I know people can change because I’ve done it. I’ve gone from good to bad, and back to good again. Being familiar with the whole cycle has helped me gain a type of empathy I wouldn’t have known if my life wasn’t filled with mistakes.
When I was growing up, I was a bright and happy kid. I did sports, I played instruments, and I wrote poems and short stories like it was my job. I did well in school, for the most part; I graduated above a 3.0 (not very impressive in my group of friends who all went off to whatever school they wanted but that’s what you get for joining the marching band). I had dreams that I would be an elementary school teacher, and that I would use music and creativity to teach children and help them grow.
Well, drugs got in the way of that. Well, I mean, I got in the way but used drugs to do it. At some point, I was doing powder that I didn’t know what it was I just knew it made me feel good. I played with the 2Ces and 2Cis which were chemicals someone made to make you trip, and I’m pretty sure messed with my brain. I was doing cocaine, molly, painkillers, Xanax, and binge drinking Wild Turkey. I was stealing to get money for drugs, I was helping sell fake drugs to get drugs, and I lost my job and went to jail because of my addiction.
I finally got clean and ditched the useless boyfriend when I got out of jail, but finding purpose was hard. I was a fresh felon with a theft charge, who would hire that? For a couple of years, I would go from one teenage job to the next, barely paying my bills and just partying. I wasn’t doing hardcore drugs, but I wasn’t doing anything with my life either.
People would ask me how I am, what I’m doing, what have I been up to these days. And I would lie. I didn’t want to tell people, “I’m swimming in a sea of depression that is surrounded by waves of unworthiness to exist, and I can’t seem to find a reason to continue breathing.” I wasn’t proud of where I worked, where I lived. So I would lie.
The last time I did that was about a year ago. I was working as a manager at a café and living in a concrete duplex with my fiancé. I was miserable, drinking again, and being a terrible fiancé to the love of my life. I met someone who told me how I could get paid to write, so I started that journey.
Now it’s one year later, and I can’t wait for people to ask me how I’m doing. I’m having a wedding ceremony in April. I am moving into our first owned house. I write for a living. And I am happy, so so happy. Of course, my mental illness takes away most of it, but I am more together than I have ever been.
I am proud of what I have accomplished in the last year, and I now know that anything is possible.