! I shouldn’t have to ask him to help me. We shouldn’t have to ask him to interact with his own children once in a while. And I’m not going to beg him to own up to his responsibilities. He should do it on his own…because he wants to. But does he? Nope.

I’m dreading the days when school starts and my sister goes back to work, I really am. Because she works an hour and a half away, she usually doesn’t get home until 6 or 7 o’clock at night most nights, meaning by then that he’s been home for several hours already. Which pretty much means, I still have the boys until then. My sister will text him sometimes and tell him that he’s to tell me I can go upstairs when he gets home while he takes care of the boys, but that rarely happens and when it does–I usually don’t even bother. Mostly, because I don’t trust him. I don’t. Not with the boys. Granted, I don’t think he’d deliberately hurt either one of them–but I do know that he’ll have no problem ignoring them. How am I supposed to go upstairs and do work–especially when my online courses start up in a couple of weeks–when the boys are screaming their heads off downstairs and not being taken care of properly? I can’t.

Things have got to change or I swear to god I’m going to lose it on him. I’m sick of having to do it all. Hell, I’m sick of having to do HIS job. They’re his kids. They aren’t mine. I mean, I love them to death, but if I wanted to have twins, I would have gone out and had them. I don’t want to raise someone else’s kids, damn it. I want to have a life.

I’m grateful for my sister for all that she’s done for me, but it’s getting to the point that I really just want to tell her that she’s going to have to get someone else to watch the boys until I leave for Tennessee in December, because this is bullshit. I don’t want to be here. The only reason I am is because my sister needs my help, and I owe her that at least. And I’m here for the boys, because despite their shitty excuse for a father, I love them more than anything. I’m not doing it for him. I’ m doing it for them. But I can’t take much more. It’s not right and it’s not fair. Not to me. And certainly not to the boys.

They deserve better. Frankly, so does my sister.

He needs to step up.

And soon.

Or by God, I won’t be responsible for what happens. That’s all I’ve got to say about that.

xoxo, MESSIE

 

ink-checkered past…

So I’ve been of a mind lately to mark up my body up some more… 🙂

… As in another tattoo.

I swore years ago, after my last one that I wouldn’t even get another…but things change…especially in my world. This would be my sixth, so quantity-wise, it might seem a little bit excessive. But quality-wise…that’s a different story. My reasons for wanting this one are far different than they were for the others. Speaking of the others…I regret them. Well…not regret exactly because that’s not entirely true. What’s the line… “don’t regret anything because at one time it’s what you wanted” … yeah, so maybe instead of regret, I should say that I’m not particularly proud of the fact that they exist, on my body.

My first one–well that was pure teenage rebellion, to put it simply. It was. I had just turned eighteen and my grams was absolutely against me getting a tattoo so naturally, I went right out and got one. Looking back…not one of my smartest moves, but what can you do, right? Chalk it up to teenage ignorance and not knowing any better.

My second one isn’t so bad. Of the five, it’s by far, my favorite. It’s a pretty little butterfly design on the top of my foot, with a little “J” swirled on the tip of the butterfly’s wing for the initial of my first name. Admittedly, I love it. It’s pretty and simple and personal. Butterflies are an unspoken symbol of freedom and independence…they can’t be caged. And they symbolize the ultimate transformation…a beautiful change. I love the metaphor they represent. I love the tattoo. The placement wasn’t the best…as anyone who has ever gotten a tattoo on their foot can tell you…it’s painful. Heck, it’s more than painful. I was shaking so bad, the guy tattooing me had to have one of his assistants hold down my leg. After that, I swore after tattoos for awhile.

My last three were mistakes. Big, big mistakes. Let’s just say that I was a little er–um, “inebriated” for two of the three. Okay…a LOT inebriated. Like I said, big mistakes. Why I thought it would be a good idea to get inked–two at the same time, no less–while wasted as all get out–well, I wasn’t thinking, that was the problem. The first one wasn’t so bad…but the other, this flower design on my shoulder blade–again, not a fun spot to get a tattoo, pain-wise–took forever. Granted, it came out pretty good…but it was pure hell…worse than my foot. I was literally sobbing through that one…nearly all three and a half hours of it. It was bad. And the very last one I got, I think the guy doing the tattooing was a little “inebriated”, to put it nicely. Luckily the tattoo came out alright, but it was a bad idea from the start. It was one of those “oh I’m at a tattoo parlor with a friend who’s getting a tattoo so why not, I’ll get another of my own” kind of things. Yeah…not smart.

So I have out of five that I actually don’t mind. I’d like to make that two of six.

All my other ones were for stupid, careless, just because I can reasons. I didn’t really think about them. I just decided one day I felt like getting a tattoo, so I grabbed a friend and went and got one. Simple as that. No thought really involved, aside from the picking out the design. Simple. But this time is different. I’ve been thinking a lot about this one. One I want it to mean. The butterfly symbolism means something to me, sure, but nothing like this. This one is way more important. And far more personal.

The tattoo I want to get will be of a little quote I came up with, something that means something to me, something along the lines of :

Behind every scar, there’s a story.

For every story, there’s a lesson learned.

Battle scars are not given, they are earned.  

The plan is to put it on my wrist…the one with the scar from a not so minor incident many years back. For the longest time when anyone asked about it, I’d shrug the question off and spout off the “oh, I put my hand through a window, clumsy me” story that I’d perfected. Only my family and a couple of close friends knew the real truth behind the scar. I’ll admit it, I was ashamed of the truth. And scared of what people would think if they knew the truth. It took a long time, but I eventually let go of the shame of that night and the truth; of which is that I did it to myself. I slit my wrist with a razor blade. I did. I admit it, with no shame.

It was a long time ago.  Halloween night in 2007, to be exact. I was 20 years old. And drunk as hell. It’s true. I’d gone out with a friend to celebrate the holiday and had had far too much to drink. I can’t really remember the events that led up to it, but somehow, at some point, I ended up on the front steps of my family’s home with a razor blade in my hand. The rest is kind of fuzzy. Like I said, I was really, really drunk. I was upset, for a lot of reasons. I was conflicted about school–I wanted to go back, but I was scared of what would happen with my ex if I did. There was all this pressure from my family to go back and to get my life back on track and honestly, I felt like I’d let them down. Like I was a big, disappointing failure to them. That didn’t set well with me. I felt guilty and ashamed and angry, with myself, with them, with my ex…with the world. I felt lost because while everyone else around me seemed to know exactly what they wanted…I didn’t have the first clue of what I wanted or what I wanted to do. At the time, I thought I was supposed to know. The fact that I didn’t just added to my feeling like a total failure. In retrospect, I know it was completely normal to feel as I was–but I didn’t know that then, obviously. In my fragile state of mind right then, I guess it didn’t help that I’d had an argument with the friend I’d gone out with that night. She’d ditched me after the party to run off with some guy that was bad news, after begging me to go out in the first place. I hadn’t wanted to go out because well, I’m not a big fan of Halloween. That kind of happens when you’ve been sexually assaulted at a Halloween party 4 years prior. But she insisted. Then left me. Drunk as a skunk. (To clarify–I’m an emotional drunk–big-time. I mean, BIG time. I’m a crier when I have way too much to drink…especially if I have hard liquor. Mainly vodka. Me and vodka–not a good combination. Granted, it probably has to do with the fact that my drink of choice is Vodka and Redbull…thus making it so that I can drink and drink and be all sober and lively for hours until wham, the vodka hits me ALL AT ONCE. It’s never a gradual thing with those drinks. So yeah, when I’ve had a few too many–and something on my mind that I’ve been avoiding–I’ll get emotional and cry. It’s really not a pretty sight, but yeah. We all have our flaws, I guess. :/)

Anyhow, all the stress combined with all the alcohol I consumed–I went a little off the deep-end. Initially, I don’t I intended to go as far as I did. I think I was only trying to relieve a little of that stress in one of the–albeit unhealthy–coping mechanisms I’d used often in the past…cutting. I know, I know–that’s a really taboo subject, but it’s an honest to god, real one. I’m not saying that it’s the right way to cope with problems, because I know that it’s not. And I’m not one of those crazy people who is all Pro-Cutting and Self-Harm…I’m not. But I do think people are afraid of the topic and avoid it, when the solution should be to embrace and try to understand it. I know, it’s hard and it’s not something people want to talk about, but life isn’t always puppy dogs and rainbows. Sometimes it’s gritty. And self-harm is a problem. Doctors call it a mental disorder. I think it’s a front. A way to cope with the bigger, underlying issues. Personally, I struggled with it for years. I haven’t done it in a really long time, but that’s not to say I’m completely cured. Like anything, it’s a learned habit. One that’s really, really hard to break. When people ask why I did it in the past, I say that it’s complicated. And it is. It’s also easier to say that than it is to explain it in a way that people will truly understand. It’s something that’s not easily understood…and I get that. It’s hard to understand something that you, yourself haven’t experienced. All I can say is that it helped…at the time. I know that sounds crazy and messed up–and probably makes no sense at all–but it did. It didn’t hurt. Not really. I mean, there was always the sting…but no real pain. And it was that sting that was my addiction. I craved it. Needed it. At times, I couldn’t breathe without it. Or that’s how it felt. With everything else coming at me sometimes, I honestly felt like I was suffocating. Cutting was a distraction from all of that. An escape. An unhealthy escape, but an escape nonetheless. I think people judge “cutters” without really understanding and that bothers me. It’s not something I’m entirely proud of, but I’m not afraid to admit that. And that takes guts, I think. And besides, it’s not something you can ever forget…even if you wanted to. The pale little scars are always there, a reminder forever. You can either hang your head in shame, or you can hold your chin up and say that you’re better than those scars…you’re in a better place. Which I am now.

So yeah, that’s what I think I started off intending to do. And somewhere along the way…it got out of hand. I went too far, cut too deep. For a long time, I was in denial. I refused to admit that I was trying to kill myself that night. I would just say that I was drunk and did something stupid–that it went too far. And that’s true…but it’s not the whole truth. I was drunk. So drunk. So much so that I wasn’t thinking clearly. But a part of me I think, a little part of me, wanted it. Wanted to die. That’s not an easy thing for me to admit, even now, after all these years. But it’s the truth. A part of me did want to die…to just fade away and make all my problems go away. I wasn’t strong enough to fight and right then in that moment, I honestly didn’t want to. I was tired of messing up. Tired of feeling messed-up. Hell, I was just tired in general. But at the very end, I chickened out. As it turned out, I wasn’t brave enough to actually go through with it. I mean, technically, I had. I slit my wrist…right down to a severed nerve. There was blood…everywhere. And I remember sitting on the gravel in the driveway feeling numb, staring at all the blood, and thinking that I couldn’t do that to my family. I couldn’t let them down again…not like that. It would have been the ultimate betrayal to them, the biggest disappointment. So I called my sister, who was asleep in the house. There are a lot of things I don’t remember about that night, but I can still see her face…clearly. The confusion as she walked out and saw me sitting in the driveway, sobbing. The shock and horror as she came over and saw all the blood. The absolute fear as she ran in the house screaming to my grams and running back out with a towel. I remember sobbing over and over that I was sorry as she called 911, telling her it wasn’t as bad as it looked. But it was. I knew it was. I can still remember the hospital psychiatrist arguing with me when I told him it wasn’t a big deal and him telling me that I would have bled out if I’d stayed there in that driveway and hadn’t called my sister.

It wasn’t an experience I like to relive or think about often. I prefer not to think about. It wasn’t pleasant, at all. Certainly not the act itself…or the ER visit. I swear that doctor was a sadist that night, even though I know he probably thought he was doing me a favor my teaching me a lesson. His method of teaching was to force me to sober up a little before sewing me up. Which was a little hard considering my BAC was almost .2 that night. Like I said, I was drunk as a skunk. How I was even conscious is a mystery to me. Anyhow, it sucked when he finally did stitch me up. It was bad. I was shaking so bad that they had to give me a sedative, but I was still awake and could feel everything, it seemed. I just couldn’t talk, or move. All I could do was cry while my sister sat next to me, holding my other hand. I spent 5 days in the psych ward after that. I guess it’s standard, although my stay was a little extended because I didn’t exactly “cooperate” with the psychiatrist. He wanted me to admit that I was depressed, which I wasn’t. I’d gotten drunk–really drunk–and felt hopeless for one moment, one night. I mean logically speaking, if I’d really wanted to die–really wanted to–then I never would have called my sister for help. So there. He and I also disagreed on his suggested course of treatment. He wanted me to go on anti-depressants and I refused. I didn’t want to be a “downer” zombie. I’ve never been a fan of anti-depressants. I’m sure they help some people, but I didn’t that for me. I wanted to get better on my own. It was the only way I was going to ever trust myself again. He disagreed with that. So…he made me stay there until I agreed to go on meds. Eventually, I agreed just to get out of there. I never filled the prescription once I left. I didn’t see the point. And it wasn’t like he could make me take them.

That unfortunately wasn’t the end of that, though. 2 days after they released me, I had to have reconstructive surgery on my wrist to repair the nerve I severed. That definitely wasn’t a fun experience. I really messed up with that one. Even with the surgery and physical therapy, my wrist will never be the same. I still have some limited movement in my wrist and the feeling is all messed up. Half of the time it’s numb, or there’s a tingling sensation that never quite goes away. It sucks. But I guess I’m lucky that I can still feel it at all. Lucky.

Then there’s the scar. It’s hideous…well, it’s faded, but it’s still hideous to me. But I’m not ashamed of it anymore. I’m not proud of it, but it’s there. It happened. It’s a reminder of a horrible low point in my life…but in a way, that’s a good thing. It’s a symbol that it gets better, because it has. I mean, sure…things aren’t always great and there have been some trying times since…but things have never been as bad as they got that night…and that gives me hope. In a way. It’s weird, but yeah. Anyhow, I want the tattoo to symbolize that. It’s my own battle scar, in a sense. And I’ve fought really hard to change and I think I’ve come a long way since then and who I was that night. I’m not proud of it, but I’m not ashamed either. And that’s a big realization for me.

Thus…the want for a new tattoo…. 🙂

xoxo, MESSIE

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