Most people hit a rock bottom at some point in their lives; I never expected to not hit one. However, I did not expect to hit it at only twenty-two years old.
May 2015 sticks out at me like a branch jutting out in a walkway that you smash your face into regardless. Thinking about my last college grades gave me nausea and sleepless nights. I knew I was dropping out of college, but I didn’t know how to do it formally or how to even tell my family the news. Our house was going into foreclosure, so I had to pack nineteen years’ worth of things and memories. This stress only mounted as months went on.
Late May/early June was when I broke the news about dropping out. (That went so well!) July was the move into our new rental. While it was mostly gradual as far as the process is concerned, this drove our family to chaos. I balanced working at nights and transporting items to the new place. Come September, we were moved in and settled in that regard. Though we were settled into the house itself, my depression and anxiety only worsened.
My first workplace left me unemployed from early September until November/early December. I lacked such regulation that something as small as losing track of a Wii mote turned me into a raging jerk. (Ask my brother; he threw the now-found Wii mote at my head because of it.) I pretty much lived in the basement except to eat once in a blue moon. Showering more than once a week was almost a miraculous event. I started medication in October, but it still made me sick for at least a month due to side effects. The worst event to break me, however, did not come until December.
December 23rd, 2015 – 2:00 A.M. Just that Monday, I’d started panicking. I felt this instinctual need to drive to Maryland and visit my friend Courtney. (She was not in good shape after fighting cancer for a year.) However, I did not have my own car, and no one in my house would allow me to use theirs. I had no idea, then, why I felt such a strong need to see her. That awful morning, I found out via Facebook that she passed. I’d bought a little Christmas tree to celebrate the season and try to make my room feel like home. But even that fake Douglas Fir seemed to wilt when I read the post. A huge part of my last two and a half years just…died. And so did a big chunk of my heart. If I hadn’t had friends come to distract and comfort me, I don’t know what I would have done.
I only lost myself further after that. Courtney was the first person who encouraged me to write and let my work be published for the world to see. She helped me develop confidence. She gave me a friend when I felt so alone. After her passing, I didn’t write anything for over a year. No stories, and not even a single poem. (I didn’t even enter the world of music journalism again until April of 2017.) I didn’t know who I was, what I wanted to do, or how I could continue living. Trust me…I didn’t want to for quite a while.
Thanks to working hard in therapy and making myself change for the better, I slowly started recovering what I did know about myself and also started discovering what I didn’t know about myself previously. I discovered my humor again, and I remembered my love for horror movies and Batman which I’d forgotten. I let myself fall in love with music and concerts again and made new friends through that outlet. (It took a little longer, but I did remember my love for writing in the end.)
2017 was a big for me. I stepped back into music journalism for the first time since Courtney’s death. I covered that summer’s Warped Tour in Scranton, my first Warped Tour since 2015 (which was also the last time I ever saw her). I started blogging more and beginning to construct my presence as a writer. I haven’t looked back since, either.
I am currently working on my debut poetry book. I also go to Toastmasters meetings to practice my public speaking to give motivational speeches and give the best poetry readings possible. I’m gaining a small following as an author, which still means the world to me because I never thought I would really do it. Life kicked my ass a little bit; it still does, at times. But I’m happy where I am right now. And I’m happy about you guys sticking around and staying interested in my story.
I love you bookworms! Thank you so much for everything.