Recovery, Transition, and Survival
There was not supposed to be a part two to my story. I often thought about it. Maybe, perhaps, an update or maybe even an answer to my madness. Almost a year has gone by since I last revised my auto biography and stuffed it away to be forgotten. A story that was told through my eyes and read by very few. In my heart I know it is a story that is understood by many. I am revisiting this “saga” and continuing to write about it because I am still going through it. However, this will be a very different read, just as it was a very different experience for me. I have recently experienced something I have not felt in many years. HOPE. This is “Part Two”.
March 24, 2011. Approximately 10 pm.
I am walking down Blue Point Rd. In my right hand, a plastic cup half filled with that piss colored liquid I know all too well. In my left, a small container filled with every pill I possess. I am done. Done with life. Done with struggling. Done with waking up everyday and being extremely pissed off about it. I have given up on asking God to take me in my sleep every night. I continue walking….I’m on a mission. A selfish mission to end all of my pain. Nothing is going through my mind but sleep. A long, peaceful sleep that I will never awake from. The thought of this makes my legs pump harder. I’m breathing faster. I had no particular destination. I just needed somewhere to sit and put myself to rest…permanently. I reach 7 Eleven. I’m worn and torn and am hyperventilating. Finally I sit down on the side of the building. I can’t eat those pills quick enough and leave this earth!!! Time is of the essence, let’s get the hell outta here Jen! But there’s one last thing I must do before I depart. I text my family that I love them and say goodbye, because I know I will truly miss them. Then I text my pastor. I ask him to plead with the Lord to forgive me for committing the ultimate sin.
“It’s Jen. I’m sorry. Please tell God I am sorry. I don’t want to go to hell”.
I swallow an array of pills. A deadly, colorful mix of roughly about twenty pills. This time I am not taking any chances. I will follow through. God as my witness, the minute those pills slid down my throat I hear a familiar voice. A voice that I love. A voice that I look up to. A voice that is reminiscent of wonderful memories. It’s my father. Damn that GPS. He had tracked me and found me. Talk about impeccable timing. I stagger towards my father sobbing. “I’m so sorry Dad. So sorry. So sorry. I love you”. The last thing I remember is the look on my fathers face and the tears in his eyes. “Jenny, please no..” I can never forget that vision, and I know it is part of my punishment because it breaks my heart everyday.
Dazed and confused. Lethargic and dizzy. I feel like I’m floating. Yea, I’m floating alright….three feet off the ground in a hospital bed on suicide watch. What in God’s name have I done or attempted to do? Wake up call? Yes. Do I answer that call? No. I hit the fuck you button and send them straight to voicemail.
Currently, as I write this the date is January 23, 2012….5:19 pm to be exact. I’ve changed since that horrific day. Some good, some bad. Some justified, some questionable. I continue to hit the bottle like it’s nobodies business. I am fighting so hard to overcome my anxiety. My self esteem is horrible, almost like a distorted view or whatever they call it. Looking in the mirror is now a sick game. Can I walk by it without looking? Because I know if I look it’s like torture. Most of the time I look. I stare. Surprised I don’t burn holes in the mirror I stare so hard. Why do I do this to myself? Is it a form of self punishment or am I trying to stare away my ugliness? The most puzzling part to me is why I get so much attention from men. I’ve never, for the most part, have been rejected. I’ve encountered numerous self absorbed assholes or men who weren’t as reciprocative as I’d like them to be. But the feedback usually was and still is good. I swear I am in a constant state of self sabotage. I will not let a good, honest, successful man into my life for shit. Hmmm, I wonder why??
Now every safe haven I have is no longer safe for me. I am going on interviews and downing a glass of scotch along with a xanax just to get through them…..at 10 am in the morning. Here’s the real kicker. I start waking up with an unusual need. I am hungry. I have a certain taste in my mouth early in the morning…..a taste for alcohol. I was never partial to alcohol. I smoked my pot and did my street drugs. But I really mean it, smoking pot was my thing. It defined me. I was in love with marijuana. But, if I would have known at 18 when I met my alcoholic ex-boyfriend that alcohol would slowly creep into my life the way it has I would have never touched it. I would have stuck to the grass. Now, if I try to smoke pot it’s paranoia central and you can most likely find me hiding in my closet.
I‘m off the meds. Deep in my soul I know it’s time. Time to let go of the street drugs, prescription pills, and the soul idea of living this way. Many of times I told myself. “Self, this IS ok. You CAN live life like this. You’re allowed to! You’re in pain and you’re suffering. It’s ok to get wasted everyday!” But it’s not ok. I miss my routine of hard work, exercise, and determination. I mean I’ve always been somewhat of an over achiever or at least in my mind I have. Always had to look my best, get good grades, etc. Now, I just have to get back on track. Not even “drive” on that track right away, just get back on it. Ever listen to “Drive” by Incubus? And let me tell you, cars are one of my deepest passions and I am an exceptional driver. But this anxiety makes it hard for me to get behind the damn wheel.
Re-programming my body and my mind. Withdrawal. Fear. Uncertainty. These are the obstacles I face every minute of every day. Years of meds and self medication were my “mask”. My lie. My lonely lie. The “brain shocks” as I call them were and still are a pain in the ass. Imagine someone taking jumper cables to both sides of your brain. The night sweats. The nightmares. Only one can only begin to imagine or merely understand unless you have been through it. But, I found the will to survive. I have so much I want to, let’s not say “accomplish” but experience and enjoy before I leave this earth. My faith lays in my Savior Jesus Christ. Ever read Footprints? Well, he has been carrying me all along and I was too weak to see it. He is now walking beside me hand in hand, through every trial and tribulation…..and for that I am forever grateful. To my readers, and my peers, I am not trying to misguide or misdirect anyone’s beliefs. You can overcome this illness regardless of what your beliefs are. We were all brought up and taught differently. It is up to US. WE must stick up for ourselves, because we do not deserve to be “bullied” by these illnesses.
So I am still struggling, but more importantly maintaining. Don’t get me wrong. I am by far the most stable person on this earth and probably never will be. But, I am back to being me. Raw and uncut. Sharp, quick witted, on point, and never missing a beat. I wouldn’t trade these traits for anything…but I almost did back in March. Always look ahead, because no matter how dark your tunnel may look…..look a little closer. Even if you have to squint, because there is light…No matter how “dim” that light may seem, it is there. If it wasn’t you wouldn’t be reading this right now would you? I didn’t write this “documentary” with the intent for anyone to read it. It started off as a foundation for my innermost thoughts and private experiences. However, it became something very important to me. A tell all, a weight lifted off my shoulders. Something that proved to be extremely therapeutic and hopefully one day helpful and insightful to others. I truly believe a lot of us think we are alone. That no one understands or can even begin to imagine what we go through on a day to day basis. A lot of us feel scared, confused and very embarrassed. I’ve learned, gratefully, throughout the years that I am not alone. None of us are. None of us want to broadcast the tough times we are enduring, the pain and anguish. I think it is human nature for most of us to cover up, hide or mask our problems/illnesses. BUT I must say, no matter how hard or trying these misfortunes and feelings may be…in a way…I am somewhat grateful. It has molded me into the person I am today. I am not a doctor or a professional, nor do I know everything about this ‘life”. But I do know that we are not alone.