I want you to close your eyes and imagine something. Pretend you’re sitting on the floor of your bedroom, and all around you are cards, but they’re all facing down. Now, in one try I want you to put the cards in order without looking. Impossible you say? Well, so is making all the “right” decisions in life, and you’re going to get confused. But that’s okay. What would be the point in life if you had to follow a handbook. Besides, what great legend doesn’t have a journey.
My journey wasn’t so much long, but a lot happened in that time. I went from a happy, starry-eyed child, to a hyper-active pre-teen, to a depressed teenager, and lastly to a substance abuser. I think the worst thing out of everything was that I didn’t even notice I changed or what I put my family through, from just embarrassing my sister at school to having my parents drive to the police station.
I may not have had a huge drug addiction, but what I went through was bad enough. I didn’t even think about my family; I only told myself that they were horrible and didn’t care about me. But god, I was so wrong.
The thing that was worse about not noticing my changes was that attempting suicide was the one thing to get me to stop. Throughout eighth and ninth grade, I attempted suicide more than four times; some of them no one even knew about. I was lucky enough to stay alive through all that, but I remember shutting the whole world out. Now that I think about it, I was desperate, but I didn’t know what I was desperate for.
I was in a doctor’s office, and I don’t know what really happened, but I stopped caring, or I told myself I did. I stayed silent, and that was a huge shock considering how I usually don’t stop talking. I also remember a police officer telling me a story about a girl who couldn’t control herself, and her life was out of her hands, and I didn’t want to be like that.
So a few weeks after I left the office, I began shutting myself out from things, but it wasn’t like before. I shut out only the things that would stop me. I didn’t really talk at school; I did my work. I even finished it early, and overall I stayed out of drama. Surprisingly, shutting myself out really helped me. But it wasn’t just that, it was my change in thoughts, too. At that time, I knew I really needed to change and that my family really did love me because, after all I did, they stayed with me.
Throughout my life I always wrote, even if it was little stories that I made up once and never touched again. But it wasn’t till around this time that I really got into it. I was always a big drawer, but for once I got interested in something else. Without even noticing, I put most of my struggles into my writing, in one story particularly.
It was about a boy named Frank who was a senior in high school who didn’t even care about what he did. He continued to do whatever he wanted and did not even know how hard his dad worked so that he would stay in school. But along came Marcus, a boy who became his foster brother. For the longest time, Frank hated Marcus and wanted nothing to do with him. But soon he realized that he and Marcus were the same. They both were hurt.
And that’s something everyone should consider, that you’re not alone. There are always people who share the same pain, even though you may not see it. And Frank didn’t see the abuse Marcus went through, all because they handled their pain in the wrong way. In the story, Frank resembled my past self. Marcus is who I’ve become now.
And now I see things from more than one perspective, and I know right from wrong. And after years, I finally stopped indulging myself in my pain and pretending things weren’t going to get better. But they do, and it’s really you who makes that call.
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