The inspiration for this writing comes from my ugliest and darkest moment. My heart ached with despair and emptiness. Into this void came two acts of kindness that saved my life. These two simple acts of sheer selfless compassion changed my negative, dark thinking and help me see that I was not alone. I was being self-centered and self-seeking.
It was winter in 2014, and Thanksgiving had just passed. I had been struggling with the mentally obsessing Bitch in my head for almost 20 years at that point. The only way I knew to cope with that chic was to shut her up with booze and weed, a fuck load of it. I refer to her as a Bitch because she was one. I’d like to use a harsher word for her but some may be offended by C. U. Next Tuesday. So, Bitch it is.
The Bitch in my head was mean, spiteful, manipulating, dishonest, and worst of all fearful. She’d spend hours, whole days ruminating on any and all things negative. One minute it could be my body image. The next it could be mocking how stupid my dyslexia was for making me not reading like a grown adult. Her other favorite was to blame and victimize people I cared for. If I had a boyfriend, she was always crafting a new resentment that I could use against him to feed her own twisted agenda. It was like a game of emotional tug a war. She would set a situation that provided a chance of failure. Now I had a reason to blame him and drink. His reaction was confusion or negativity that gave me another reason to feed my addictions. Guilt for my negative responses gave more fuel to my negative feelings. Feeling inadequate was its own high, a thrill. Drama was just what she needed to feed on. Without getting too far into how this insane way of thinking destroyed my daily life, I’ll end on this. The brutal beat down I gave myself daily fed my Eating Disorder and in turn the only way I felt I could shut that Bitch up was to drink or use. However, the morning after I would be fueled with so much shame, guilt and demoralization that the insane Bitch beast would be stuffed with more content to use against others and me. Living like this had its effects on my life. I’d made crazy decisions without thinking because I couldn’t think clearly.
Like I said this had been a battle for almost 20 years in the winter of 2014. I had enough. My true self wasn’t this asshole of a person. I hated myself, and what I was contributing to the world. I was blessed with this awesome family that was constantly rooting for me to succeed, and I would shit on them. My friends I loved, but I was jealous of them. I would make up fake resentments about them so I could feel superior over them. I wasn’t living. I was sucking the life out people, and I could feel it. My insane Bitch brain told me that it would be a blessing if I just killed myself. This is something I battled everyday for almost 2 years at this point. Every time I would let myself or someone I loved down, this was the thought I had. So finally, I had enough and made a suicide plan. I had saved some pills aside for the attempt. Which believe me was hard because I was an addict. I wanted to take those pills daily. I meant business this time. But of course, my Bitch brain had to hurt and pull others into my misery and Thank God she did. Now, now let me tell you why… This is where the miracle happens.
So, like a good self-righteous addict I decided I would call 4 people and tell them very dramatically that I loved them, and I wasn’t going to hurt them anymore. My life was a burden on them, on me, and on the world. It wasn’t fair to them I was I was alive causing them so much pain. There was some other stuff too, but it is all so dark and twisted I don’t want to get into it. I don’t know who I called first, or who said what, but I do remember the people that came over and changed everything.
I had called my ex Omar to whom I had been broken up with for about a year at that point, and to say the very least we had ended badly. The years we spent on and off again were the exact result of the emotional tug a war game I liked to play in relationships. In fact, Omar and I may have perfected the game. Oh, did that Bitch love to be the victim of him. I believe he may have been the first person in my life that called me an alcoholic and it was said out of deep concern. But oh, the Bitch hated him for that. I could probably write a whole book on the nasty bullshit that Bitch would do or say to push and pull out of that relationship. That’s why when I called Omar to say good-bye; I feel it was also to say, “Look what I have become. I hope you are happy.” Another selfish claw mark ravaged him.
He wasn’t hearing it though. Until this day I don’t know what compelled him to come help me that day, but I am truly grateful. He came over even though I said no. Held while I cried, talked to me. I have no idea what he said, but he pointed out that my pjs had a saying on them “life is good” you know that brand. Something started to click. Here was a man that I emotionally kicked the shit out of sitting next me in my time of desperate need tell me “life is good”. It made me feel as though I worth something. It was a spark.
Next my besty Coco came over. When I called, her she’d didn’t skip a beat, she just came. I don’t even know if she got a babysitter for her baby. I’m sure she did, but she was there fast. I explained that I was hurting her and my family by living this way. I felt that death was my only option. She mentioned rehab. Oh gosh, fear ran through me. “Get Sober Fuck!!! No! Death is easier!” the Bitch said loudly.
Then my friend reminded me of another friend that we had just lost a few years prior, who had died in childbirth. She asked very gently “Lara, don’t you think Michelle would do anything to be alive right now and hold her baby”? That made me pause and think. I wasn’t quite there yet though but I was starting to see how selfish suicide would be. It was enough for me to pause and slow down my thinking. I asked if she could take me to Michelle’s grave.
The next day my friend I went to Michelle’s grave. On the drive, there I was asking my friend about rehabs and if she would visit me. The idea was becoming was not becoming less scary but more and more necessary. When we arrived, I stood there looking at my dear friend’s gravestone. To be honest I was jealous of how loved she was and wondered why couldn’t I be that loved. Why was I such a massive mess to constantly clean up or abandon. Then these 3 words popped in my head. ” You are selfish!” The phrase was on repeat. And it was like for split moment I got clarity. I was being selfish; Truly at the time I thought the world and other people were selfish not me. But it hit me like a ton of bricks! I wasn’t giving life a chance and I needed to get sober. Michelle’s death was heart breaking and unfair. Her loved ones would do anything to have alive. I was wasting my life with hate, with fear, but I still had loved ones that would do anything to love me unconditionally.
This was the start of my journey towards recovery, and my passion for helping people. The act of kindness I received saved me. I want to thank Coco and Omar for their kindness. It also made me aware that I needed to pay that act back with kindness and support for other struggling people. The incidences of mental illness and addictions are growing. We all need to be there with support and kindness to all, not just friends and family.