The Night It All Changed

In the early morning hours of July 27th 2012 I got into a huge fight with my friend whilst black out drunk, not an entirely uncommon occurance during my vodka soaked college years. I had been struggling with severe depression compounded with suicidal thoughts for over two years at the time.

I got into my car to drive home despite having over a .25 BAC (blood alcohol content). No that is not a typo. I only got a few blocks away from the center of town when my phone alerted me that I had an incoming text. It was from my friend whom I had just screamed at for reasons I was too drunk to understand. Private property was to my left and a short cliff edge was to my right, luckily I swerved to the left.

I was pissed drunk, so I confused the brake pedal for the gas and sped off at top speed past a few trees and eventually hit the side of a detached garage. I drove my car through the side wall of said garage and up onto the car parked there. My car was totaled, the other car was totaled, the garage was in pieces and I was in shock.

A sweet couple from the house next door over ran to check and make sure that I was OK, which I thankfully was. The police were there in under a minute, seeing as I happened to be a mere half block from the station. They tested me for drunkeness and as they handcuffed me I wailed two things repeatedly, in a loop.

“Did I hurt anyone?” and “I want to kill myself” sloshed out of my lips, the same lips that blew onver a .25 on the breathalizer, the same lips that screamed at my best friend, the same red lips that drank vodka like it was water. So when my time in the drunk tank was over, I was dropped off in a cop car in front of a mental institution, with a searing migrain, before they quickly drove away.

I slept, and ate, and stared at myself in the warped mirror of the tiny room I shared with one other woman. They had no rooms in the wing that took in people more like me, the ones who had stumbled down the wrong path and gone too far. Instead I was placed with those who suffer from mental disorders that put them on the fringes of society. I was with the people who would probably never get out. It felt right.

I talked to a psychiatrist there as a means of protocol, and he was quick to reassure me that nights like these happen and that I was a good person who had just made some poor choices. The voices in my head rejoiced because I had managed, yet again, to make the world believe that I was mentally stable. This is a feat I had been engaging and succeeding in since I was 13 and first tasted the cool breath of depression.

I had been pretty highly functioning despite being incredibly depressed for the two years leading up to this event. I had always been highly functioning when I was depressed, this wasn’t my first time on this ride. I’ve always been a suffer in silence type (thank you Scorpio moon) with a gift for keeping my cool in public (and that’s my Capricorn sun). It was never healthy but it was always who I was.

I remember my first depression at age 13. I remeber sitting on the kitchen floor and using scissors to self harm for the first time. I remeber being 16 and 17, and one by one having all my friends stop talking to me in the way that only high school girls can do. I remember my mom finding me crying under our desk and getting mad at me for it but I didn’t know what else to do. I remember being 20 years old and being forceably held down by a  crying friend, the only thing she could do to keep me from going into the bathroom and making myself bleed.

On the night of July 27th I was driving home to self harm yet again. Self harm was just another on a long list of vices that I used to keep the dark voices in my mind at bay. Binge eating, I’m talking about the kind of binging where you eat what the fuck ever you can get your hands on, was a real problem for me, as well as restrictive eating. I poured over pro ana blogs, which are online communities for people who want to be or are currently anorexic. I kept pictures of girls who were skin and bones, girls who were dying, saved on my computer for inspiration. 

Look, I could keep going but I’m feeling like this is turning into a fucking sob story, which this is not. The point I’m trying to get across is that I was fucked up. I mean, you don’t wake up in a mental instituion when your life is going down the right path.

If I wasn’t going to tell a mental health professional that I needed some fucking help then I had no choice but to figure it out on my own. This is the triumphant story of how I did just that.

First and foremost, I decided that I needed to be an omnivore once again. I needed to get rid of the idea that eating certain foods would make me less worthy of a human being. To others it might have seemed like a tiny unimportant thing but to me it was life changing. I could eat anything I wanted. To be fair I still didn’t buy myself a loaf of bread until last year in 2017, so it was not a linear journey.

And yeah, I gained some weight at first which didn’t help my mental state, but this first step was intrinsic to helping me fix my mental wounds. I had to start small. I had to learn that it’s ok to start by making one little change, in fact I reccommend it!

Once food started to become more enjoyable, and not send me into panic stricken anxiety, I realized what my next step was. I was going to learn to stop eating when I was full. Oh it sounds easy but it fucking is not! I had been eating past the point of fullness for so many years that the feeling of being just satsiated was absolutely foreign to me.

Both of these lessons took a long time to internalize, and both of these lessons existed very much on the physical plane. I wasn’t ready to tackle my anxiety or depression head on yet, I needed to dip my toes in and get used to the water first. By focusing first on my relationship to food I was able to prove to myself that I was indeed able to rise up from my rock bottom.

Once I started to work on these things and see results, not physically really (though I did loose a bit of weight a year after my accident) but mentally, I fell in love with the idea of improving myself. I began to analyze everything and take note of places I wanted to improve upon within myself. I worked on everything from a place of self love. I wouldn’t put in the work if it  came from a place of trying to please others, that would never get me the results I wanted.

In the past 6 years I’ve learned to defiantly love myself. It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t linear but you bet your fucking ass it was worth it.

When I came into spirituality in 2014 that’s when things started to shift. My spiritual journey hasn’t been easy or linear as well, it’s been a windy road to where I am now. Tarot, numerology, and astrology are amazing tools for personal growth and self love. Each of these studies gave me the freedom to explore who I am and why I do the things I do, but even more than that, they showed me how to love myself.

I love my hard working Capricorn sun and 4 Life Path number. I appreciate how they make me the mother fucken boss that I am. I love my Aquarius rising and how it makes me weird af. I love my 6 personality number because it makes me the nurturing friend that I am. And the thing is, once you learn to love yourself, really love yourself, you’ll find that it is that much easier to love everyone else.

Don’t do this on your own if you can help it, see a professional if you need help. I did it on my own but it was hard and it took a long time and I am truly lucky that I made it out alive. Remember, it is never to late to start a personal love journey. As the old Chinese saying goes, the perfect time to planet a tree was twenty years ago, the second best time is today.

Plant your fucking tree, it’s worth it.

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